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open letter to Lincoln- paddle shifting

2411 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Fredvon4
Dear Lincoln-
I love my MKC- a very versatile CUV and truly modern competitive car in its segment. But please equip us early adopters and ambassadors of this car with one more small thing.

Many of us really would have considered a manual trans if it had been offered and our entire group of owners probably shifted cars early on. And later- I had a rare 5sp LS bought new in 2000, and my son just had to give it up only last year. I had a series of stick cars up until kids and minivans and it is time to get back.

Sure we understand that when we punch "S" our MKCs will shift a little crisper, and if that is all we do, it is fine. But when we pull the paddles, PLEASE give us an even sharper profile, we mean a gear IMMEDIATELY, not three heartbeats and too deep into a turn.

If we want to participate by shifting, the car should too. We have to beleive there is a software flash that can make this happen for our 2015's.

Sure would put my euro worshiping buddies on notice that Lincoln can get serious. The CCD is there. Make the gearbox match it.
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I personally think the transmission needs to go. I love the car. I still get people steering it down saying they cant believe that's a Lincoln. But the transmission and the engine are in different area codes.
I personally think the transmission needs to go. I love the car. I still get people steering it down saying they cant believe that's a Lincoln. But the transmission and the engine are in different area codes.
I have to agree here. I think the 6 speed is just a patch until they can introduce their new 9 speed transaxle that's been supposedly in the works for a plethera of different FoMoCo vehicles. The 2.3 engine and the current 6 speed auto just don't get along very well in my experience, especially after break-in. The engine is a keener, it wants to go but the transmission often has a different agenda. Shifting up through the gears is usually fine but downshifting is dicey. I'm talking about the 5-3 downshift at full bore on the highway. Perhaps it's because of the 2.3's well-renowned tendency to have a lack of upper-end grunt, but it sure doesn't feel right.

Sometimes there's a pretty gnarly flare between 2 and 3 when upshifting at medium throttle but usually it's pretty smooth. I'm a more spirited driver than most so it's probably not a big issue for the majority of owners, but if Lincoln wants to truly make their brand more youthful they should start with more refined engine and transmission communication.

It's a shame though because the chassis and suspension on the MKC are dialed right in. It's sharper and more composed through the bends than any of the competition I've driven. The electric steering feels alive, unlike the godawful pile of bacon fat packed into the steering box of the Audi Q5 I drove before pulling the trigger on the Linc. The MKC lets you know when it's at it's limit which is a good thing. The germans all have awesome transmissions that are snappy and responsive, and it's a shame the one in the Lincoln is such a flubbery mess even at low speeds.
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The intent was to urge Lincoln to get us sportier software for the existing 6 speed. Sure an all new transmission may produce all the benefits we want, but I don't believe more cogs or ranges is why.
My point was that while they obviously shaded the shifting toward smooth and quiet, when we pull the paddles that is NOT what we are looking for...........
This is just out loud thinking on my part because I have never driven the MKC and mine is due delivery 1st week of august. I did some deep research when I got my 2005 King Ranch with a V10 and the new 5R110 tranny

Early second or third generation of total electronic throttle, lock up torque converter and adaptive learning

I also owned a 2008 Smart car that had a robot shifted true manual 5sp tranny with paddles again with adaptive learning

A few things to know about ALL these systems:

1. Safety and product liability drive a LOT of the software
2. Emissions under most conditions drive a LOT more of the software
3. Power management and fuel efficiency are a major concern also
4. And believe it or not the software designers actually do factor driver experience (as in-- it does what you demand) not (if you are a savvy or dumb driver)

There is a LOT going on electro mechanically with several computers, dozens of sensors, interrelated subsystems ( traction control, ABS etc) and multi redundant safety points.

Mechanically a lot of what happens is relays, servos, stepper motors, or electrically actuated hydraulic valves. Each brings to the plate its own reaction time, delay if you please or lag that is always a factor.....some very fast--- or perhaps slow response to a command

Safety and product liability is most concerned with the wired throttle pedal, stability controls, antilock brake system and ensuing NO false triggers of the airbag or reactive restraint subsystems and they are ALL interconnected ( I am leaving a lot of the other considerations to your imagination)

For this reason the computer has the ability to learn a drivers behavior over time and varying road / traffic conditions.

The software is requiring the sensors to send data very fast from multiple sources to decide IF it will command as the driver demanded and a lot of this decision MAY take some time

An example would be a instant full depression of the throttle pedal.... I can not list all of the decision tree.

Reading about it in the OBDII description for my superduty, it was a significant amount of steps to determine if that was actually what the driver demanded.

Or was there a fault in the pedal, or was there a rapid deceleration of a impact, are the ABS armed or not, was the torque converter locked or not, was the power train in the right gear for Wide Open Throttle (WOT) and quite a few more preconditions to check

If I recall correctly the decision tree was multiple pages long (explaining why each step) in reality much of that computer work is done near instantly by a lot of simultaneous inputs and checks rather than sequentially which would take seconds instead of miliseconds

What I learned from all that and proved to my self in the 7800 LB truck and 1800LB micro car, is that I could effect the behavior a small bit by deliberately Teaching it how I drove. I also proved that I could confound the system and make it behave badly if I gave it illogical demands

Yes Ford can and should have a more aggressive sport mode even in the luxury segment...I doubt MKC owners demographic will support the engineering time to do so

I intend to teach my MKC from day one that I am an aggressive driver (I am not but some times a fart car next to me needs to be put in its place)

BY the way if you really want WOT never stab/stomp it to the floor...It MUST wait to check very point three times before it will react....smooth rapid to the floor WOT almost always has no lag time in my experience

The same about the power management applies to the transmission and includes many other variables such as load, emissions, uphill/downhill, cornering. The reality in our government EPA world all auto MFgs are very concerned with EPA emissions and cafe standards

That means the software is always biased to not exceed many parameters. WOT in every upshift is OK, but a dump from 4th to second and WOT stab followed by closed throttle hard decelerating setting up for a corner will throw several parameters way out of wack and the computer will do a LOT to NOT let you play NASCAR
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