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Ford has dumped all of its latest safety gadgets into the already structurally sound 2010 Lincoln MKT, and the Blue Oval's engineering labor appears to have paid off as the luxury crossover has just scored a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. The Top Pick status of the 5,000 lb MKT doesn't come as a surprise, as it is mechanically identical to the well-regarded Ford Flex.

The MKT scored a "Good" rating in each category, including structure, injury measures and restraints. The IIHS added that "dummy movement was well controlled. After the dummy moved forward into the airbag, it rebounded into the seat without its head coming close to any stiff structure that could cause injury."

The Lincoln MKT comes with standard equipment like an advanced structural safety system that combines octagonal front frame rails, tunnel rails and support members that are designed to absorb and redirect crash forces away from the passenger compartment. Along with the usual safety suspects like side curtain airbags, Ford offers optional safety equipment like Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Warning Brake Control and a Blind Spot Information system. Hit the jump to read the Ford press release.

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[Source: Ford]


PRESS RELEASE:


* The all-new 2010 Lincoln MKT three-row luxury crossover received a "Top Safety Pick" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
* MKT offers a high level of crash protection – including state-of-the-art side air bags that are designed to deploy up to 30 percent earlier than traditional air bag systems – while offering a segment-first, forward collision warning system as part of Lincoln's push into new crash-avoidance technologies
* MKT offers an array of standard driver-awareness features – including a first-in-class Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with Cross Traffic Alert (CTA)
* Ford Motor Company has more IIHS Top Safety Pick ratings than any other automaker and more U.S. government five-star ratings than any brand

CONTEXT / BACKGROUND:
The all-new 2010 Lincoln MKT three-row crossover – arriving in dealerships now – is raising the bar not only on luxury, but also on safety after earning a "Top Safety Pick" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). To earn this designation, a vehicle must receive a rating of "good" in offset frontal-, side- and rear-impact evaluations and offer electronic stability control. The new MKT offers an array of standard crash-protection, crash-avoidance and driver-awareness features, and further solidifies Ford Motor Company's industry-leading number of Top Safety Picks.


DETAILS:
Lincoln is offering luxury crossover customers a fresh new choice with the 2010 Lincoln MKT, a three-row crossover that delivers the optimal blend of distinctive design, interior spaciousness and craftsmanship, fuel economy, and advanced driver aid and safety technologies.

The Lincoln MKT joins the two-row Lincoln MKX midsize premium crossover, the sporty Lincoln MKS luxury sedan launched in 2008 and the midsize Lincoln MKZ in earning coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick ratings, building on Ford Motor Company's safety leadership.

Technology under the skin
The Lincoln MKT features an advanced structural safety system that combines octagonal front frame rails, tunnel rails and support members that are designed to absorb and redirect crash forces away from the passenger compartment.

Lincoln MKT also includes Side Protection And Cabin Enhancement Architecture (SPACE®) to optimize side-impact occupant protection. The SPACE system integrates a hydroformed high-strength steel tube in the floor that runs the width of the vehicle from B-pillar to B-pillar and reinforcements along the rocker panels to help protect passengers in side-impact incidents.

Lincoln MKT also features Ford's enhanced Personal Safety System™, combining multiple technologies to tailor the air bag package and safety belt functions to the individual passenger and the accident circumstances. The system can identify variables, such as severity of the crash, weight of the individual passenger and safety belt usage to adjust air bag deployment force.

Additional Lincoln MKT safety technologies include:
* Safety Canopy® is Ford's exclusive side-impact protection system employing side curtain air bags to help protect front and outboard rear passengers in both rollover and side-impact crashes.
* Belt-Minder®, a reminder technology for driver and front seat passenger, takes over after the initial federally required safety belt reminder stops chiming to encourage usage of safety belts, the No. 1 life-saving device in automobiles.
* SOS Post-Crash Alert System™unlocks the vehicle doors and activates the horn and emergency flashers in the event air bags are deployed.
* MyKey™ allows parents or other concerned owners to restrict certain Lincoln MKT features when in the hands of a MyKey driver. MyKey encourages safety belt usage, provides earlier low-fuel warnings, engages applicable driver aid systems, and sounds speed chimes at preset levels while limiting audio system volume and top vehicle speed.

Lincoln MKT also delivers abundant driver-awareness and security technologies including:

* Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) uses radar to detect moving vehicles immediately ahead and modify cruising speed if necessary.

* Collision Warning with Brake Support, enabled by ACC, provides the driver with a "heads-up" display that flashes on the windshield when the system senses slower moving traffic ahead. If the driver doesn't respond, the system will pre-charge the brakes to prepare the vehicle for a more aggressive stop to help avoid some of the most common rear-end accidents.

* SecuriCode™ Keyless Entry Keypad uses a touch-sensitive surface allowing the driver to enter a five-digit code to unlock the doors.

* Adaptive Headlamps with standard High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Lamps enhance nighttime visibility. Sensors monitor Lincoln MKT speed and steering wheel input to engage headlamp movement to increase the driver's field of vision.

* Auto High Beams coupled with Adaptive Headlamps enhance nighttime visibility by switching to high intensity when no other vehicles are in range.

* Rain-Sensing Wipers use an optical sensing system to gauge precipitation and automatically activate and adjust the wipers.

* Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with Cross Traffic Alert uses two multiple-beam radars in the rear quarter panels (one per side) for two different – but important – purposes. BLIS checks the defined blind spot zone, which is about 10 feet from the back of the bumper to the outside mirrors. When a vehicle is detected, an amber light, in the outside mirror of whichever side that vehicle is on, lights up. CTA notifies the driver of impending traffic when backing out of a parking spot and warns the driver when a vehicle is detected within three car widths of either side of the vehicle. As with BLIS, the driver is warned with a beep and light in the outside mirror on the side of the traffic.
* Rear View Camera System uses the center stack-mounted touch/navigation screen for projection and activates upon reverse gear engagement.

* Lincoln SYNC®is an award-winning voice-activated communications and entertainment system developed by Ford and Microsoft that fully integrates Bluetooth®-enabled mobile phones and digital media players into the vehicle. SYNC incorporates 911 Assist™, which can notify a local 911 emergency operator in the event of an air bag deployment when a cell phone is properly paired, turned on and connected to SYNC, and when the vehicle has battery power.

QUOTES:

"Earning a Top Safety Pick rating is great news because the Insurance Institute's tests are some of the most demanding conducted outside of our own laboratories, and customers increasingly rely on them when choosing a new vehicle."
– Sue Cischke
Group vice president of Ford Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering

"The MKT's array of advanced safety technologies raises the bar for luxury vehicles and pushes the new frontier of 'active' crash-avoidance features that help drivers avoid or reduce the severity of accidents. In the unfortunate event of an accident, the MKT offers a high level of crash protection, including leading crash-safety ratings such as the IIHS Top Safety Pick."
– Steve Kozak
Chief engineer, Ford Safety Systems

"Not only is the all-new Lincoln MKT Top Safety-rated, it is packed with standard luxury features and an array of state-of-the-art technologies, and is unsurpassed in its segment for highway fuel economy."
– Kate Pearce
Lincoln MKT marketing manager

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 201,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.