Lincoln has officially fired up the configurator for the 2013 MKZ, keeping the option sheet fairly simple with a total of five trim packages. The party gets started with Premiere trim, which includes SYNC with MyLincoln Touch, a huge 10.1-inch LCD information screen and leather seating. Stepping up to Select trim will throw in a rear-view camera, wood steering wheel and new LED accent lighting outside for an additional $1,100. Throw an extra $2,050 at the MKZ and you'll be rewarded with Reserve trim. At $39,450 including destination, the third-most expensive option package includes navigation with voice recognition, a blind-spot information system with cross-traffic awareness and cooled front seats.

Interestingly enough, the MKZ is available with two sunroof options. At $43,330, Preferred trim includes a single-panel sunroof alongside niceties like 19-inch wheels, a heated steering wheel and a THX stereo system with 14 speakers. If you want that fancy retractable panoramic roof we saw when the sedan debuted, you'll have to plunk down an extra $1,795 for the pleasure.

The MKZ offers buyers a total of five drivetrain options, from a 2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder or a 3.7-liter V6 in either front- or all-wheel drive configuration to a 2.0-liter hybrid. Interestingly enough, choosing the gas-electric powertrain doesn't add anything to the price, as it's the exact same price as the base engine, the 2.0-liter EcoBoost, for all trim levels. Head over to the configurator to have a look for yourself.

UPDATE: Lincoln has made MKZ pricing official with a starting price of $35,925, excluding $875 for delivery charges.
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All-New Lincoln MKZ Offers More Standard Features, Lower Price Than New Lexus ES 350

MKZ Hybrid, available at same price as base gasoline-powered model, projected to remain America's most fuel-efficient premium midsize sedan

> The all-new Lincoln MKZ midsize premium sedan, representing the style and substance of the future of Lincoln, delivers more features and lower starting price than the new Lexus ES 350; dealer order banks now open

> Standard equipment includes 2.0-liter EcoBoost® engine, SYNC® with MyLincoln Touch™ driver connect technology, Lincoln Drive Control, unique push-button shift, remote start, LED headlamps and taillamps, and 60/40 split rear seat; class-exclusive retractable panoramic roof makes production debut

> No price premium for new MKZ Hybrid

The all-new Lincoln MKZ premium midsize sedan comes standard with more content and a lower starting price than the new Lexus ES 350.

"The new MKZ and MKZ Hybrid are proof of our commitment to reinvent the Lincoln brand for a new generation of Lincoln customers," said Jim Farley, group vice president, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. "There's a large group of thoughtful individuals who take great pride in planning and following their own unique paths, and the MKZ is the first of a number of all-new vehicles designed with this same attitude to be a compelling choice for these independent-minded consumers."

The 2013 Lincoln MKZ includes several segment-firsts, plus features such as all-wheel drive that buyers cannot have on a new Lexus ES 350, whose starting price is $175 more than the new Lincoln MKZ's.

MKZ's key standard features include:

Lincoln Drive Control, which orchestrates the performance of the Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) adjustable suspension, electric power-assisted steering (EPAS), engine, transmission, Active Noise Control, traction control and stability control systems
2.0-liter EcoBoost® engine, projected to produce 240 horsepower and fuel economy of 22 mpg city, 33 mpg highway (front-wheel drive)
Push-button shift, a unique execution that replaces the traditional mechanical transmission shift lever with a contemporary five-button interface and dramatically opens up the center console of the car
SYNC® with MyLincoln Touch™ driver connect technology
LED headlamps (segment-first) and taillamps
Intelligent Access with push-button start

The 2013 Lincoln MKZ boasts 10 class-exclusive features, seven of which are standard: push-button shift, LED headlamps, 10.1-inch LCD instrument cluster, Active Noise Control, 8-inch touch screen, remote start and Easy Fuel® capless fuel filler. Available features are the retractable panoramic roof, inflatable rear seat belts and multicontour front seats with Active Motion®.

Base price for all of this is $35,925, excluding $875 delivery and destination charge.

Plus, customers still can choose the MKZ Hybrid – projected to remain America's most fuel-efficient premium midsize sedan – for the same price, unlike other luxury competitors.

Dealer order banks are now open, and customers can configure their own virtual MKZ at

2013 MKZ Hybrid best price in class and improved performance

Lincoln became the first automaker to offer luxury customers a premium hybrid vehicle with a suggested retail price matching its conventional gas sibling, starting with the MKZ Hybrid in 2010.

This model has been a key component to bringing new customers into Lincoln showrooms, with 72 percent of hybrid buyers being new to the brand last year alone.

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid customers receive the same key feature as Lincoln MKZ gas customers in their respective equipment groups. That means, for example, customers opting for the Hybrid Premiere Package receive SYNC with MyLincoln Touch with 8-inch touch screen, leather-trimmed heated front seats, class-exclusive LED headlamps and Lincoln Drive Control.

Other competitors charge a premium for their hybrid models. The 2013 Lexus ES 300h, for example, is priced at $38,850, representing a $2,750 premium over the 2013 Lexus ES 350 and nearly $3,000 ($2,925) more than the 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.

Exclusive to the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is SmartGauge® with EcoGuide. This instrument cluster coaches drivers to become more fuel efficient, creating visual rewards in the form of the growth of virtual flowers on the system's right-most screen for the driver's efforts to operate the car in a fuel-efficient manner on a long-term, day-to-day basis.

Lincoln's white flowers, inspired by apple blossoms, remain permanently unless lifetime fuel economy is reset.

On the all-new Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, new lithium-ion batteries save weight and generate more power than the previous nickel-metal-hydride batteries. An all-new 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gas engine retains performance with more efficiency than the previous 2.5-liter unit, and the 70-kilowatt electric traction motor alone can power the car up to 62 mph.

The electric traction motor during launch allows for a smaller gasoline engine and significantly reduces fuel consumption. In addition, when it is used as a generator, it helps recover the vehicle energy during deceleration or braking to recharge the battery pack. Projected total system power is 188 horsepower.

Four levels of choice available

The 2013 Lincoln MKZ will be available in four executions: Premiere, Select, Reserve and Preferred.

The Select package includes the Premiere package plus:

Rear view camera
Wood steering wheel
Ambient lighting
Rear park sensors
HD Radio™ technology, which provides better audio quality, improved reception performance and more choices
Accent lighting in headlamps
Auto-dimming driver's side mirror

The Reserve package includes the Select package plus:

Navigation System with voice recognition
Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with cross-traffic alert. BLIS alerts when a vehicle enters a blind spot; cross-traffic alert warns of traffic approaching from the sides, such as leaving a parking space in reverse
Power decklid
Cooled seats
Power tilt and telescoping steering wheel

The Preferred package includes the Reserve package plus:

19-inch polished wheels with painted pockets
Premium floor mats
Heated steering wheel
Heated rear seats
110-volt powerpoint (standard on MKZ Hybrid)
THX® II Certified Audio System

Thoughtful and intuitive technology

Meaningful technology applied in an intuitive manner is a key component of this new Lincoln.

Consider, for instance, the MKZ's retractable panoramic roof. This visually and technically stunning feature becomes a Lincoln signature, offering a 15.2-square-foot glass panel and one of the largest rooftop openings available on any modern sedan. Click here to learn more about this available roof, which is priced at $2,995.

For audio enthusiasts, MKZ offers the available Lincoln-exclusive THX II Certified Audio System. It features 700 watts, 14 channels and 14 speakers.

THX audio engineers spent more than 200 hours custom-tuning the THX-certified equipment to deliver home-theater surround sound, creating one of the industry's most powerful audio systems.

To aid drivers, the new Lincoln MKZ offers a Lane Keeping System, a suite of advanced driving aids that helps drivers avoid drifting from their lane due to distraction or fatigue. Consisting of Lane Keeping Aid, Lane Keeping Alert and Driver Assist, the Lane Keeping System utilizes a mono-vision camera integrated into the rearview mirror to read the lane markers ahead.

The Lane Keeping System is available as part of the Technology Package, which also includes adaptive cruise control, active park assist, auto high beams and rain-sensing wipers. For a more complete description of the Lane Keeping System, click here.

The new MKZ is the only sedan in its class to offer inflatable outboard rear seat belts. Rear-seat passengers – often children or mature passengers – can be more vulnerable to head, chest and neck injuries.

These inflatable second-row, outboard seat belts spread impact forces across more than five times the area of conventional belts, reducing pressure on the chest while helping to control head and neck motion and helping reduce the risk of injuries.

Emphasizing performance and efficiency, the optional 3.7-liter V6 engine produces a projected 300 horsepower, an increase of 37 horsepower over the previous MKZ V6, while improving fuel economy approximately 5 percent to an estimated 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway (all-wheel drive).

"The all-new Lincoln MKZ represents a new day for Lincoln and we consider it a worthy new calling card for a reinvented brand," said Farley. "Along with a reinvented customer experience of delightful personal service, we are confident Lincoln will be on the leading edge of attracting a new class of premium buyers who delight in discovering new and better ways of rewarding and distinguishing themselves from the norm."

The 2013 Lincoln MKZ will be in dealerships in late fall.

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