Rapid Spec 102A ($7,500 -- Premium Package: adaptive HID headlamps, ambient interior lighting, premium leather-trimmed seats with tuxedo stripe and piping, heated 2nd row outboard seating surfaces, illuminated front scuff plates, rearview camera, rain-sensing wipers, heated steering wheel and power tilt & telescoping steering column with memory; Elite Package: BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) with cross traffic alert, Panoramic Vista Roof that incorporates a front power sunroof and a fixed rear moonroof with "one touch" express open with dual power sunshades, 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels with P245/50R20 BSW H-rated all-season tires, THX II certified 5.1 surround audio system with AM/FM/HD radio, single DVD/CD/MP3 player, DVD audio and video capability, SD card for map and Points of Interest storage, 14 speakers with an 8-inch subwoofer, 600 watts of power and 12 amplifier channels, voice-activated hard-drive based navigation system with 8-inch display, Sirius Travel Link feature with 6-month complimentary subscription for real-time traffic, weather and fuel price updates [Sirius Travel Link 6-month complimentary subscription available only in 48 contiguous states; service is not available in AK/HI]); White Platinum Tri-Coat Paint ($595); Wood Package ($495 -- Wood applique on instrument panel, door inserts and steering wheel).
I = 4.48; II = 2.87; III = 1.84; IV = 1.41; V = 1.00; VI = 0.74; R = 2.88; Final = 3.16 (FWD), 3.39 (AWD)
Not much for the driver to do. Pedal overlap does nothing to improve times dramatically. Also no advantage to turning off traction control. Engine sounds sporty, not trashy. Despite available manual shift, it still auto-upshifts. Upshifts are smooth, moderately fast. No matched-rev downshifts in manual.
After a little pedal travel, brakes jump in pretty abruptly. Pedal isn't hard or soft -- just right. Good fade resistance and consistency (especially for a 4,500-pound vehicle). Last stop had a little directional wander.
Steering weight feels appropriate and grip feels higher than numbers indicate. ESC is holding it back only slightly as it cuts throttle right before understeer begins. Interesting that jumping out of throttle allows MKX to oversteer quite a bit. Good turn-in and trustworthy initial grip/bite. ESC punishes quick steering input, so being smooth was key. Slow-in/fast-out proved best with slight ESC at exit. Good body control, good steering precision, though not much feel.