2013 Lincoln MKS (scroll down for more photos)

*Los Angeles, CA – Lincoln has long been a luxury brand that resonates with the black community.  From the Continental to the Town Car, African American owners drove them with pride and reveled in the respect and admiration of gawkers.  But those owners were typically of the more mature ilk – typically your daddy or even your granddaddy – and seldom inspired younger onlookers, including women, to aspire to purchase what they were profiling in.  BMWs, Mercedes and the like seemed more relevant.

Lincoln – a division of Ford Motor Company – was proud of its product, but made it a mission to change that narrow view.

Some years back, the company introduced the LS and the Navigator.  The former made a dent in the brand’s less-than-youthful image and the latter blew it wide open.  Along with a younger demo exhibiting interest in the LS, the at-one-time-best-selling Lincoln Navigator became something of a status symbol. In keeping with the country’s fascination with SUVs during the early 2000s, to be young, black and driving a luxury vehicle such as the Navigator meant you were “ballin'” – whether your bank account agreed or not.  Navigator sales were booming.

All good things must come to an end, however.

The LS lost its appeal due to lack of significant upgrades and sales of the Navigator – along with most SUVs – declined when gas prices skyrocketed and the country’s interests shifted toward green initiatives and saving the environment.  It wasn’t Lincoln’s first time at the rodeo, though; the brand has been around since 1917.  As any experienced and savvy company would, Lincoln responded to consumers’ shifting interests by introducing new vehicles, the MKT (full-size luxury crossover vehicle) and the MKS (full-size luxury sedan).  The new arrivals picked up where the LS and the Navigator left off, becoming the next hopefuls to make waves in the luxury auto market for the company.  The first versions were released in 2009 and 2010 respectively, to respectable sales.

Recently, at the LA Auto Show, Lincoln unveiled the latest versions of the two models with the goal of maintaining the integrity of the luxurious feel of the Lincoln brand, but packaging it in a more competitive and universally relevant body style in that class, with technological upgrades to attract today’s more youthful and tech-savvy luxury consumer.

Here’s the features breakdown:

Lincoln MKS (full-size luxury sedan)

•    355-horspower 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine
•    Lincoln Drive Control (sport, normal and comfort driving modes)
•    Six-Speed transmission
•    All-Wheel Drive
•    Active Park Assist
•    Panoramic Fixed-glass Vista Roof
•    My Lincoln Touch and dynamic Infotainment Systems
•    Inflatable rear belts
•    Curve control, lane keeping system, collision warning, adaptive cruise control, blind spot information system, and Mykey

Lincoln’s MKT is a full-size luxury crossover utility vehicle that boasts the features found above, with the addition of Torque Vectoring Control.

Check out these Lincoln sites for in-depth info:

MKS: http://www.lincoln.com/cars/mks/?searchid=64990954|2090513314|1353752849

MKT: http://www.lincoln.com/crossovers/mkt/?searchid=64990954|2090513314|1353752849

Lincoln MKS (rear view)

Lincoln MKS (interior)

Lincoln MKT

Lincoln MKT (another view)

Lincoln MKT (interior)