On sale for four years now, the Lincoln MKX was due for a bit of freshening, and the updated second-generation 2011 model will make its debut at the 2010 Detroit auto show. In addition to fresh looks, the 2011 MKX carries some refinements, upgraded technology, and a new, more powerful V-6 engine.

Possibly the biggest update to the 2011 MKX is Ford's latest Duratec V-6 engine. Updating the current engine required punching out an extra 200 cc's to 3.7L. When combined with variable timing on all of the camshafts, the result was an extra 40 hp and 30 lb.-ft. of torque for a total of 305 hp and 280 lb.-ft. More impressive is that along with these double-digit increases in power ratings, the MKX retains its claimed class-leading ability to return 25 mpg on the freeway, and does all of this on regular unleaded. A "smart" charging system that reduces engine drag and a manually shiftable six-speed automatic transmission help further this cause.

Vying for the title of "biggest update" is Ford's MyFord and MyLincoln technology, a new user interface for the climate, radio, navigation, SYNC, and other controls. Similar in concept to BMW's iDrive and other similar systems, MyLincoln replaces the traditional controls with a touchscreen and a five-way controller similar to those found on cell phones and iPods. A standout feature in the new interface is the touch-sensitive sliders for the stereo volume and fan speed. Rather than traditional push-buttons or knobs, the controls are integrated into the touchscreen and can be adjusted by either tapping a point on the slider bar or by dragging a finger across the screen. The new system also includes Ford's iTunes music tagging feature through SYNC.

Complimenting the new center stack and its fancy new infotainment system is a refreshed interior with all-new seats and upgraded materials. Aluminum accents are offered along with two wood trim options, and contrast stitching abounds. Beneath the skin, heavy use of sound-deadening materials and acoustic glass has quieted down the interior so much that Lincoln claims the MKX now exceeds its competitors at Lexus and Audi in noise suppression.