Lincoln must be one of the most harshly critiqued brands in recent times; from the stigma of being too closely aligned to Ford's mainstream products to its polarizing design language. Either way, critics have been rather vocal about what direction the company should head - if any at all.
Criticisms should be squarely leveled at those PAG-era (Premier Auto Group) directors who thought acquiring European prestige brands would yield great benefits - of which never transpired. This meant Lincoln was left to flounder while resources were directed towards Volvo, Jaguar, Range Rover and Aston Martin. Today PAG is gone - dissected and sold off, which means Lincoln now has the Blue-Oval's full attention, resources and determination to see the brand prosper.
Spearheading this newfound vigor is the new MKZ mid-size luxury sedan; it's one of the first models to distance itself from Ford's siblings and makes for an unique design statement amongst the competition. At this stage, there is only a sedan offering, however what if there were enough demand for an MKZ Coupe? What form would it take, and how would it be positioned in the marketplace? Well I'd like to offer one illustrated option in form of this candy-red offering below.
Now, elegant as the regular MKZ sedan appears, it's received mixed feedback due to its low, twin-winged grill and narrow headlights. For this two-door study, particular attention has been focused on addressing those criticisms. For example, the front-end pays homage to Lincoln's more recent MKC crossover concept (revealed earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show), with its raised, broader frontal grill and wider headlights. While the hood retains its current proportions, the mid-section has been shortened to emphasize the coupe stance without resembling a land yacht.
Other changes to the mid-section are the scalloped, lower chrome sill insertions lifted from the MKC Concept and unique rear quarter glass. The latter has a raised kink before the chrome-work angles sharply back over the heavy C-Pillar - this has been incorporated to distinguish itself from its sedan stablemate and for a stronger emphasis towards the rear haunches. Rear-end changes have been kept fairly minimal with exception of an reshaped trunk lid and reworked tail lights, whilst the rear glass tapers further inward at the base of the C-Pillars.
Inside the already svelte MKZ cabin, attention would ideally be paid towards improving materials and ergonomics (cue a better MyLincoln Touch infotainment system) with special consideration targeted at rear seat passenger comfort and access. Primarily this proposal is strictly a 2+2 seat configuration, however the MKZ's CD4 base should allow for a third rear seat if there were a demand for it.
Power and drive-train options would carry over from the sedan; so cue the Ford family 2.0L GTDI I-4 EcoBoost, 3.7L TI-VCT V6 and for this study - the 3.5L V6 EcoBoost engine. These coupled to a 6-speed auto, powering through all four wheels would provide good road manners and stability. Of course, a front wheel drive alternative would also be an option for those who prefer understeering into the oblivion. Suspension upgrades would mimic the change in body configuration with adjustments to damper and roll-bar settings (hopefully to lessen the floaty ride found in the sedan).
Competition? Well in terms of local opponents, there is little on the market as of yet; however Cadillac are currently working on an ATS coupe variant which, while not a direct challenger, could serve as one of Lincoln's rivals. Of course there is also the Infiniti Q60 Coupe, Lexus IS (in development), and the established trio of german upmarket offerings from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. Any potential on sale date would be at least 2015 at the earliest with Lincoln yet to confirm this segment entrant.
What do you think? Has Lincoln re-established itself as a serious luxury car player to develop a coupe like my proposal; or should they work on getting the basic bread and butter models right before committing to a niche segment? Let us know your feedback in the comments section below.
By Josh ByrnesPhoto Renderings Copyright: Josh Byrnes / Carscoops