DEARBORN - There is an adage that goes, "Don't tell me what you're going to do. Do it."
On Thursday at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Lincoln is doing just that. The brand demonstrates physical proof of change with the reveals of the redesigned 2013 Lincoln MKS and 2013 Lincoln MKT.
A comprehensive series of changes starts under the skin. The MKS provides Lincoln Drive Control with an all-new Continuously Controlled Damping suspension as standard equipment, a luxury-class first. The new adjustable suspension delivers an exceptional balance of ride and handling for a more refined and engaging driving experience. Lincoln Drive Control and CCD are standard on MKT models equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 continues as a popular option on MKS as well.
The new MKS and MKT both offer more power with greater efficiency for 2013 thanks to the first-ever availability of the 3.7-liter V6 engines featuring twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT), technology that improves both performance feel and fuel economy.
Both vehicles feature new styling and exclusive technologies that give luxury customers genuine new reasons to visit Lincoln showrooms. In addition to updated exterior styling, the crafted interiors of the 2013 MKS and MKT have been redesigned around the MyLincoln Touch™ system. The intuitive interface helps drivers access advanced technologies, including SYNC®, that for the first time offers Wi-Fi® capabilities for tablets and laptops along with standard Operator Assist.
WHY LINCOLN MATTERS
The 2013 MKS and MKT are the first steps forward in the evolution of Lincoln. Since last year's Los Angeles Auto Show, a foundation has been laid for the reinvigoration of the storied marque.
Important actions already taken include hiring Max Wolff as Lincoln Design Director and appointing Scott Tobin Director, Lincoln Product Development.
“Max and Scott are key members of a sizeable, dedicated team that wakes up every morning thinking about Lincoln, and only Lincoln,” said Ken Czubay, Vice President Lincoln Sales and Marketing. “We brought in people from diverse backgrounds and found people internally who know about luxury brands and customers.”
Supporting the new team is a new Lincoln product development process that is separate from the Ford division. The extent of this change is so significant that all new Lincoln products now have their own dedicated chief engineers.
Under Wolff’s direction, the construction of a dedicated Lincoln Design Studio began. The studio’s expected completion is just weeks away. “This is the first time Lincoln has its own studio since the 1970s,” said Wolff. “Having our own creative space is critical to the development of the brand.”
Knowing where Lincoln fits within Ford Motor Company and the larger automotive realm is key to understanding why the luxury brand is receiving so much attention.
“Lincoln is extremely important to Ford Motor Company for a number of reasons,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas. “First and foremost, the luxury piece of the industry is still and will continue to be significant. In any given year in the U.S., the luxury segment is 11 to 13 percent of overall sales, and it’s very important that we participate in that market. Lincoln allows us to do that.”
“The Ford brand continues to bring in more customers,” continued Fields. “At some point, these customers may want to move into a luxury brand, and we want Lincoln to be there for them. This is why we're so invested in Lincoln as a brand, its products and our dealer network.”
LINCOLN MOVING FORWARD
“Our vehicle debuts here in Los Angeles – and at the Detroit show in January – will show the world what to expect from Lincoln,” said Tobin. “The brand is in the early stages of expanding its line that will include some significant surprises. Including the vehicles shown here today, there will be seven all-new and significantly improved vehicles coming in the next four years.”
“The refreshed MKS and MKT demonstrate the design direction at Lincoln,” said Wolff. “On both of these vehicles, we worked to make them look more crafted and refined, inside and out.”
The ongoing plan for Lincoln focuses significant investment and attention on standout products that deliver what the luxury market demands; stunning style, quality craftsmanship, intuitive technology, and refined, engaging performance.
“We know what we need to do to make Lincoln a world-class luxury brand,” said Tobin. “We’re taking steps to get there because it's impossible for an automaker to this in one big leap.”
“Customers are already responding to the commitment Lincoln is making to be a world-class luxury brand, led by compelling vehicles and an exceptional customer experience,” said Kevin Cour, Lincoln Sales and Service Manager. “MKZ and MKX are showing the way as credible competitors in their respective segments in the luxury market.”
Supporting Cour's position is the brand's performance in important industry surveys. The J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Vehicle Dependability Study named Lincoln as the top brand based on the number of problems per 100 vehicles. J.D. Power polled 43,700 original owners on problems experienced during the past 12 months on 2008 model year vehicles after three years of ownership. Out of 35 brands, Lincoln had the lowest number of issues.