The first major unveiling on day two of the 2010 Detroit Auto Show has come and gone, and we managed to sneak out of the room with a slew of live photos of the newly refreshed 2011 MKX. We already got the details that make the 2011 model a considerable improvement over its previous incarnation, and you can refresh your memory by clicking here or reading the press release after the break. Of special note is the new 3.7-liter V6 engine with 305 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque.
After touching, feeling and prodding the reborn MKX ourselves, we can confidently say that the quality of its materials and craftsmanship are top notch. We're also pretty intrigued by the new MyLincoln Touch – nee MyFord Touch – system, which combines an eight-inch touchscreen display in the center stack, two 4.2-inch LCD screens to the right and left of an analog speedometer (the exact same screens you'll find in the Fusion Hybrid) and two steering wheel-mounted five-way button controllers.
Tie it all together with Ford's award-winning HMI (Human-Machine Interface) setup and you're able to control all that newfangled technology using either your voice or your fingers on the touch-sensitive console or the aforementioned wheel-mounted controllers. Pretty cool stuff, and you can read all about it here. Be sure to check out our live photos in the gallery below and make the jump for the full press release.
• 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.