A Lincoln just doesn’t seem right without a keypad on the door, am I right? Thankfully they’ve decided to bring back the old system on the Lincoln MKS. And as Wired’s Autopia blog correctly remembered, it was exactly 28 years ago today that Ford introduced the keyless entry keypad system on the 1980 Thunderbird. Fitting.
It won’t be the obvious door-mounted buttons from your Grandpa’s Town Car though, the new SecuriCode keypad is seamlessly concealed, nearly invisible, inside the driver’s side B-pillar. The whole SecuriCode system includes not only the keypad, but also an Intelligent Access “smart key”.
The MKS keypad looks pretty slick, and it should prove to be well-made too, since the technology is all provided by Quantum Research, the same company that did the Apple iPod and iPhone touchscreens. The near-invisibility of the keypad is an important point to Ford, and project engineer Dalminder “Sonny” Minhas made a profound statement about it: “Making it totally invisible was impossible… besides, the customer needs to be able to find it to use it.” Indeed.
Still, we can’t overlook the fact the keypad got dropped from the ’98 Town Car. It caused riots in Boca, so Ford brought it back in ’99. If Grandpa forgot the combination (It’s 1-2-3-4. It’s always 1-2-3-4.) he could try 3,129 potential combination until the car beeped to life.
The keypad is an important bit of technology for some people. “Once you have it, you can’t live without it,” Minhas said. “We have internal data that shows that people have made a subsequent purchase based on if a vehicle offers the keyless entry pad or not.”