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2010 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost – Click above for high-res image gallery from Milan Dragway

When the 2009 Lincoln MKS entered production, it arrived to market with a 273 horsepower, 3.7-liter V6. This made the new luxurious Lincoln a large, loaded, heavy vehicle with the power of a Nissan Altima. When we reviewed the MKS, we liked the newest Lincoln's interior, loved its in-car technology, and found the package itself acceptable to drive, but we were left longing for Ford's seemingly far off twin-turbocharged, direct-inject 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engine. A vehicle as big as the MKS deserves the extra pop, we figured.

It took a year, but it's finally turbo time at the top of Lincoln's lineup. We already had the pleasure of a first drive with the force-fed MKS, and we found the 4,300-lb all-wheel-drive sedan to be quick and nimble for its size with fuel economy that handily bests its V8-powered competition. But we drove the EcoBoost MKS in the controlled environment of Ford's Romeo Proving Grounds. This time, we were given the chance to drive the EcoBoost MKS at a place where few Lincolns roam: the drag strip. Hit the jump to see how Ford's new hot rod Lincoln handled itself on the track. We have performance numbers and video waiting for you, as well as video and stats for the EcoBoost Ford Flex.

Photos copyright ©2009 Chris Shunk / Weblogs, Inc

Michigan's Milan Dragway sits about 50 miles southwest of downtown Detroit. When we arrived, Milan was buzzing with hot rods, funny cars, motorcycles and snowmobiles. There were modified trucks and SUVs, some of which looked more prepared for the junkyard than the track. There was even a brand new Cadillac CTS-V, likely the closest you'll get to an exotic on most nights. What we didn't see was a single Lincoln.

That changed when two black and one cherry red MKS EcoBoost models showed up at the tech booth for inspection. At most places, we'd have to explain what EcoBoost means, but the locals here were all too aware of what lie dormant under the hood. One guy on a hopped-up golf cart with mag wheels (there were a lot of those at Milan) rolled up and said "355-hp Lincoln; 'bout time." Indeed sir, indeed.

Though Ford has yet to offer official performance numbers for the MKS and Flex EcoBoost models, the Blue Oval expects the final 0-60 figures to be about 6.0 seconds for the sedan and 7.0 seconds for the three-row people mover. We expect a couple tenths to be shaved off that number before all is said and done, though, as Ford tends to play it safe with performance figures in order to avoid the bad press associated with over-promising and under-delivering. With numbers like that, the EcoBoost models probably weren't going to compete with the privately owned track stars that were sitting in line and waiting for drag time, but we were anxious to open up the new EcoBoost motor just the same.

With exactly zero drag racing experience, this blogger didn't give a thought to how to best launch the MKS until about two minutes before the tree showed green. Should we go full auto or use the autoshift paddles on the steering wheel? Autoshift. What about traction control? Probably best to keep it on for the first run. Launch it at 4,000 rpm or just jam the petal and go? Wait, the EcoBoost delivers 350 lb-ft of torque at 1,500 rpm. Aw heck, who knows? Let's just jam the pedal.

Getting up to the left line, the starter kept indicating for us to inch up the MKS a bit more. I was looking at him, inching away, when the green light turned, and I saw the Dakota pickup next to me pull away from the gate. After all that thinking, I flat-out blew it at the green light. The hopped-up late-model Dodge Dakota was about 100 feet ahead when the MKS left the starting line.

VIDEO: Drag racing with EcoBoost at Milan Dragway

The EcoBoost V6 performed exactly as advertised, though, with gobs of torque early and often and little lag to be found. Though the green pickup got way out in front right out of the gate, the MKS was catching up fast. First and second gears were swapped around 5,500 rpm, then Mr. Inexperienced hit redline in third, but quickly recovered. Our quarter mile time stood at a pedestrian 14.5 seconds. This is why I'm usually the one holding the camera.

Even at 105 mph, a speed we achieved after the quarter mile was behind us, the MKS had the smooth, calm demeanor that you'd expect of an AWD luxury automobile. Unfortunately, street tire time ended shortly after our lone run, and we were stuck with the shame of a lousy quarter mile time. Others performed better, though, with an outing best 13.9-second run at 104 mph turned in by Car and Driver scribe Mike Austin.

While the MKS looked a bit out of place out on the drag strip, the boxy Ford Flex somehow looked like it belonged. Big beefy rims and a wide stance give the Flex a yesteryear hot rod look, and its identical-to-the-MKS' 355 hp, twin-turbo V6 engine gave it the grunt to hold its own at Milan. The Flex, which weighs about 300 pounds more than the MKS, turned in a best time of 14.5 seconds at 96 mph – a more than respectable tally for a 4,600-pound crossover.

As far as our time at Milan goes, we're calling for a Mulligan. Next time, we'll arrive earlier and keep running until we get it right. Hit play on the video above to watch the MKS and Flex as they run the quarter mile at the Milan Dragway. While the hotrod Lincoln and Ford didn't win any of their races, you can be sure they'll fare better if and when turbo-tweaking tuners get their hands on them.

Photos copyright ©2009 Chris Shunk / Weblogs, Inc

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Keep it moving Summer 2010!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is a LUXURY car with so many TECH and SAFETY features that thes other cars you mentioned don't have,thus the weight.Buy a SHELBY GT if you want to go DRAGGING. And yes most of you just want to complain and criticize.If GOD himself made YOU a car to YOUR specs you would still pick it apart once you got it!!!!!!!!! Ford is on the way to being # 1 in the world.Stop buying,driving or even looking at all FOREIGN CRAP,it just undermines our economy and FUTURE. GO FORD !!!!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hey Mitch,

        Does your narrow-minded tirade apply to your clothes and your computer? If so, you better be walking around in 100% MADE IN THE USA garb or you need to get naked immediately and your computer better be 100% MADE IN THE USA or you need to sign off of the internet. Permanently.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why are you ranking your own comments?

        You would be a complete idiot to think that everyone buying an American made car will "help" the economy. Protectionism will only screw you over in the long run. Besides, it will only help so much - there were other causes as well.

        Ask any economist.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @simianspeedster, I buy made in America stuff when it's available.That's why it's important to support the domestic auto companies.If we don't we won't have a choice one day either,but it won't matter anyway,nobody will havea job to buy foreign made products either.Corporate greed and ignorance on the consumer end with help from the UAW have us in this place anyway.If your daughter was selling lemonade in your driveway would you go down the street and snub your daughter ? I don't think so.It's time ALL americans should buy domestic or move.Isn't it funny that most hispanics drive Ford And Chevy trucks.Go figure.We all need to come back to the end of our OWN driveway or suffer the consequences.We are free to choose.but we are not free to the result of the choice!!!!! GO FORD !!!!!!!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      13.9@104+ is not BAD for a FULL SIZE car, stop with the nonsense.

      Its also CHEAPER than its German/Japanese rivals, I wish some of you knuckleheads would give it a rest, you don't know what your talking about.

      That is quite correct about cost, if Ford had built it using aluminum like Audi does its high end cars, the cost would shoot through the roof and you would complain that a home market car shouldn't cost that much, but if it was better than the Audi or Benz, would you still say that?

      Lighter cars with the same safety means higher cost materials, can't anybody understand that????

      They have figured away to make carbon fiber panels cheaper, the problem is what do you do with ALL that steel stamping hardware you already paid for, when your cars cost $1500 more to build than your rivals from countries with low or no cost health care?

      When you answer that question with a feasible one, then you might make some sense....
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's not that much cheaper. Ford thinks that they can charge *true* luxury car prices for a *near luxury* product.

        Lincoln's competes with Buick...not Cadillac, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, or even the Hyundai Genesis.

        It is sad that people are drooling over this rebadged, bland appliance when the Hyundai has a proper engine (V8), proper drive wheels (RWD) and gets BETTER gas mileage...all with MORE power.

        Lincoln is a joke...much like the whole of Ford NA.

      • 6 Years Ago
      How leisurely they throw around the weight figures, 4300 and 4600 lbs. Overweight pigs. Those figures used to be the combined weight of two sportcars just 20 or 25 years ago. The designers should be embarrassed to unleash such vehicles on the motoring public.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You're really comparing the curb weight of this vehicle with a 20-25 yr old vehicle? Do you understand the ignorance of that? Obviously, you don't so it's futile to explain the differences.

        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm sick of all this bitching about weight and fuel economy. They are in many ways mutually exclusive, but the government demands insane amounts of safety equipment AND fuel economy. The reason cars are so heavy these days is because of all that safety equipment PLUS all the features people are demanding. I guess you think you can take the nav system and curtain airbags out of a car and then try to sell it and when the customer asks why the competitor has them and yours doesn't you'll just say "But it's 100 lbs lighter!!" and that will smooth it over.

        This engine kicks ass pure and simple. Have you seen the torque curve? Its like a plateau compared to the long ramp of a V8. And everyone looks at the hwy number (since all V8s these days have insanely tall cruising gears) and says "Well, it's not much better." BS!! Drive the two around town for a week and tell me which is better.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Worse, he's comparing the weight of a full scale luxury sedan (bigger than the Audi A8 for crying out loud) to the weight of two 25 year old dedicated sports cars, presumably of the magnitude of the MG.

        Yeah, its heavier. Its also heavier than a motorcycle, although lighter than a locomotive. Is anyone surprised? I'd second the comment that 13.9 seconds in the quarter (even 14.5) is plenty fast enough for a car in this class, for 99% of the potential drivers.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No kidding!!

        The original Volvo S80 (P2 Volvo platform) the D3 Ford platform is derived from only weighed 3600 lbs, and it was a bit of a porker. The new (not-P2) S80 is heavier and it's still only 3900 lbs, virtually the same size as the Lincoln, and you can get it with a 280 HP I6 or a 322 HP V8.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "How leisurely they throw around the weight figures, 4300 and 4600 lbs. Overweight pigs. Those figures used to be the combined weight of two sportcars just 20 or 25 years ago."

        Well, obviously you haven't noticed that it's not 25 years ago anymore. You're aware that the '09 Accord is over 1,000 lbs heavier than the 1985 model, aren't you?

        "The designers should be embarrassed to unleash such vehicles on the motoring public."

      • 6 Years Ago
      Holy cow those cars are freaken pigs. 4300lbs for the sedan? Jeeze
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well, obviously you haven't noticed that it's not 25 years ago anymore.

      Maybe it should be, again. I'm convinced there really was something to my grandfather's rants about things were 'better and simplier in my times'.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Where's that Flex vs. Corvette video? That was interesting...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hey Chris, did you (or anyone else) get 0-60 times? Also, how about pictures of the time slips, or pictures of the times down at the end of the strip? With the cars going through the traps?
        • 6 Years Ago
        How can a website dedicated to obsessing about cars hire people that have never even been to a dragstrip? Seriously! This should be one of the questions asked in the interview!!!!

      • 6 Years Ago
      I hear you Jim! we have kinda gone power crazy here. My 1982 Mustang V8 has a 4.4 V8 with only 120 HP!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Do you mean a 4.9 liter V8? Ford has a 4.4 liter Diesel they are working on now, but no gas that I know of. They also had a 4.9 liter I-6, but of course that never went into a Mustang
      • 6 Years Ago
      A $50,000+ Lincoln MKS that weighs 4,300 lbs. (OINK!!!), does 0-60 in 6.0 seconds and pulls a 14 second 1/4 mile? No thanks.

      For almost the same price (maybe cheaper when leased) I'll take the 535i that weighs 3,700 lbs. (in automatic form), does 0-60 in the low 5 second range and a sub 14 second 1/4 mile and gets as good or better mileage as the Lincoln.


      I'd love to see a comparo of Lincoln's so-called MKS sports sedan against a 535i -- the Lincoln would get creamed.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why is it so hard to understand that the MKS is a FULL SIZE SEDAN!?! The MKS is one of the biggest sedans out there. With size comes weight, the 5 series sedan is a mid sized (3 series is compact, 7 series is full sized, 5 series is MID SIZED/ IN THE MIDDLE). Take the 70ish thousand dollar base price for a 7 series into account and shut up!!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        @simianspeedster - Deal with this reality - no one gives a crap about your pro-BMW B.S. Again, deal with it.

        The MKS is a great ride, and a larger car than the BMW 5 series, so both Greg Aryous and Richard are correct, adn your comparisons are wrong. Deal with it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Greg Aryous:

        When considering the price on this car, you have to look beyond MSRP. Many, if not most cars in this price range are leased, and lease payments have everything to do with resale and residuals. Though it may cost $4K more to start, a 535i will probably cost less to lease because their resale values are so high, so BMW can set very aggressive residuals. You can, for example, often purchase $5-10K more BMW than Audi for the same lease payment because of their residuals and Lincoln's resale values are most likely worse than Audi's.

        And, yes, I'm comparing a 535i to this Lincoln instead of a 535xi. Why? Deal with this reality: the vast majority of 5 series are sold with RWD, so you have to compare what potential buyers will find, drive and price out on the dealer lots, not what matches perfectly on paper. People aren't going to flock to this car because it comes with AWD. If AWD were an option, it wouldn't be ordered on most of the cars just as it isn't on any sports sedan where it's optional.

        The only reason this car comes with AWD standard is because 350HP would shred the front wheels if it were FWD. If Lincoln could drop by the price by $2k and offer a non-AWD model, they would, but they can't. Even if you compare a 535xi, the price is a couple grand more and the weight goes up to 3,950 lbs. That's still almost 10% lighter than the Lincoln.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Could you please point out to me where in any advertising or press release that the MKS is called a sport sedan?

        It's only "so-called" by you.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nice *motorcycle* helmet, Shunk. Wow, that's sooooo autocross....
      • 6 Years Ago
      4300 lbs for a sedan?? Ouch. At least it has so go to back up the plumpliness.
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