Small luxury utility concept signals future Lincoln entry into industry’s
Detroit, MI – Lincoln yesterday introduced the MKC Concept, a vision of how Lincoln will enter the industry’s fastest-growing small luxury utility segment.
With nearly 60 percent growth in 2012 and more than 200 percent in the last four years, the small luxury utility segment has far eclipsed all other luxury segments. The opportunity is a key next step in Lincoln’s strategy to grow with four all-new vehicles targeted at the highest-growth segments over the next four years.
Lincoln is being reinvented in every way – from a complete new lineup of stunningly designed vehicles to how dealerships provide surprising personal client services and how drivers engage with their vehicles. The goal is to appeal to a new type of luxury clients considered cultural progressives, who are open to new ideas and experiences.
In current and future vehicles, these “Lincoln Experiences” will include a variety of distinctive features, such as push-button transmission engagement, programmable ride control, unique and diverse powertrains, personalized lighting, and a suite of customizable functions that are unique for each client as the vehicle instantly recognizes the operator and creates a personalized welcoming sequence.
Future Lincolns also will combine these unique experiences with the option of bespoke interior and exterior design appointments that aim to transcend typical luxury automotive standards, furthering the brand’s transformation. The MKC Concept explores many of these transformative ideas.
The MKC Concept builds on the foundation of the Lincoln Design DNA found in the new MKZ.
“The MKC Concept has a wonderful stance and sits beautifully on its wheels,” said Murat Gueler, MKC Concept lead exterior designer. “It has a sleek, sculpted body and wheel arches and elegant shoulders. The lines of the vehicle appear relatively simple on first look but with a second view reveal a dynamic three dimensionality.
“The Lincoln design team has done an outstanding job with the MKC Concept in communicating Lincoln’s design vision for reaching a new and discerning clientele.”
An uninterrupted, highly crafted rear-view appearance highlights the signature full-width taillamps. This is made possible by a liftgate design with a side-view cutline – a Lincoln first.The continuity also is apparent in the execution of the frameless windows, and in the signature split-wing grille.
The exterior of the concept is finished in cream-based white metallic tri-coat paint, 20-inch premium wheels with polished chrome rims, and a large fixed panoramic roof that runs the length of the vehicle.Interior design, colors and materials Lincoln designers took inspiration from high-end bespoke design, materials and execution to craft the four-passenger interior.“There is a significant upgrade in materials and a stylish, fashion-oriented package. The materials are combined with progressive combinations and uses of stitching and colours,” said Soo Kang, Lincoln interior design chief.
Just like MKZ, the MKC Concept features a distinct push-button gear shift selector. This enables a flowing, expressive and architectural centre console design. The headliner is wrapped with high-end material, the pillars are wrapped with premium leather. The seats also feature premium leather and include a unique embroidered Lincoln Star and crimson stitch accents.
The Lincoln Star lattice also is subtly placed on the MKC Concept’s floor mats to complement the lattice design in the speaker mesh, light fixtures and lug-nut covers.
The smooth leather also wraps the door trim uppers, armrests, bolsters, console side rails, instrument panel and cargo area.
“There is a rich softness to the exterior and interior palette of the MKC Concept,” said Susan Lampinen, group chief designer, Color & Material Design. “The leather-wrapped architecture complements the open-pore and designer hand-dyed woods.”
Other refined details include finishes like appliqués cut from layers of reconstructed natural wood infused with a metallic flake for a glistening effect on the steering wheel, upper instrument panel and door panels.
“The Lincoln MKC Concept is designed to strike a perfect balance between warm, inviting comfort and the engaging and superb dynamic qualities of performance, ride, handling and braking,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president of Global Marketing, Sales and Service and Lincoln. “This balance is focused toward a new luxury automotive client emerging in the marketplace – someone who recognizes a great vehicle and demands a balance between all-out performance and comfort.”