The new 2009 Lincoln MKS promises more comfort and amenities than the LS models that it replaces, and offers several features, such as the keypad entry system, the Sync hands-free interface, and the Sirius Travel Link, that aren't otherwise offered in its price range. It also has a surprisingly roomy interior for its outward dimensions, along with some very distinctive and uniquely American-styled interior appointments.
Lincoln's MKS is initially available in a single, very well equipped model for 2009, powered by a 3.7L V6 engine making 270 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. The engine has a die-cast aluminum block and four-valve cylinder heads to help improve fuel-efficiency and response. The six-speed automatic transmission comes with a SelectShift mode that allows manual gear selection.
Front-wheel drive is standard on the Lincoln MKS, but an all-wheel drive system is optional for those who want greater all-weather capability. The system uses a system of electronically controlled clutches to allocate up to 100 percent of engine torque to either the front or rear wheels, and it works in conjunction with the standard AdvanceTrac stability control system to also modulate torque side-to-side.
The Lincoln MKS's suspension is tuned for a combination of traditional luxury-car softness with a measure of precise steering response. It uses MacPherson struts and control arms in front, along with a new fully independent design in back, employing vertically mounted shocks set close to the wheels for more handling precision. As such, the Lincoln MKS can maintain its ride comfort even with the big, optional 20-inch wheels. There's otherwise a wide range of wheels available on the Lincoln MKS, including available painted, polished, or machined 19-inch alloy wheels or standard 18-inch machined cast-aluminum ones.
All the requisite safety equipment for a luxury sedan is standard on the Lincoln MKS, including front side air bags and side-curtain bags with roll-fold technology.
Interior appointments have received a big upgrade in the Lincoln MKS relative to previous Lincoln models. Bridge of Weir Leather supplies upholstery for the Lincoln MKS; the leather uses vegetable dyes and is among the softest ever used by Lincoln, according to the automaker. Ebony and Olive Ash wood trims are used, along with real aluminum and chrome accents.
The new Lincoln MKS especially stands out, though, for the availability of a wide range of high-tech options not widely available, even among large luxury sedan in its price range. One of those is a next-generation keypad entry system, which uses heat-sensing technology to engage LED backlighting of the numerical pad, which is located in the car's B-pillar. Another unique feature is the Easy Fuel capless fuel-filler system, which automatically seals itself shut after filling, to help reduce emissions. Adaptive cruise control, swiveling adaptive headlamps with automatic high beams, rain-sensing wipers, a forward sensing system, and a rearview camera system are also all available.
Also featured is Sync, a new voice-activated hands-free interface for cell phones and media players. A new THX-certified, surround sound audio system with voice-activated navigation system features the new Sirius Travel Link, which brings real-time traffic updates, movie listings, weather-radar forecasts, and gas-station prices to the usual navigation-system functions