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LA auto show: Lincoln's new MKS

Lincoln MarKS its spot: New large sedan will debut Ford's direct-injection turbo petrol technology.

Ford dusts off its Lincoln brand with the all-new MKS large sedan at Los Angeles

21 Nov 2007

FORD unveiled its all-new Lincoln MKS large car at the Los Angeles auto show last week, a vehicle that marks a fresh attempt at resurrecting the brand’s fortunes in prestige circles and will debut some significant features – including a new wave of fuel-efficient direct-injection petrol engines.

Based on a modified Volvo platform, the flagship AWD sedan will launch early in 2008 with an exclusive-for-now 3.7-litre V6 engine and within 12 months will become the first vehicle to offer Ford’s new turbocharged direct-injection engine technology.

The car-maker claims the new twin-turbo DI donk will make the MKS “the most powerful and fuel-efficient AWD luxury sedan in the market” with V8 performance and V6 fuel economy.

The other mechanical highlight is an all-new independent rear suspension with vertically mounted shock absorbers at the outboard end of the suspension arms near the wheels, a design which is said to maximise suspension travel and allow for more precise tuning.

In concert with the front strut configuration, the suspension will also accommodate a 20-inch wheel-and-tyre combination.

Significant-for-Ford features on the MKS include voice-activated in-car communications and satellite navigation, adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights, an advanced keyless entry system, and a THX-certified sound system with 5.1 surround sound. Pricing will start from below $US38,000.

Ford’s green blueprint

THE Lincoln MKS was the Ford Motor Co’s main attraction at the Los Angeles auto show last week, but the Blue Oval brand also moved to assert its environmental credentials with a “blueprint for sustainability”.

In the near-term, Ford said it would “quickly” improve powertrain warm-up times and introduce new technology such as cylinder deactivation and better battery recharging systems.

It also revealed a new generation of direct-injection turbocharged engines (four-cylinder and V6) – to be first implemented on the MKS – would be offered in high volumes on lighter Ford vehicles, saving up to 20 per cent in fuel consumption “without compromising performance”.

94 center imageLeft: Ford Edge HySeries concept.

Mid-term advancements – that is, those made between 2012 and 2020 – include dual-clutch transmissions, advanced electric power steering systems, weight reductions (up to 340kg), aerodynamic improvements, new diesel and bio-fuel (ethanol and diesel) models and more petrol-electric hybrids (starting with the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan next year).

Longer-term, Ford’s plan also calls for “aggressive development” of plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles. Next month it will deliver a plug-in Escape Hybrid to Southern California Edison as part of a research project, and it is “moving ahead” with a range of hydrogen solutions including fuel cells and hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion engines.

Its 2007 Edge HySeries concept is also billed as the world’s first driveable fuel cell hybrid electric vehicle with plug-in capacity.

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