Lincoln is in a battle for its future. Is it going to be a premium nameplate, with just-above Ford features and prices? Or will it be a true luxury brand, with its own powertrains and technology?
The 2017 Lincoln MKZ answers some of those questions.
MORE: Follow all our 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show coverage
For the first time ever, the MKZ gets its own engine, one not shared with the related Ford Fusion. It's a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V-6 that's coupled to a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system and a six-speed automatic.
In that form, the MKZ will turn out 400 horsepower--a hundred more than today's top V-6 versions. The engine will also be offered on front-drive models, but in that trim it will be rated at 350 horsepower.
The MKZ's former V-6 and turbo four get the broom, and the new base engine in the MKZ will be a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 245 horsepower. The Hybrid model will return,with its gas-electric drivetrain turning in 188 horsepower and an estimated 40 miles per gallon on the EPA combined cycle.
Top versions will be available with a package that bundles adaptive dampers, 19-inch wheels, black brake calipers, carbon-fiber interior trim, and black-leather sport seats.
CHECK OUT: 2017 Buick LaCrosse Video Preview
Calling out the MKZ's new power will be a new look. The twin-wing grille of the past decade gives way to a taller mesh grille and slim headlamps that have more than a whiff of Jaguar about them.
The interior bags some of its touch-sensitive controls and reverts to real knobs and switches for audio and climate controls. Lincoln's also one-upping the car-color name game with interior themes dubbed Thoroughbred, Vineyard, and Chalet. Fancy.
New safety features include adaptive cruise control with traffic stop and go, and forward-collision warnings with automatic braking.
There's no official pricing, but 400-horsepower MKZ sedans might hit $60,000 when they go on sale in the summer of 2016.