2013 Lincoln MKZ
2013 Lincoln MKZ. Click image to enlarge

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Lincoln Canada

Preview by Michel Deslauriers, photos by Michel Deslauriers and courtesy Lincoln Motor Company

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2013 Lincoln MKZ

The Lincoln brand has been stuck in a downward spiral for quite some time, and one might wonder what the future holds for what once was one of America’s most highly regarded car companies.

Apparently, there’s been a lot of head scratching within the halls of the Ford Motor Company, and it was ultimately decided that they would not let Lincoln die. In fact, now that Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin and Volvo have been unloaded and Mercury has been terminated, there are no more distractions and Ford can now focus on making Lincoln a true premium brand.

However, the brand’s renaissance will take time and will involve more than just a new corporate grille slapped on all its current products. A dedicated creative agency was opened last year in New York to work on Lincoln’s image, and they hired designer Max Wolff, who’s now in charge of the brand’s styling direction.

The 2013 Lincoln MKZ is the first all-new product under this new philosophy. In addition, three more products will be introduced through 2015 and will include a production version of the Lincoln MKC Concept crossover that was unveiled at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. However, new products are only part of the brand’s strategy.

“Turning Lincoln into a luxury brand will take time, and will not happen with one new vehicle,” says Jamie Rae, Lincoln Marketing Plans Manager in Canada. “There’s a long journey ahead, and the Canadian dealerships (about 90 across the country) are on board.” He knows there is skepticism, but the company is committed to Lincoln’s success, even if it takes years to get there.

2013 Lincoln MKZ2013 Lincoln MKZ2013 Lincoln MKZ2013 Lincoln MKZ
2013 Lincoln MKZ. Click image to enlarge

The ultimate goal is to make buying a Lincoln an experience that stretches beyond the vehicle shopping process. And to increase brand awareness, a number of initiatives will be put into practice, such as the Lincoln Date Night, which will consist of letting potential customers try out a Lincoln product for 24 to 48 hours bundled with a free night out on the town.

Expanding its customer base will require changes, and the folks at Lincoln hope their existing customers will stay on board and follow the journey with them. And that journey starts with the 2013 Lincoln MKZ mid-size sedan.

The new car shares the Ford Fusion’s platform once again, which isn’t a bad start. Compared to the outgoing MKZ, the 2013 model is bigger in every dimension including its wheelbase, and is almost as big as the MKS sedan.

Max Wolff’s vision is a breath of fresh air for Lincoln. Beyond the familiar face and spread-winged grille is an elegant sedan with shapely flanks and a short rear deck, and features LED lighting front and rear. The 2013 Lincoln MKZ’s bodywork isn’t revolutionary, but this is the brand’s most eye-catching vehicle in quite a while.

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