Next Generation Lincoln MKS Could Pack Smaller EcoBoost, 9-Speed Transmission
According to the folks at Car & Driver, the next generation Lincoln MKS is due out in later 2015 as a 2016 model year vehicle and when it arrives in roughly two years, it will add yet another EcoBoost engine to the Ford family of powerful yet efficient engines. However, rather than fitting the 2016 MKS up with some variant of the EcoBoost’d 4-cylinder mills already at work in the likes of the Ford Fusion and the Ford Escape – the range topping Lincoln will pack a new, smaller EcoBoost V6.
The new mill powering the 2016 Lincoln MKS is expected to measure 2.9 liters and should deliver at least 300 horsepower as the “base” engine. The current base engine in the MKS is the naturally aspirated 3.7L V6 that delivers 304 horsepower and 279lb-ft of torque. The 2.9L EcoBoost should offer similar horsepower but likely quite a bit more torque while also offering far better fuel economy and – unlike the top of the line 3.5L EcoBoost V6 – this smaller EcoBoost should be available with a front wheel drive setup where the larger EcoBoost is only available with all wheel drive. That could make traction somewhat of an issue but it could also make the entry level MKS a bit more fun to drive as it will be lighter and have less power loss through the AWD setup. While front wheel drive could be standard for the entry level 2016 MKS, I would still expect that all wheel drive would be offered for those who want the improved traction abilities without the higher price of the performance minded MKS EcoBoost – or whatever Lincoln decides to call those models with the bigger EcoBoost.
C&D believes that while the early versions of the 2016 Lincoln MKS with the new 29L EcoBoost will come with a similar 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission as what is used in the current models, there will be a new 9-speed automatic transmission arriving at some time. Should that prove to be true, the 2016 MKS with the smaller EcoBoost V6 and this new gearbox could set the standard for luxury sedan fuel economy measures.
With the shift among luxury cars to offer these high tech transmissions with 8 or 9 speeds, it will be interesting to see if the 2016 Lincoln MKS with the larger EcoBoost V6 also receives the new gearbox. It has been speculated that the 3.5L EcoBoost will carry on into the next generation MKS and it will likely receive a bump in power into the 380 horsepower range. If Ford Motor Company opts to equip those models with the rumored 9-speed automatic transmission, the top of the line next gen MKS could be more efficient while also offering better acceleration with aggressive lower gears and fuel friendly overdrive gears.
We should note that with these rumors focusing on a vehicle that could be more than 2 years out, the future of the Lincoln MKS could change between then and now but there don’t seem to be any aspects of these rumors that wouldn’t make perfect sense.
The Lincoln MKS EcoBoost is one of my favorite vehicles on the market right now and a new 9-speed transmission would only make this roomy, sporty sedan even better.