DEARBORN, MI - The interior of the new 2010 Lincoln MKZ embodies the near perfect balance of silence and sound, offering entry-level luxury customers the ultra-quiet cabin they expect along with a refined powertrain purr that's bound to surprise and delight, according to Ford.
MKZ has been among the leaders in the midsize sedan segment for interior quietness, which customers - especially luxury-car shoppers - undeniably connect to overall product quality and satisfaction levels, according to vehicle studies from respected third-party voices, such as J.D. Power and Associates and Consumer Reports.
Since the 2002 model year, the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury lineup has consistently improved year-over-year as shown by the reduction in 'wind noise' as a complaint by customers during research in 'things gone wrong' (TGWs). The company is now head-to-head with other full-line manufacturers in the U.S., including Toyota and Honda, for interior quietness. According to internal Ford research, the 2009 MKZ, in fact, beats the current model year Lexus ES350 in key interior quietness attributes such as road noise at 30 mph.
For model-year 2010, the Lincoln MKZ is even quieter.
The new Lincoln MKZ, which launches in the spring of 2009, further benefits from Ford Motor Company's unwavering commitment to deliver the highest possible product quality in all areas, including class-leading interior quietness. The new MKZ was subject to a variety of aggressive noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) actions that solidly position the midsize luxury sedan among its competitors for road noise, wind noise and overall quality of powertrain sound.
"We took a product that was already a solid performer for interior quietness and added an extra bit of refinement in the areas that help create a world-class interior sound with a balance between road noise, wind noise and powertrain sound," said Joe Mucha, an NVH specialist on Ford's midsize vehicle programs. "Even the untrained ear will notice how quiet the new Lincoln MKZ is. Customers will particularly appreciate the quality of the powertrain sound at wide open throttle."
Quiet Building Blocks
The 2010 Lincoln MKZ attacks interior quietness through several specific NVH actions and improvements, including:
- A new acoustic laminated windshield that features a layer of sound-absorbent vinyl sandwiched between two sheets of glass to soften noise levels
- Thicker rear backlight for improved wind noise
- Improved body/door sealing to reduce wind noise
- New expandable stuffers in the fenders and pillars
- Constrained layer damping material on the entire floor to reduce road noise, especially noise generated by the tires
- A retuned air induction system for a more refined powertrain sound
- An all-new acoustic headliner to further deaden interior noise
These measures are proving their worth. In internal wind tunnel tests, for example, the 2010 Lincoln MKZ was subjected to 80 mph gusts at varying degrees of yaw (to simulate head/cross winds), and bested both the current model year Lexus ES350 and Acura TL across the board for the lowest recorded loudness - regardless of yaw variation.
The 2010 MKZ also ups the ante on road noise against competing models, holding the lowest recorded sound level measurement in internal 30 mph tests, coming in 3.5 dBA quieter than the Acura TL and 1.7 dBA quieter than the Lexus ES350.
"A three or four dBA variance in the 30 mph test results in a noticeable difference that most drivers or passengers would be able to discern without much effort," said Mucha.
The 2010 Lincoln MKZ also widens the gap with superb powertrain sound at wide open throttle. "The 2010 MKZ delivers on key Lincoln DNA attributes for powertrain sound quality," added Mucha. "It's the right balance of loudness and refinement; it's powerful when it should be, but it doesn't sound harsh or thrashy. And, since the cabin is inherently quieter, voice articulation and speech intelligibility are greater under heavy acceleration."
A world-class quieter cabin provides Lincoln MKZ customers another added benefit - a more suitable environment for voice-activated technologies such as SYNC and Ford's next-generation Navigation System with SIRIUS® Travel LinkTM, as well as for MKZ's premium THX II Certified 5.1 Surround sound system.
This system delivers 600 watts to 14 strategically placed speakers, and features THX Slot Speaker technology in the dashboard, which allows for unmatched sound distribution.
"The combination of the premium THX audio system and unmatched interior quietness offers MKZ customers an exceptional in-car audio experience," said Jonathan Richards, MKZ marketing manager. "This pairing represents one more example of why customers are now equating the Lincoln brand with elegant, modern design, unparalleled comfort, unrivaled features and best-in-class quality."