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2010 Lincoln MKZ gets more power, noise insulation

Wed, 18 Mar 2009

For 2010, Lincoln hopes to lure more entry midsize-luxury shoppers to its fold with increased optional content and improved performance in the revised MKZ.

The 3.5-liter V6 is unchanged with its 263 hp, but the six-speed automatic transmission with manually selectable gears is new. Thanks to lower early gears, the '10 MKZ slashes its 0-to-60-mph time from 7.7 seconds to 7.1 seconds over the outgoing model.

Suspension tuning also is altered for better ride quality, while a new hydraulic variable-flow power steering pump provides better response and easier parking maneuvers. For all-wheel-drive models, the drive system receives enhancements to increase traction and reduce noise, vibration and harshness.

Lincoln paid particular attention to lowering interior noise levels by adding an acoustic laminated windshield, better door seals and floor dampening and an acoustic headliner. The MKZ also features a new instrument cluster and softer leathers, and it will be the first vehicle in the segment to offer blind-spot information and cross-traffic alert systems.

The updated exterior adopts the split-wing grille from the MKS and features slimmer headlight housings. Out back, there is a new trunk lid and LED taillights. A Sport Appearance Package also joins the lineup with 18-inch polished wheels, a special grille, darkened headlamps and an exclusive interior. To enhance handling performance, the Sport package adds stiffer springs and thicker antiroll bars.

The 2010 Lincoln MKZ will reach dealerships this spring and carry a base price of $34,965, which is a $2,270 jump from the outgoing model. All-wheel-drive models start at $36,855.

By Jonathan Wong