Lincoln says the Lincoln Zephyr models of the late 1930s inspired the new 2013 MKZ's split-wing grille design. The new grille is flanked by active LED headlights, and is accompanied by a sweeping roofline punctuated by an available power retractable panoramic glass roof; one of the world's largest, according to Lincoln. A strip of LED taillights stretches across the rear of the MKZ, and the car rides on standard 18-inch aluminum wheels.
Lincoln says it has employed an "open console" design for the MKZ's interior, and has designed a new push-button shift console to replace a traditional gear selector lever. The gauge cluster is a 10.1-inch LCD display, and a second-generation version of MyLincoln Touch is accessible using an 8-inch center color touch screen. Active noise cancellation technology is standard.
In addition to the retractable glass roof, the 2013 Lincoln MKZ can be equipped with a variety of 19-inch wheel designs, a 700-watt THX II Certified premium surround sound audio system, and several safety technologies designed to help the MKZ's driver detect possible collisions and avoid them.
Under the Hood
Three different powerplants are available for the new 2013 Lincoln MKZ. The standard engine is a turbocharged, 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder making 240 horsepower. It drives the front or all four wheels through a 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission with paddle shifters mounted to the steering wheel. Gears are selected using push-button controls on the center console.
A 3.7-liter V-6 engine is optional. It comes standard with all-wheel drive, and though it offers no gain in torque over the turbocharged 4-cylinder, the V-6 does provide 300 horsepower. It is bolted to the same transmission as the EcoBoost engine.
The 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid pairs an Atkinson-cycle, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with an electric assist motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. Total system output measures 188 horsepower, fed to the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission.
Lincoln Drive Control is standard on the new MKZ, and tunes the suspension, steering, powertrain, and stability control system to Comfort, Normal or Sport driving modes.
Official EPA fuel-economy estimates are not available for the redesigned 2013 MKZ as this preview is published, but Lincoln is forecasting that the standard turbocharged EcoBoost engine will get 22 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. According to Lincoln, the 3.7-liter V-6 will return 18 mpg city/26 highway. No estimates were given for the new MKZ Hybrid.
In addition to optional inflatable rear seat belts, a segment-exclusive feature, according to Lincoln, the 2013 MKZ can be optioned with adaptive cruise control with Collision Warning and Brake Support, a blind-spot information system, and a Lane Keeping System that includes Driver Assist, Lane Keeping Alert, and Lane Keeping Aid technologies.