Fans of the Lincoln Motor Company have had little to rejoice over in recent years; however, slowly but surely, the brand is making good on its promise to reinvent itself. Attractively styled CUVs and mid-sized sedans have helped lure back buyers into the blue oval’s luxury division.
As part of its plan to turnaround its ailing luxury division, Ford may provide Lincoln with the all-new 2015 Mustang’s rear-wheel drive platform. Lincoln’s brand new MKZ and MKC show encouraging signs for the brand’s financial performance, but the company needs many more models to become a full-line luxury brand.
Since it reckons there’s still room, Lincoln will be trying to capture a part of the Chinese luxury sector – the American automaker just made its presence in the country official, promising buyers “an innovative ownership experience unlike any other.”
Ford is trying to make Lincoln a competitive luxury automaker and the new Black Label line is part of its plan to bring more kudos to the brand. Following in the footsteps of BMW Individual and Mercedes-Benz Designo, the Lincoln Black Label is, in the company's own words, “a collection of ultra-premium exterior and interior themes mated to an even higher level of personal services and experiences”.
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.
With its creator and owner George Barris making a specail appearance on stage to boost its appeal, the original 1966 Batmobile went on sale for the very first time at Saturday's Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
After a heated bidding war, the Batmobile sold for $4.2 million (about €3.15 million or £2.6 million at the current exchange rates), plus another $420,000 in fees, which brings the tally to $4.62 million (€3.47 million or £2.9 million), to car collector Rick Champagne from Arizona.
After keeping the original 1955 Lincoln Futura concept-based Batmobile from the 1966 television series in his personal collection for more than six decades, legendary customizer George Barris has decided it's time to let go of the iconic car offering it up for sale at this weekend's Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The famous bat car will cross the auction block alongside Barrett-Jackson’s 5000 Series on Saturday, January 19th from 5:00pm to 9:00pm.
It is anyone's guess how high bidders will value the original version of the 1966 Batmobile (Barris had also built a few more fiberglass clones during the 1960s, some of which were used in the series), but feel free to speculate by casting your vote in our online ballot, while you can also be more specific in our comments area.
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.
The compact luxury crossover segment, which has grown by nearly 60 percent in 2012 and more than 200 percent in the last four years, is one of them and Lincoln will compete with the MKC.
For as long as we can remember, Lincoln has been trying to reinvent itself, admittedly, without much success.
The company's latest efforts include appointing Max Wolff of former Cadillac fame as its head designer, the opening of a dedicated 40,000 square foot styling studio and let's not forget, the roll out of the new MKZ mid-size sedan.
It’s no secret that Lincoln has been struggling on many different levels over the past years - if not decades, with one of the more persisting problems being that the Blue Oval's sole luxury standard bearer has persistently failed to deliver in the design department.
The Ford group's answer to this problem was the appointment of former Cadillac exterior design Max Wolff as the head of Lincoln's design team last year and the creation of a new 40,000-square-foot dedicated studio in Dearborn, with the new MKZ being the first example of Lincoln's styling revitalization.
Moreover, Lincoln is also looking for young and emerging talents from colleges and universities by sponsoring projects. One of the more recent Lincoln backed concepts that caught our attention is the MKF from Brian Malczewski, an automotive design student at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.
At the 2012 Detroit Auto Show that comes to an end on Sunday, January 22, Lincoln put on display the MKZ Concept to preview both the looks of its soon to be launched mid-size sedan as well the brand's new styling direction.
But FoMoCo isn't the only one to present a design concept for a future Lincoln as the Lawrence Tech University had its own proposal in the form of a quarter-scale model for a pure-electric Continental for 2025.
The study for a luxury sedan model is the work of Lawrence Tech students Colin Bonathan and Jeeho Cha and it was endorsed by the Ford Motor Company.
It all started in the summer of 2011 when Bonathan and Cha came up with plans for a Lincoln concept as part of their undergraduate degree program in transportation design. The university said that Ford officials liked the concept so much that they commissioned the quarter-scale model for display at the Detroit event.
There's a reason why the crowds aren't allowed to touch most concepts and prototypes, let alone take them for a spin. With a few exceptions, these models are created purely for show and lack the painstaking attention to detail under the skin found on production vehicles.
But while a mishap is understandable and perhaps even excusable, it's also hugely embarrassing -no matter how small it is- when it happens to a vehicle like the Lincoln MKZ Concept with which Ford itself says it's not only introducing a new car but "essentially a new brand". Even more so when the incident occurs at the largest auto show in North America…
To make matters worse, Detroit's Free Press was on hand to film the smoke coming from the MKZ (or at least that's what it looks like in the video). Hop over the break to watch the clip.
The problematic luxury child of the Ford Motor group is trying to recuperate from years of neglect with a fresh concept model that not only previews the next MKZ mid-size sedan due in dealerships later this year but also serves as a vision of Lincoln's next-generation vehicles.
Of course, those of you that have been following the automotive industry will know that this is not the first time that Ford has attempted to rejuvenate its luxury brand. All the same, the Blue Oval claims that the MKZ Concept, which debuts at the 2012 Detroit Motor Show, marks a new era for Lincoln.
“With the Lincoln MKZ Concept, we are not introducing a new car. We are essentially introducing a new brand,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's vice president for global product development. “The MKZ Concept is the next step in the reinvention of Lincoln, something we’ve been quietly but aggressively pursuing.”
The same people that brought us an early glimpse of the 2013 Ford Fusion sedan over the weekend are further testing the Blue Oval's patience by dropping pictures of the Lincoln MKZ concept model ahead of its planned world premiere in Detroit on Tuesday morning.
The conceptual MKZ appears to be a little bit more study than what we were expecting given that its role is to preview the production model that will be unveiled withing the next year or so.
Whereas Ford will be revealing the production version of the 2013 Fusion sedan at the Detroit Auto Show on Monday, its premium brand Lincoln will debut a concept of the next generation MKZ sedan.
The current model is heavily based on the soon-to-be replaced Ford Fusion and that won't change with the new MKZ. What Lincolns promises, however, is that its lowest priced sedan will have a more unique design inside and out.
Another auto show another promise from Ford to reignite interest in its underperforming Lincoln brand. This time the place is the upcoming 2012 Detroit Motor Show and the product is a concept model that will preview the next generation of Lincoln's MKZ mid-size sedan.
Along with the new study, Ford says it plans to highlight the relaunch of its struggling luxury brand with a new display area at the Cobo Center in Detroit, which will be 50 percent larger than last year and feature an art gallery with art and decor by artist Chuck Hoberman.
If you're looking to add a Lincoln concept model to your collection, here's your chance as a total of five design studies from the past decade will be offered for sale by Ford Motor Company at the RM's Sports & Classics of Monterey auction on August 12th. The proceeds raised through the sale will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and The Children's Center, an organization that is based in Michigan, USA.
The five Lincoln concept models up for sale are the 2001 MK9 coupe; 2004 Aviator SUV; 2005 MKS sedan; 2003 Navicross coupe crossover and last but not least, the Mark X which was a hardtop-convertible proposal for Lincoln's version of the Ford Thunderbird.
Bear in mind that even though all cars except the Navicross have are drivable, none can be registered for highway use in the States. Follow the break for a short description (from RM) and pricing estimates for each concept model.
"Lincoln as a brand is continuing to attract younger customers to the showroom with products like the MKS, MKZ and the new MKT luxury crossover," said Amy Marentic, Ford North American Car and Crossovers group marketing manager. "These customers place huge importance on style, design and technology, and these are areas where Lincoln plays well. SEMA gives customizers the opportunity to push the boundaries of design, while still focusing on the core strengths of the Lincoln brand."
Lincoln's Project Car at this year's SEMA Show [From Press Release]
The Lincoln MKS Elite is a perfect example of what happens when you merge beauty and technology. Raceskinz is generous with the use of carbon fiber inside and out.
And with its high-powered LIIV entertainment system, Raceskinz makes sure its occupants stay connected to the world in style.
Luxury and high style abound in this flamboyant custom vehicle by Rick Bottom. The exterior has been shaved of its door handles, antenna and rear reflectors. A custom-made beltline molding in chrome further accents the body line.
Art and science combine for the striking paint treatment. Interior ambience is enhanced with two-toned leather and matching floating armrests. The audio system is powerful and tuned for ultimate sound quality, and the navigation system directs your travels.
The refinement and elegance of the 2010 Lincoln MKZ inspired this look by 3dCarbon, which adds a unique touch to Lincoln's American style.
It's a realistic and beautiful take on a new classic Lincoln car.
And yes, the front end styling does remind us of Renault's Vel Satis luxury model that was introduced in 2001 and is still under production.
This is not the first time that the Sentinel showcar has been listed for auction as back in April, O.C. Welch Ford Lincoln-Mercury in Hardeeville, South Carolina tried to sell the concept study for $80,000 without any success.
Mind you, the Sentinel is a static showpiece built on a rolling chassis without an engine and a proper interior.