Lincoln MKC Concept live photos: 2013 NAIAS

Recently re-introduced as The Lincoln Motor Company, the blue oval’s high-end division has long been the whipping boy of the luxury ranks as well as the internet auto enthusiast community. With products that have too closely resembled their platform mates, Lincoln’s sales have remained steadily low in comparison to their competitors.  Lincoln is intending for the MKC concept to change that situation.

As with almost all concept cars, its about the eye candy, and Lincoln’s designers have exercised their sweet tooth with pleasing results.   Utilizing the new MKZ sedan’s front styling cues, the MKC refines the look with added detailing that creates a flow starting at the bottom of the front bumper, drawing your eyes up through the grille and hood to the base of the windshield.

At the rear, the signature taillight design is accentuated by the unique ‘clamshell’ cutlines of the cargo hatch which wrap around the sides of the MKC’s haunches, eliminating the typical breaks in the horizontal flow of the taillights, adding visual width to the look and practical width to the opening. The bodysides are sculpted with a strong split shoulder line that lengthens the look of the small CUV in conjunction with blacked out rockers and lower valances that remove the perception of mass that most utes live with because of their basic proportions.  Large, 20 inch rims shrink the overall size even more.  The ‘hidden’ B-pillars allow for a frameless window design, further Escaping its platform roots.

The interior benefits from one of the external design cues, also.  Specifically, the detailing from the grille gets carried through the air vents and chromed cargo strips.  Other details include Lincoln’s push-button gear selector and the well received panoramic glass roof with the addition of dual chrome strips running the length of the roof which contain lighting elements, and embroidered ‘star’ design versions of the corporate emblem splashed about the panels.  I don’t know exactly what “reconstructed wood” is, but it gives a classic, vertical pinstripe suit look to the trim on the dash, door panels and steering wheel that they would be well served to include in other products in the lineup.

This concept represents more than just a new vehicle for Lincoln.  Hoping to lower the average age of their owners, it’s meant to be a precursor to a new experience for Lincoln’s clientele.  It starts with a product renaissance, MKC being the first of four new products intended for the most important segments, and a reinvention of the dealership experience to provide a more personal touch to attract what they call ‘cultural progressives, who are open to new ideas and experiences’.  It also represents a more global approach to the concept of the Lincoln Motor Company as a whole, with an expansion into the Chinese market slated for later in 2014.

I cant speak for those international customers Lincoln hopes to win over, but if they can transform this concept into a production vehicle with most of the artistic detailing and premium materials intact that give it such a ‘Wow’ factor and distance it from its cousin, they will have taken a good first step right here at home.

Photo Credit: Newspress

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