- - Thursday, January 5, 2012

Better handling, increased power, improved fuel efficiency, additional standard equipment, more refinement and new technologies that help drivers reduce accident risks provide luxury customers with important new reasons to consider Lincoln and its flagship sedan, the new MKS.

The full-size Lincoln MKS sports an updated, sleeker style for 2013 that headlines a range of improvements that rivals more expensive luxury-class contenders.

Throughout 13 decades of the automobile’s development, suspension engineers have worked tirelessly to find an ideal balance between smooth ride and satisfying, confident handling. Traditionally, smooth-riding cars have not handled well, and sharp-handling cars have ridden harshly.

The new Lincoln MKS solves this dilemma and stands out as the only car in its segment to have Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) as standard equipment.

“The CCD system in the 2013 MKS helps deliver an exciting driving experience for the driver that is comfortable, smooth and quiet, while at the same time dynamic and involving,” said Scott Tobin, Director, Lincoln Product Development.

Standard CCD delivers a more confident drive experience that introduces a key new Lincoln DNA — the balance of ride comfort and impressive handling.

Regardless of road conditions, drivers will enjoy a markedly smoother, more controlled ride because CCD is always tuning and refining the ride quality. The result of some 4,000 hours of development time, CCD delivers its on-road benefit by significantly extending the chassis’ capabilities compared to a chassis with non-adjustable struts and shock absorbers, known as “dampers” by chassis engineers.

Compared with the fixed-rate dampers fitted to the 2012 MKS, the new CCD dampers for the 2013 MKS offer dramatically expanded control range.

CCD utilizes an array of 46 inputs to feed data to a sophisticated control unit that continuously monitors more than 23,000 packets of information per second. Algorithms react to the data by calculating the optimal damping force every 2 milliseconds or 500 times per second. The system commands damping force changes 20 times per second (20Hz). On average, large damper force adjustments (such as firm to soft) occur in just 11 milliseconds. For engineers, mechanical actions that occur in less than 13 milliseconds are considered real-time actions.

The system’s powerful processing speed and fast-acting mechanicals enable CCD to constantly read the road surface and continuously adjust damping rates in real time across the three selectable ranges — Sport, Normal and Comfort. CCD operates so quickly that it can react preemptively.

CCD recognizes, for example, when the car is encountering a pothole and can instantly tighten damper control to prevent the wheel and tire from experiencing the full depth of the pothole. Typically, the damping rate increases by more than 150 percent versus the system’s softest setting, helping to smooth out an otherwise harsh and jarring event. The system is so quick that inputs received at the front wheels are then used to prepare the rear wheels to deliver a more refined driving experience.

“CCD is always active, and it underpins the expanded dynamic capabilities of the new MKS,” said Brian Naspinsky, Lincoln Vehicle Integration engineer. “CCD makes it possible to provide a smoother, more controlled ride over virtually any road surface in part by reducing body roll by up to 20 percent. CCD also improves handling. Understeer on the MKS has been reduced by approximately 25 percent, so the car feels more eager and ready to respond.”

“Lincoln Drive Control is where the magic happens because it pulls all of the car’s adjustable elements — suspension, steering, engine, and gearbox — into one harmonized system,” explains Mike Celentino, MKS chief engineer. “With Lincoln Drive Control, the new MKS feels sporty, nimble and connected, yet the Lincoln ride is still there.”

Lincoln Drive Control is always at work refining the vehicle’s driving dynamics. Enabled by features including CCD and Electric Power Assisted Steering, the system continuously integrates handling performance, ride firmness, throttle response, shift feel, steering response and traction control/electronic stability control parameters.

Additionally, Lincoln Drive Control allows drivers to purposefully change the on-road personality of the MKS

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