Lincoln, wait, whoops, The Lincoln Motor Company (excuse me!), has a lot riding on the 2013 MKZ. It's the first car in a product onslaught that will either make Lincoln succeed or go down in flames.
They need this car to do well. So well that it seems they'll resort to obvious trickery to get there.
Edmunds recently tested a 2013 MKZ, and found that their test car had Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. These are tires that typically come on cars like the BMW M6 and Ferrari 599 GTO. FYI: Those are big deal, ultra high performance cars.
That resulted in a 69.2 MPH run through their slalom test. A Porsche 911 is just one mile per hour faster, and a BMW M5 is slower. Yeah. Tires are important
This exact car has been making the rounds amongst journalists. Earlier this month, Autoblog tested the same car and noted that the handling performance had a lot to do with the low profile, ultra high performance tires (although they didn't note they weren't a regular option).
When confronted, Lincoln admitted to Edmunds that the tires were mounted specifically for the test cars and might not even be available unless the dealer has inventory of the tires. We just built an MKZ online, and high performance summer tires are not listed as an option. That's not saying they won't be a dealer installed option, but it would be an option that very, very few customers would tick off on the options list.
Basically, what it seems like is that Lincoln is pulling a Ferrari with some test cars to amp up the excitement for their new sedan. If you're not cheating, you're not trying says the old NASCAR adage, so it's clear Lincoln is trying.