You’re forgiven if you are not all that familiar with the Lincoln MKT. Fewer than 8000 examples of the three-row crossover were sold in all of 2010, giving the MKT the dubious honor of being Lincoln’s slowest-selling product last year. Regardless of its showroom performance, the 2013 MKT on display at the Los Angeles auto show receives a mild visual facelift and improved mechanicals.
A new grille and front fascia spruce up the MKT’s nose, along with new wheel designs. The mild changes were intended to make the MKT look wider and less tall, improving its perceived proportions. New leather trim and seats headline the interior changes, along with the latest version of the MyLincoln Touch infotainment system.
The first mechanical change is the addition of adaptive suspension, which Lincoln calls Continuously Controlled Damping. The system, available only on models with the optional EcoBoost V-6 engine, constantly monitors road conditions and is able to adapt the suspension firmness in as little as 11 milliseconds. The result, according to Lincoln, is a more comfortable ride and more engaging handling.
The MKT also scores Lincoln Drive Control, which switches various car components between Comfort, Normal, and Sport modes. The system changes the characteristics of the adaptive suspension, transmission, electric power steering, and stability control system depending on which mode is selected.
The 2013 MKT also gets new power, thanks to the addition of dual variable valve timing to the base 3.7-liter V-6 engine. Peak power climbs from 268 hp to 300 hp, and torque jumps from 267 lb-ft to 275 lb-ft. As a result, the MKT picks up 1 mpg on the highway, for ratings of 17/25 mpg (city/highway). The optional 355-hp, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine — which is picked by 90 percent of MKT customers — is unchanged for the new model year.
The 2013 Lincoln MKT goes on sale in spring 2012.
For more on the 2013 Lincoln MKT, check out our First Look here. For more on the 2011 Los Angeles Show, including videos, the latest photos, and more information, click here to visit our L.A. Show homepage.