Last year, Lincoln sales fell by 4 percent to 82,150 units in the U.S. despite the market posting a 13 percent increase compared to 2011. It’s obvious that Ford’s luxury car brand has a lot of work to do to catch up with its competitors.
The MKC Concept that will premiere at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit is part of that offensive that includes four all-new models aimed at the most popular segments in the next four years.
“We are reinventing Lincoln by focusing on the largest and fastest-growing segments of the luxury market, while offering clients something different”, said executive vice president of Lincoln’s global marketing, sales and services Jim Farley. “The just-introduced MKZ re-establishes Lincoln in the largest luxury segment and the MKC Concept highlights a key opportunity in the fastest-growing part of the luxury market.”
The new compact luxury SUV features Lincoln’s new split-grille, which was first seen in the 1930s Zephyr and reintroduced in the 2013 MKZ mid-size luxury sedan. Apart from that, its most striking features are the frameless doors, the panoramic roof with two steel bars running across its length and the clamshell tailgate that extends over the rear wings and offers a very large opening in the trunk.
In spite of being a concept, the cabin looks like it could be lifted straight from a production car and, apart from some elements like the leather-wrapped A-pillars and (we guess) the four-seat configuration it will most likely feature on the road-ready MKC.
“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 colors”, said Soo Kang, Lincoln interior design chief.
The MKC is the smallest car Lincoln has ever made, being 4,550 mm (179.3 in) long, 1,932 mm (76.1 in) wide and 1,607 mm (63.2 in) tall and sporting a 2,712 mm (106.9 in) wheelbase. This makes it longer and wider than the Ford Escape upon which it is based, at 4,524 mm (178.1 in) long and 1,839 mm (72.4 in) in wide and has a shorter (2,690 mm / 105.9 in) wheelbase.
An image gallery and a video of the new Lincoln MKC are available for your viewing pleasure right after the break.
By Andrew Tsaousis