LIVE BLOG: EDGAR drives the Lincoln MKC across the UAE
Join us as we take the Lincoln MKC on a road trip to 10 modern wonders of the UAE.January 13, 2015
It was Ernest Hemingway who said: "It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." Today, we're going to see if he was right.
Join EDGAR as we take the Lincoln's first MKC - the company's first ever crossover vehicle - on a road trip of 10 modern wonders of the UAE. Keep this live blog open all day to follow our updates.
Don't forget, the new MKC - this very car - could be yours for a weekend. Just enter the competition here - good luck!
(The live blog is in reverse chronological order.)
Well, that's that then. Our drive across the UAE in the brand new Lincoln MKC has come to an end. We hope you've enjoyed taking in the sights of the UAE's 10 modern architectural wonders as much as we've enjoyed visiting them.
Sadly now we must return the key to Lincoln. Although, we may well enter our own competition to be in with a chance of winning the MKC back for a weekend. Honestly, it was such a good drive we'd happily do it all over again. Have you entered yet?
We finally made it to Yas Island and to our 10th and final modern wonder of the UAE: the Yas Viceroy. The hotel has its colour-changing lights switched on, there are sports cars going around the Formula 1 track, and sat here in Yas Marina, we really couldn't have picked a better place to finish our road trip.
So not for the first time today, we're stuck in traffic... Although it does give us a chance to look a little closer at the car's design, such as the 20" polished aluminium wheels we're sitting on for instance... Although it is the split-wing grille with HID headlamps on either side - with LED accents to boot - that's really got us drooling, especially now as the sun slowly sets here in Abu Dhabi.
Well, we've seen some awesome sights today, but we still have one left to go. However, actually getting there might prove tricky as we've never driven these roads before. The MKC's technology proves superior to us thankfully, with the sat nav guiding us through Saadiyat Island on the way to Yas. What architectural wonder could we be heading for...
Right, and be honest now, hands up if you had no idea the UAE had this awesome building... The Gate Towers on Al Reem Island bears a huge resemblance to Singapore's Marina Bay Sands, which is no bad thing. In fact, we just decided that if we ever move to Abu Dhabi, this is where we want to live. It's even better when you're right underneath them...
Due to our indulgence at lunch, we're now slightly concerned about making our final two stops before the sun sets. We should be fine providing we know exactly where we're going...but we don't. Unfamiliar with the northern islands of Abu Dhabi, we're relying on the trusty sat nav to guide us to Al Reem Island, before heading through Saadiyat Island and looping round to Yas Island. Off we go...
Now we're sufficiently full - we could barely move after all the sushi and then we saw the desert menu - we're heading back out to tick off the final two modern wonders we came to Abu Dhabi to see. Hang on though, what's that on the floor? Oh, it's just the trendy Welcome Mat that greets you once you're within eight feet of the car. The guy in the parking space next to us saw it and stared in amazement. We acted like it was nothing... When we came to park earlier, this was the rearview camera (below). Much like with the parallel parking assist earlier, we've never had a problem backing into a space. But when the technology to help you is this good, why wouldn't you use it?
Well it's safe to say that was one of the best business lunches we've ever had. Zuma Abu Dhabi's branch lives up to the reputation it's made for itself in Dubai, and if anything, we prefer the quieter, more aesthetic location here.
Being so familiar with Zuma's Dubai branch, it makes sense to drop in on its newer Abu Dhabi sibling and see how the black cod tastes here. Bon appetite! Does the MKC need its own lunch? Not at all, we're not even halfway through the tank yet. That's what an Eco friendly engine does for you...
Right, it's time for a late lunch for us, and after all that driving, picture taking and gawping at the UAE's modern wonders, we're pretty hungry. Anyone got any recommendations for a tasty business lunch in Abu Dhabi?
The Aldar building has to be the most famous corporate HQ in the UAE. It's just awesome to look at, especially when you're this close to it. The MKC's sunroof is coming in handy again...
Well, as drives to Abu Dhabi go, that was a good one. Probably because it felt like we were sitting in one of the platinum screen seats at Dubai Mall's cinema rather than in a car. We haven't had time to stop for lunch yet, and we're hungry, but before we do, we need to swing by what is one of the most eye-catching buildings the whole country has to offer. It also happens to be the headquarters to one of the UAE's biggest property developers...
Goodbye Dubai, hello Abu Dhabi. We hope you've enjoyed following us so far as we travel across the UAE to the country's 10 modern architectural wonders in the brand new Lincoln MKC. The car has given us the perfect ride so far, and is still impressing us with its features and design. The Lane-Keeping System and Continuously Controlled Damping are really coming into their own now. We're not veering out of our lane without indicating on purpose of course, but when we have drifted, the steering wheel's vibration to alert us is very effective. And as anyone who drives this road often can imagine, the Continuously Controlled Damping is earning its keep right now. It really is an astonishingly smooth ride.
Phew. What a morning that was. Six wonders of the UAE done, four to go, and it's time to leave Dubai and head south to Abu Dhabi. It's not the most eye-catching of drives coming up so we can't promise you too many pictures, but it will give us a chance to experience some more of the MKC's features.
The towering residential buildings in Dubai Marina never cease to amaze us. They are as impressive as they are intimidating.
Our final stop now before we leave Dubai and head towards the UAE's capital. This time it isn't one specific building as such, more a gathering of jaw-dropping towers that never gets old to look at, from near or afar. Any ideas?
Blind spot monitoring is no longer a new tech for cars, but as with most advancements in motoring, it’s developed further each time a new car uses it. And let us tell you, the MKC’s Blind Spot Information System is head and shoulders above the rest. On Sheikh Zayed Road earlier, there was no crossover or lapse when a car disappeared from view behind us. These orange lights are a trusty companion.
The Atlantis hotel is so much more than your standard hotel, a bit like the MKC is so much more than your standard crossover vehicle.
So despite being a Tuesday, it was pretty busy at the Burj Al Arab, which gave us a perfect chance to use the car's Active Park Assist we mentioned earlier. Holy smokes it is good! We've never been afraid to parallel park ourselves, but if we owned this car we'd quite possibly use the Assist tech more than we'd care to admit. Next up is another colossal hotel that has become a renowned Dubai landmark. Had we attempted to drive to this place 10 years ago we would need a boat not a car to get there... does that give you a clue as to where we're going?
There was no way the Burj Al Arab wasn't going to make our sightseeing road trip. On a nice sunny day like this one, is there a finer sight in Dubai? Probably not, and it's improved with the MKC in the foreground don't you think? Had we mentioned the new MKC uses a 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine with all-wheel drive? No? Well, as you can see from the lettering on the rear of the car above, it does, and it's a fantastic engine. It's smooth as you like in low revs, but it's not afraid to give you some sharp torque when required. We're not surprised actually, as it's the same engine found in the new Ford Mustang.
Four sites down, six to go and that's Downtown Dubai done. We've still got three more architectural wonders to see before we leave Dubai and head to Abu Dhabi, but what's next? Well, as Dubai's famous landmarks go, this one is a bit of a seven star structure...
Turn around and voila, another architectural wonder of the UAE. The Gate Building featured in Hollywood' Mission Impossible III, and we can see why.
Emirates Towers may not be as young as some of its peers - in fact it's probably the oldest wonder we're visiting today - but it's architecture is still one of the most impressive, and if anything is still more futuristic and ahead of its time than others. A bit like the MKC then...
Onto the next one and we're visiting two modern wonders in one with the next drive. Two birds, one stone and all that...
No prizes for guessing what we've come to see here... We're really appreciating the MKC's full-length sunroof right now... Yes the iconic Burj Khalifa is our second stop, and we've spending most of our time looking upwards... You know that problem tourists have of fitting all of the 160 floors of the world's tallest building into a single photo? We're having that same problem...
So we've arrived at our first destination and it is none other than the colossal Meydan Racecourse. Unfortunately we don't have time to stop and watch any races, we've got nine other modern wonders to see. A shame really, they do a great breakfast on the terrace here... Our next destination won't come as a surprise; it's probably the most incredible piece of modern architecture in the whole of the Gulf. And leaving Meydan now, we can already see it in the distance...
We have the key to the car - keyless entry of course - have fuelled her up and input the coordinates into the sat nav for our first destination. Where are we heading? Let's just say we may encounter a horse race or two when we get there... First impressions of the car are that it's a humdinger; a sculpted beauty to look at and a tech-heavy beast on the inside. Something as simple as the gear selector panel (spot it in the image above) is as cool as a cucumber. Apparently this new MKC has - take a deep breath - a Lane-Keeping System, a Driver Alert System, a Collision Warning System, Blind Spot Monitoring, Continuously Controlled Damping and Active Park Assist, where the car parks itself! It's that last one we're most eager to try out later in the day.
If there's one thing we really love about the UAE, it's that its roads, landscapes and scattered towns make for an awesome road trip. A journey is only as good as the transport you take however, so as we embark on a road trip of the UAE's architectural triumphs today, we've secured ourselves a set of wheels that should make the journey a joy: the new Lincoln MKC. Join us on this live feed as we attempt to drive to a total of 10 modern wonders of the UAE, from Dubai to Abu Dhabi.