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For the past two decades, the only thing consistent about Ford's Lincoln division has been its inconsistency. To put it lightly, the brand has struggled to find it's place in the automotive landscape. The vehicles from Ford's premium domestic division haven't had a coherent look since the early '80s. Several of its models, such as the LS and the Navigator, have sold well at times, but the absence of a Lincoln DNA hasn't helped. In 2006, North American Design chief Peter Horbury set about changing all that. He gave his team the task of examining past Lincolns to determine what set them apart.

The first new model intended to set Lincoln on it's path to rebirth is the 2009 MKS, which is making its debut in production form at the LA Auto Show later today. The MKS first appeared as a concept at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show. It's based on the same platform as the Ford 500/Taurus, which originated at Volvo under the S80/XC90. When the concept first appeared it was reasonably well received as a pleasant if not daring design for the marque. Subsequently, Horbury's team began its quest for the soul of Lincoln and came up with a list of seven elements that would be part of future Lincoln designs. Most of these appeared on the 2007 MKR concept that we saw in Detroit. While most of the MKS was already locked in for production, after the show Ford management made the decision to adopt one of most prominent elements from the new MKR concept, its grille.
 

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From a styling standpoint, that car is a winner. Clean lines, the front end looks sporty and classy.
 

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[quote author=swooshUSN link=topic=94666.msg1853440#msg1853440 date=1195048420]

Thought this was kinda weird though...

[/quote]


The wireless key fob allows the vehicle to be started with the push botton on the dash whenever it is inside the car. I assume the hidden key inside is there for an override if the wireless system fails.
 

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[quote author=autoxr1 link=topic=94666.msg1861566#msg1861566 date=1195326979]
[quote author=swooshUSN link=topic=94666.msg1853440#msg1853440 date=1195048420]

Thought this was kinda weird though...

[/quote]


The wireless key fob allows the vehicle to be started with the push botton on the dash whenever it is inside the car. I assume the hidden key inside is there for an override if the wireless system fails.
[/quote]

Valet key?
 

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[quote author=smallbigtall link=topic=94666.msg1861983#msg1861983 date=1195349569]
Valet key?
[/quote]

Nope, you can't start the car with the metal key, only open the doors if the battery dies.
 

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If that's the case, there's not an override for if the wireless system fails...
 

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[quote author=smallbigtall link=topic=94666.msg1862070#msg1862070 date=1195353964]
If that's the case, there's not an override for if the wireless system fails...
[/quote]

If the wireless system fails, there's a little slot in the glove box that you put the key fob into. Then it uses some kind of inductive technology to read the signal from the key.
 

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[quote author=swooshUSN link=topic=94666.msg1853442#msg1853442 date=1195048614]
For the past two decades, the only thing consistent about Ford's Lincoln division has been its inconsistency.
[/quote]

This has been true of the entire Ford line and it has been that way since the 70's. The styling was not very consistent with any family although the Contour/later Taurus did look similar (bland). Most recently was the reversal updates to the Ford 500 -- rebadged as Taurus and picked up the Fusion horizontal bar grill work. The MKS picks up some Pontiac type styling and I am not saying that is a bad thing.

The primary problem with the Fusion in my opinion is the rear end -- too much chrome/light activity. Keep the rear simple -- focus on the front end with something simple but unique. The latest Lincoln Continental look was a copy of the Chrysler LHS family.
 

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[quote author=MKZman link=topic=94666.msg1862601#msg1862601 date=1195391665]
This has been true of the entire Ford line and it has been that way since the 70's. The styling was not very consistent with any family although the Contour/later Taurus did look similar (bland). [/quote]

In 1988 the Taurus, Escort, T-bird, Mustang and Tempo all had very strong family resemblance, more so than any other company's line that I can think of. In 1995 there was the thin headlight look that was on the Taurus, Escort, Crown Vic, Windstar and T-bird. Then again in 1997 the Taurus, Contour and Escort all had the same oval theme. Even back in the early 80s there was the LTD, EXP, Mustang, Tempo and T-bird that had the similar inverted triangle headlight buckets.

I would say Ford has done a better job than most at keeping a common design theme across the lineup, it's just that sometimes models stay on for so long that you get mixed themes in the showroom at the same time.
 

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I'll buy that. Does it bother anybody else that the Fusion/Taurus/Edge all have three bars on the grille, the trucks have four bars, and the new Focus has only two?
 

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The Focus only has two because it is a smaller car.

Technically speaking, the Fusion and the edge are the same mid-size car.

By that logic, the Taurus should have more bars, yet it does not
 

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I understand that, but I don't agree that Ford should label its cars' class with the number of chrome bars in the front. Keep it uniform.
 

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I would tend to agree, except with the Focus, I wonder if the three-bar grill would have dropped the bumper too low, or have the bars too thin for proper bumper height.
 

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The grille on the Escape doesn't look anything like the others either. Too widely spaced.
 
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