Crossovers have replaced full-size SUVs for the upwardly-mobile remnants of America’s middle class, and Lincoln is a late-arrival to this growing market. But Ford’s luxury brand hopes to make up for lost ground with the new Lincoln MKC, which debuts a new 2.3 liter EcoBoost engine that is more like than not the same engine that will go into the 2015 Ford Mustang.
First though let’s get the basics out of the way. Using the all-new Ford Escape platform, the Lincoln MKC has received all-new sheetmetal to give it a distinguishable look. Also expect a slew of standard and optional features designed to tout its cutting-edge technology. For example, Approach Detection lays out a “Lincoln” welcome mat and lights up the doors as you approach the car, automatically, while Continuously Controlled Damping is meant to deliver a cushioned ride.
The 2015 Lincoln MKC will also always try to maintain Internet activity, allowing owners to check up on gas levels and tire pressure from their smartphones, a first for Ford. However, recognizing that not everyone is ready for a future of only touchscreens, Ford has put knobs and dials back onto an attractive center stack that also gives you the option to use a responsive LCD screen as well.
But the real star here is the 2.3 liter EcoBoost engine, a step up from the standard 2.0 liter EcoBoost the MKC will arrive with. While the regular EcoBoost engine has 240 horsepower and 270 ft-lbs of torque, the 2.3 liter will deliver 275 horsepower and 300 ft-lbs of torque, giving performance a substantial boost and making it the most-powerful 4-cylinder engine in Ford’s lineup.
Ford claims a 15% fuel savings over a comparable V6 engine, though Consumer Reports has taken issue with Ford’s fuel economy claims in the past. That said, this engine is also rumored to be heading into the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang, slotted between the standard V6 and the fuel-hungry V8 models. In the Mustang this motor is rumored to deliver over 30 mpg, though how it handles the heavier Lincoln MKC crossover remains to be seen.
While Ford’s EcoBoost engines have been a sales success, the jury is still out as to whether or not the Blue Oval has fully balanced fuel economy and performance. Perhaps this new EcoBoost engine is the one that changes perceptions.