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2011 Lincoln MKX – Click above for high-res image gallery

The final piece of the Lincoln puzzle is here. Meet the new 2011 MKX. And yes, it does look quite a bit like the MKT. Depending on where you stand vis-a-vis the current MKX, the visual difference is either just a change, or a much needed improvement. Most of us are siding with the latter, though we fully realize that many folks simply don't like the MKT. Bottom line, it is what is.

The really story is not the exterior - it's the interior. Specifically, the MKX is the first vehicle getting Ford's all new Minority Report-inspired (no, really) MyFord Touch system. Although in this application the futuristic navigation, entertainment, climate and phone system is called MyLincoln Touch. Hey, what's in a name.

There's more inside to greet you than just MyLincoln Touch, as the MKX features vastly improved materials than not only the previous car, but all other Lincolns. We touched, we felt and please trust us - the MKX is an nice, upscale place to be. Also, they've banished buttons. Literally, there aren't any on the center stack. Instead you're treated to a series of touch sensitive sliders. George Takei would be stoked. The best part: all this inner goodness will soon be making its way across the Lincoln lineup.

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• The 2011 Lincoln MKX luxury crossover features the first application of industry-exclusive MyLincoln Touch™ driver connect technology, which creates a whole new way for customers to interact with digital and vehicle technology

• Modern, flowing exterior design embraces Lincoln signature DNA; split-wing grille, body-side brightwork and new treatments for taillamps and exhaust tips enhance presence

• All-new interior showcases use of more luxurious materials and attention to detail; preliminary data show the 2011 Lincoln MKX is quieter than Lexus or Audi competitors

• Powertrain enhancements include a new 3.7-liter Duratec® V-6 engine, delivering best-in-class 305 horsepower and 280 ft.-lb. of torque versus all V-6 competitors – plus unsurpassed fuel economy

DETROIT, Jan. 12, 2010 – New, industry-exclusive technologies and engaging design featuring world-class craftsmanship and materials further elevate the 2011 Lincoln MKX midsize luxury crossover.

Leading the wide-ranging innovations is the all-new MyLincoln Touch driver connect technology, which delivers a smarter, safer, simpler way to connect drivers with in-car technologies and their digital lives. MyLincoln comes standard on the 2011 Lincoln MKX, providing drivers a whole new experience behind the wheel.

"With its combination of style, performance and uncompromising luxury, the Lincoln MKX has brought new customers into the Lincoln showroom in a way that very few products have before," said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. "Lincoln customers tell us they care most about style and technology, and the new Lincoln MKX meets these needs perfectly. The new MyLincoln Touch technology will change the way customers interact with their vehicles while its new design language gives the vehicle a distinctive and stylish silhouette we know customers will love."

The dramatic freshening of the 2011 Lincoln MKX extends to all areas of the vehicle: new features and technologies not available anywhere else, new exterior design, new interior design with increased use of genuine materials, new powertrain with unsurpassed fuel economy, improved driving dynamics and new tires and wheels all combine to deliver an unparalleled luxury experience.

"The 2011 Lincoln MKX represents no-compromise luxury," said Elaine Bannon, chief engineer. "Every attribute – technology, ergonomics, material selection, power, fuel economy, driving experience – is a standout. Plus, it's wrapped in a beautiful package."

MyLincoln just the start for technology-packed 2011 Lincoln MKX
The industry-first MyLincoln Touch experience, powered by Lincoln SYNC®, replaces traditional vehicle buttons, knobs and gauges with clear, crisp LCD screens and five-way buttons like those found on cell phones and MP3 players. The screens can be personalized to display information relevant to each individual driver using a simple button click, voice command or touch screen tap.

The electronic finish panel on the 2011 Lincoln MKX demonstrates all the advantages of this touch-sensitive technology in a beautiful, engaging package. Activated features display amber light. When turned off, signature Lincoln White lighting is displayed.

In addition to the usual audio and climate control features, the touch-sensitive technology also operates the volume and fan controls, which is exclusive to Lincoln.

Customers can swipe their fingers along the slider to adjust the volume. The slider features 10 distinct touchpoints; three full swipes bring the system to maximum volume. Customers also can touch anywhere along the slider to get a corresponding increase or decrease in volume.

The fan control is operated in a similar fashion. On both the volume control and the fan control, the distinctive Lincoln White lighting acts as a chaser.

Like the song? You can tag it
Also new on the 2011 Lincoln MKX is the world's first use of iTunes® Tagging in an available factory-installed HD Radio™ receiver. Enabled by the available Voice-Activated Navigation System through SYNC, iTunes Tagging provides customers with the ability to "capture" a song they hear on the HD Radio receiver for later purchase from iTunes. With a simple push of a "TAG" button on the radio display, the song information will be stored in the radio's memory.

Once a song is tagged and customers dock their iPod to the SYNC system, the "tagged" song information will transfer to that iPod. When the iPod is then synced to iTunes, a playlist of tagged songs will appear. Up to 100 tags on SYNC can be stored until the iPod is connected. When an iPod is connected, the tags are transferred from SYNC to the iPod. Customers then can preview, purchase and download tagged songs from the iTunes Store, if they so choose.

One significant benefit of HD Radio technology is that the sound quality of the broadcast is dramatically better because of the digital transmission – FM sounds like a CD and AM sounds like today's FM broadcasts. Plus, unlike analog broadcasts, digital broadcasts aren't susceptible to interference, fadeout and other issues.

2011 Lincoln MKX brimming with standard and class-exclusive technologies
Standard MyLincoln Touch and remote start lead the list of features or technologies that are new for the 2011 Lincoln MKX, including:

• Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with Brake Support allows the driver to set the vehicle's speed and maintain it without using the accelerator pedal, and warns the driver of a potential collision risk. It also helps reduce speed and automatically pre-charges brakes and engages an electronic brake assist system to help drivers stop more quickly when the system detects a collision is imminent.
• Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with Cross Traffic Alert is a feature that helps detect vehicles in blind spots during normal driving and traffic approaching from the sides when reversing out of parking spots.
• MyKey™ is designed to allow parents to encourage teenagers to drive safely and more fuel efficiently, and increase safety belt usage. The standard MyKey feature allows owners to designate keys that can limit the vehicle's top speed and audio volume.
• Easy Fuel® Capless Fuel-Filler System is a standard Ford-exclusive feature that uses an integrated spring-loaded flapper door to eliminate the need for a fuel tank screw cap.

The 2011 Lincoln MKX has eight class-exclusive features: MyLincoln Touch, Lincoln SYNC, Easy Fuel, SecuriCode™ keyless entry, Blind Spot Mirrors, MyKey, Cross Traffic Alert and AdvanceTrac® with RSC (Roll Stability Control™).

Fun tuned in while noise is tuned out
A wealth of upgrades means the 2011 Lincoln MKX will provide a more connected feel between the driver and the road through responsive acceleration, engaging steering, spirited handling and confident braking.

The new 18-inch tires have increased grip and are mounted on larger wheels than the outgoing product, helping enable enhanced stopping and improved handling. Twenty-inch wheels are available as well.

The springs, shocks and stabilizer bars also have been retuned to give the Lincoln MKX a flatter response through turns and over hills while still providing the comfortable ride luxury buyers expect and demand.

The original Lincoln MKX set many benchmarks in overall quietness, and that tradition continues as Ford internal preliminary data show the 2011 MKX scores better in speech recognition, wind noise and sound package than competitors from Lexus and Audi.

Both road noise and wind noise are significantly decreased in the 2011 MKX because of improvements found throughout the interior and exterior, including powertrain. Additional actions include:

• Sound pack and acoustic glass: A more-absorptive sound pack is found throughout the interior, which reduces high-frequency noise more effectively than material that acts merely as a barrier. The result is an improved articulation index, which measures how easy it is to hear and understand someone in the vehicle. The 2011 MKX also features an acoustic headliner, and the microphone for the SYNC system has been relocated so it is closer to the driver for improved voice recognition. The windshield also is thicker and acoustic-laminated for reduced wind noise. Acoustic glass in the front doors also is standard for the 2011 model. Finally, baked-on expandable foam baffles in the fenders and rear D-pillars help seal out unwanted road noise.
• Powertrain NVH improvements: Three main actions contribute to a quieter 2011 Lincoln MKX from a powertrain NVH perspective. One is the more robust engine cover. Intake and exhaust systems also have been completely retuned for a crisper note corresponding to Lincoln powertrain DNA. Finally, a "tighter" torque converter reduces engine rpm on launch and tip-in events, reducing engine noise.

More stopping power, increased braking technology
New four-wheel disc brakes provide enhanced stopping power. Key brake system upgrades include steel pistons, larger rear rotors, revised brake friction materials, revised brake booster gain and revised pedal ratios, all of which enable more initial bite and a firmer, more confident feel when customers press on the brake pedal.

The 2011 Lincoln MKX also offers several new brake-related features: Hill Start Assist, which reduces rollback on hills; Trailer Sway Control, which provides greater towing stability when equipped with the available trailer tow package; Hydraulic Brake Assist, which provides greater braking force in emergency stops; and available Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with Brake Support.

Improved performance without sacrificing fuel economy
Power for the 2011 Lincoln MKX is supplied by the 3.7-liter Duratec V-6, which employs advanced technology and clever control strategies, such as Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) to increase horsepower and torque without compromising fuel economy.

Customers of the 2011 Lincoln MKX will enjoy a luxury crossover that has best-in-class power and torque versus all V-6 competitors with unsurpassed highway fuel economy of 25 mpg – all on regular fuel. Horsepower has been increased to 305 – a 15-percent increase compared with the outgoing product – while torque is up to 280 ft.-lbs., marking a 12-percent improvement.

The 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V-6 is mated to a six-speed SelectShift Automatic™ transmission, which gives customers the option of a fun-to-shift manual experience.

In SelectShift mode, the transmission doesn't second-guess the driver, giving him or her control over gear selection and performance feel. Upshifts, for instance, are not commanded at redline, and downshifts are allowed at the lowest gear possible as defined by the engine speed.

For instance, when a lower gear is selected while descending a long downhill grade, the 2011 Lincoln MKX in SelectShift mode will hold that gear until the driver manually upshifts or returns to the fully automatic setting. To help ensure safe shifting, the transmission will downshift to the lowest acceptable gear, based on a calculated maximum speed. That means if a vehicle is traveling at highway speeds, the driver cannot downshift to first gear in SelectShift mode.

Improvements to engine hardware and powertrain control strategies account for the gains in power and fuel economy. Other strategies in addition to Ti-VCT are aggressive deceleration fuel shutoff; torque-based deceleration control and battery management through "smart charging."

New flowing exterior design perfectly wraps new Lincoln MKX technologies
The flowing exterior design of the 2011 Lincoln MKX provides the perfect complement to the luxury crossover's industry-leading technology and class-exclusive features.

"The 2011 Lincoln MKX will be a real standout in the Lincoln showroom," said Doyle Letson, chief designer. "The addition of the new split-wing grille, a key to Lincoln signature DNA, is just the start. The 2011 MKX has the best proportions of any Lincoln we have.
"The fender line, with the raised arch over the front wheel, as well as the lower rocker detail with beautifully tapered bright detail that runs the length of the vehicle, makes a dramatic difference in side view," he added.

New for the 2011 model is an updated rear taillamp treatment. The lamps are now two distinct pieces that employ an indirect LED system that hides the light source while allowing the light intensity to shine through. The reverse sensors of the Blind Spot Information System are integrated into the reflectors while the Lincoln star sits proudly on a new appliqué. The 4-inch oval exhaust tips, significantly larger on the 2011 Lincoln MKX, also increase the unique luxury crossover's presence.

The new 18- and 20-inch wheels are more dynamic and expressive. Instead of a familiar linear or blocky appearance, the wheels encompass a variety of undulating and complex shapes that help the 2011 Lincoln MKX appear always in motion. The vibrant wheel shapes again underscore the enhanced craftsmanship and attention to detail found throughout the 2011 Lincoln MKX.

All-new interior brimming with functionality and craftsmanship
The interior of the 2011 Lincoln MKX reflects an even greater emphasis on what defines Lincoln DNA: luxury, craftsmanship, genuine materials and sharper execution.

Gentle details that bring out Lincoln standards of quality and excellence include brightwork on the vents, genuine stitching on the doors and softer armrests with upgraded materials. The cupholders, with available ambient lighting, are found beneath the independent sliding leather-covered console lids, which feature decorative stitching. A power tilt/telescoping steering column and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel are available.

All-new leather-trimmed seats, comfort sections and standard tuxedo stripe embrace the new Lincoln DNA sew style. More genuine aluminum appliqués are standard, with aluminum accents on the door added to the spears on the instrument panel.

The two available wood accents – Olive Ash and Walnut Swirl – on the steering wheel, dashboard and doors add character and form; each selection has a livelier, natural appearance, adding even more character to the interior. Whether customers select aluminum or wood, the increased use of genuine materials in the 2011 Lincoln MKX ensures that each interior will be distinctive.

"Everything about the 2011 Lincoln MKX is vibrant and luxurious," said Bannon. "Our MyLincoln Touch system will draw people in, helping them discover that the new Lincoln MKX delivers a total driving experience not found anywhere else."

The 2011 Lincoln MKX will be built at Oakville Assembly Plant; Ontario, Canada.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Another refresh from Ford and nothing game-changing here.

      People aren't seriously going to take notice of this thing or pass over foreign crossovers with better reputations and resale for this, just as they've passed over Lincoln for years and years now.

      I would like to see Lincoln get some bespoke vehicles and platforms. At least GM makes one for Cadillac in the CTS.

      I would also like to see the idiotic alphanumeric naming scheme disappear and bring back the great old names like Town Car, Continental, Zephyr and so fourth.

      Wake me up when Ford creates a retro-futuristic Continetal just as bold and striking as the early 1960s suicide-door model and gives it all the modern luxury one could want.

      Now that would be something worth drooling over and would make people take notice.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Most people know I am a Ford fan but I also do not like the Lincoln alpha numeric name scheme and for one reason. It's not alpha NUMERIC. There are no numbers. The reason it works for BMW and Mercedes and Audi (the companies famous for it) is because they have numbers denoting size. X, T, and Z tell me NOTHING about the size and type of vehicle. And the fact that the letter that changes is the LAST letter, it makes the names sound infuriatingly alike. Even Cadillac's scheme works better because although the names have no numbers, they do change the FIRST letter making the names sound very different, and they use letters that have some relation to size. D is bigger than C is bigger than A. The new big one shouldn't be X though. That should be reserved for Crossovers.

        Regardless, I'm actually a car lover and Ford fan and even I can't get the names straight. I ALWAYS mix them up. I can't imagine the confusion for normal consumers.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If you say so.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You may not have been following up but Ford Motor Company vehicles are commanding among the highest residuals in the market these days.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Man, I dig what Lincoln's up to. Just about all their products have this clean and classic feel to them, yet with a few bold touches (like the grille). They definitely stand out now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow!!! Just wow!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Per the Ford media site, it gets the updated 3.7L with TI-VCT making 305HP/280TQ.
        • 5 Years Ago
        And it's hidden in the press release in this article too.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Any one know if this would come with the 3.5 ecoboost???
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, not likely.
        Ford fixed the incorrect axle ratios for 2010. Now Ford is putting an appropriately 'Lincoln' engine for '11. How else would these products be differentiated?

        But, a special edition Edge, with ecoboost & 2.77 axle ratio shouldn't be that much faster then MKX with 3.7 V6 & 3.39 axle ratio.
        So there is hope.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yawn...wake me up when the Edge/MKX get the 3.5 EcoBoost....
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, Ford for 2012 MY could change the powertrain lineup thusly.
        MK-X front drive: 3.5 V6 circa 275hp [yes a 'retrograde' step] with 3.39 axle raito
        MK-X Haldex: 3.5 twin turbo [ecoboost] 350hp with 2.77 axle ratio

        Edge: front drive 3.7 V6 + 2.77 axle ratio
        Haldex 3.7 V6 + 3.16 axle ratio.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Beautiful vehicle all around, I'm excited. The MKX has been a credible alternative to the RX for the past couple years, but with Ford's recent renaissance combined with the looks, extra power, and slick interior of this new one, people might just start to notice.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Inside looks loads better. Deffinetly a good rival for the RX. The back end is way better looking as well, have'nt been a fan of the light going across the back...

      Front end is just meh, it's the Lincoln front end, not bad but not beautiful.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "George Takei would be stoked."

      Oh my.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was thinking more along the lines of he'd be stroked..... *Cough*
        • 5 Years Ago

        "I'd like to touch..."
        • 5 Years Ago

        Not anymore. He got married. I'm sure know exactly what I mean...
      • 5 Years Ago
      There are a lot of buttons on that center stack for something AB says has no buttons.
        • 5 Years Ago
        they aren't buttons. they're TouchSense controls.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I believe those are sliders, not buttons (except for probably the power buttons, unless they're touch sensitive).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Oh boy, touch sensitive controls. Try using them in -30 C with gloves on.

        If EVERY SINGLE TOUCH-ELECTRONICS I'VE EVER USED are an indication, they won't work without special gloves... so yay freezing your hands off!

        Good thing I'm not buying one. I'm all for cool electronics, but I'll have to see this one in action before I believe it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The slider controls are for the volume and fan speed.. They are actually the black pieces in the middle of the two chrome strips... the top one says VOL and the other, a logo of a fan.. See picture below:

        • 5 Years Ago
        Touch sensitivity stinks. It stinks on the iPod 3G, it'll stink on the Volt, I have to imagine this will stink too. The problem is that you cannot locate a button by feel without pressing it. Once you've touched the panel, you've activated the button whether it was the right one or not.

        But the AB post says they are all sliders, and regardless of whether these are real buttons or touch buttons, they're not sliders. Well, not the things I am referring to.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not bad for a refresh
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree... looks good. Though I lament the axing of the all-the-way-across taillamps. I thought those were cool.

        @Mqa: Yes, the Cadillac does a better job, but Lincoln's designers basically had the body of a Ford Edge to work with. Cadillac's had much for freedom.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think Cadillac does a much better job.

        Lincoln designers still rely on too much chrome; and then there's the new trademark grille that just doesn't cut it for me.

        That said, the quality is really impressive, very much up to standard.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I love it! The first Lincoln this grill really looks great on.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree, I love everything about this refresh. I have a few reservations about the dashboard, but overall, I love the fit and finish, materials, and design. I like the pointed nature of the front end; as autoblog pointed out, it follows the design theme of the MKT concept. Very sharp.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Off topic but I have to say this...because I said so; and also because I'll forget if I don't.

        I personally believe that Ford is quietly choking Mercury to death behind the guise "new design differentiation," and "continued support from Ford Motor Company," or a "small cars only company."

        They only have 4 Mercury Vehicles left, the Milan, Mariner, Grand Marquis, and the Mountaineer, of which the latter two are platforms that are confirmed to be axed already, and the former two are no different than the Fusion or Escape at all, so they too can easily be dumped.

        I do believe, as I cross my fingers, that they are aiming for Ford and Lincoln to be the only two remaing brands and hope they don't make anything else they bring from Europe into a Mercury (i.e. Kuga).

        Therefore once they finish selling Volvo to Geely and hopefully dropping Mercury, they will be able to put forth 100% of their effort, money, and R&D into a brand for the masses and a top notch luxury brand without badgeswapping and as a result may finally be able to export Lincolns in volume around the world.

        Again, in my opinion, I think that is really the only WAY FORWARD that allows them to have their entire lineups world class, while keeping costs at a minimum and increasing the most profit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I rented a Lincoln Zephyr while I was in Texas over the summer and I was mildly surprised. The auto provided me with around 33 mpg on the highway, and was incredibly comfortable.

      Being a lifelong GM guy, and dodge guy i hesitated on renting the Lincoln as there was a new camaro but it was only a six banger so I passed on it.

      Over all I had a great experience with the car, and it brought me to take a closer look at lincolns in general. I like that they seem to have a design thats very unto themselves, and unlike the german cars, dont seem to blend into the crowds all that easily. Are they as well made, probably not, but they provide a lot of the same creature comforts and thats good enough for me I guess.

      I like this refresh, its a good update to what has been an otherwise successful unit for Ford.
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