What is it? The MKZ is a midsized sedan that shares its basic architecture with the Ford Fusion, as well as the European Ford Mondeo. And like the Fusion, it will be redesigned for 2013 and made significantly larger. Unveiled at the Detroit auto show as a concept car, it has four seats and a panoramic glass roof. The exterior styling on the concept is coupe-like, which may look sportier but usually compromises access and the view out.
What is new or notable? The long wheelbase will make this car and the Fusion among the biggest cars in their categories. Lincoln has held back powertrain details for the production MKZ, but we anticipate the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine to be found in the next gen Fusion will also be available the Lincoln. That powerplant cranks out 237 hp and is currently found in Ford Edge and Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, where it works well. The Fusion, also unveiled in production form in Detroit, will have a new plug-in hybrid version, which may also find its way into the MKZ.
CR’s take: The outgoing MKZ scored points for its good ride, strong acceleration and handling. The longer wheelbase likely means that Ford has redressed the cramped interior of the current model. Hopefully Ford has gotten the bugs out of its MyTouch control interface system, which we find distracting and sometimes hard to use.
When will it be available? This vehicle is a concept, but a production MKZ will be in showrooms in late 2012.