Now that Lincoln has been permanently severed from the Ford-clone Mercury brand, the division will have to claw its way upward a step at a time into the realm of real luxury cars, and for 2011, there are a couple of significant steps, notably including the new MKX crossover.
The 2011 Lincoln MKX, first shown to TheDetroitBureau.com more than a year ago at a private event during the annual Pebble Beach Concours, has major upgrades that should significantly enhance its appeal.
The restyled MKX has the same doors and roof as the 2010 model, but everything else is new, inside and out. The grille, hood, fenders, lamps, tailgate, and rear lamps, and a completely new interior, instrument panel, steering wheel and dashboard.
The big crossover now has the same large, toothy, split-wing grille as Lincoln’s sedans and the 7-seat MKT in lieu of the original horizontal mesh grille. At the rear, the full-width taillamp of the 2010 has been replaced by twin lamps, so, in total, it looks very different from the original MKX.
All 2011 MKXs will be powered by an upgraded 3.7-liter V-6 engine rated at 305 horsepower and 280 foot-pounds of torque, driving the front tires through a 6-speed automatic transmission. A computer-controlled all-wheel-drive system will be optional. Ford says the MKX will have best-in-class fuel economy of 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.