Monday, January 19, 2015

2016 Lincoln MKX revealed at NAIAS

Lincoln Motor Company revealed its all new MKX to a gasp and wow response from the audience.  It makes significant changes in style and luxury from the outgoing 2015 Model.  Other than a floor pan and one engine nothing is shared with the Ford Edge. That's a big deal as many of the brands detractors denigrate the cars as "warmed over Fords".  Not the case here.

The new MKX is full of sensuous flowing curves.  There's a subtle rear wing built into the rear hatch.  Fender flares on the sides to accommodate the wheels.  LED driving lights and rear brake lights/turn signals that follow curves and creases in the body work.  Nice integration of the elements.  The split wing grill theme continues on the new MKX with horizontal bars versus the waterfall of old.

The interior is full of surprises as well.  Two open storage compartments are integrated into the front seat console for easy storage of bulkier items such as purses or clutches.

As if the standard interior isn't pretty enough Lincoln brings 2 different "Black Label" packages to the table for the new MKX. Lincoln Black Label will be available at launch with four designer themes – two of which are all-new. One is inspired by the fashion, lifestyle and art scene of 1920s Paris, while the excitement, passion and pageantry of high-stakes thoroughbred horse racing create the vision for the second new theme. Modern Heritage and Indulgence also will be available on the new Lincoln MKX.

For audiophiles this Lincoln is the first to be equipped with what will be a brand exclusive Revel sound system from Harmon. Uncompromising acoustics and award-winning home theater audio quality comes to the Lincoln MKX through the available Revel audio system. The Revel Ultima system is standard on Lincoln Black Label editions and available on Reserve models. It features 19 speakers with point source architecture, positioning the tweeter and midrange speakers close together for superior audio quality. Further performance and refinement is provided by QuantumLogic Surround Sound technology, which offers three listening modes – stereo, audience and on stage; patented Clari-Fi™ technology offering advanced, real-time music reconstruction for all compressed audio sources; and a 20-channel high-voltage hybrid amplifier for class-leading dynamics and optimized transparency. A 13-speaker Revel system designed for the ultimate audio quality experience is available on the all-new Lincoln MKX Select and Reserve.

The brand also brings to the table some interesting new lighting tricks to the table all in the name of ultimate luxury. When the driver with key fob is within approximately 9 feet, the lower LED daytime running lights gently brighten, while “welcome mat” is projected on the ground from the folded mirrors. Door handles are illuminated, too, tuned to the exterior color. Interior sequential lighting begins at the footwell, then illuminates the cupholders, pass-through, instrument panel, front door handles, front map pockets and rear doors. The lighting goes off in reverse order.

Key features and optional equipment for the new MKX:
  • 3.7l V6 with 300 hp/280 ft lbs torque.  Optional 2.7l V6 Ecoboost with 330hp/370 ft lb torque 
  • both engines mated to a 6 speed automatic with AWD optional
  • integral link rear suspension, upgrades to the body structure and chassis components, make the new model the best-handling, best-riding and quietest Lincoln MKX ever
  • Lincoln Drive Control, a suite of ride-enhancing technologies, optimizes performance and offers three distinct modes: Normal, Sport and Comfort 
  • of helpful driver aids and technologies are available, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping system, blind spot information system, cross-traffic alert and a height-adjustable hands-free power liftgate
  • an ultrasonic sensing system with 12 sensors enabling the full range of available parking-assist features: front rear side sensing, perpendicular and parallel parking assist and park out assist
  • available 22-way adjustable front seats with active motion help reduce muscle fatigue in the upper legs and lower back through six adjustable air bladders in the cushion and five adjustable air bladders in the lower seat back
  • built-in connectivity is provided through an available embedded modem. Via a smartphone app that communicates with the vehicle, the available MyLincoln Mobile™ app gives owners the ability to start, lock, unlock and locate their vehicle, as well as schedule a remote start.
The new MKX is a great indication of where the brand is going with its total luxury experience.  The features packed in or optionally available will certainly make it class competitive if not a leader in terms of driver satisfaction and support.  That the passengers are enveloped in total leather wrapped luxury is just the added bonus.  I really hope that this model takes off to encourage Lincoln to continue to produce driver focused luxury autos.

These pictures grabbed on the floor of the Lincoln exhibit really show off a lot of the key design and interior elements of the new MKX. I truly could see myself coddled in this in a cross country run or in the bump and grind traffic of Los Angeles.  It has all the right bits to make it a leader in the class.  I hope for Lincolns future the buyers out there really like it as well.

As a bit of a disclosure.  Ford Motor Company paid for my travel and accomodations to attend the NAIAS this last week in Detroit as one of their "digital influencers". (I need to add that to my CV somehow).  All opinions are my own, as if anyone can silence my not so humble opinions.

More pics in my flickr Album 2015 NAIAS