Lincoln’s return to building genuine luxury cars might eventually be picking up speed. Whilst the Continental concept laid out the strategy at the New York auto show, the MKZ debuting at the Los Angeles auto show is the initial play.
The MKZ’s available 400-hp engine gives us hope that the company might find a way to prioritize quietness and comfort without being utterly dull. Lincoln hopes to put some distance between its vehicles and the Ford models built on the same platforms. At the same time, it is marching in the opposite direction of the sport focused German luxury marques, crosstown rival Cadillac, and even Lexus with its quiet luxury philosophy.
the MKZ debuting at the Los Angeles auto show is the initial play. When it goes on sale in the summer of 2016, the 2017 Lincoln MKZ will be the first car on the road to characterize the brand’s fresh design language and a new, high-output engine. To animate the MKZ’s handling, an optional Driver’s package adds torque-vectoring capability to the all-wheel-drive system with hardware borrowed from the rambunctious Ford Focus RS.
Provided by GKN, the torque-vectoring rear differential directs more thrust to the outside rear wheel in corners by producing a yaw moment that helps rotate the car. Driver’s package also includes adaptive dampers and multi-contour seats with an almost obnoxious amount of the ability of adjustment, along with a bevy of superficial enhancements such as a dark-finish grille, carbon-fiber trim throughout the interior, aluminum pedal covers, and properly pretentious ebony brake calipers.
As the first vehicle to wear the brand’s new look, the 2017 Lincoln MKZ marks the first concerted effort to figuratively and literally remake the brand’s image. Nonetheless, the true test will come when the product cycle allows engineers and designers to rethink a Lincoln model from the ground up. For now, the MKZ gives us hope that Lincoln can carve out a space as a proper luxury brand.