2020 Lincoln Corsair: Design, Engines & Everything Else We Know On MKC Replacement

Goodbye MKC, hello Corsair! Lincoln’s compact crossover is (reportedly) ditching the confusing three-letter, naming nomenclature in favor of something much more memorable. And following in the aviation-inspired footsteps of its larger Aviator sibling, it has a sleek all-new look.

However, will it help sales hit new heights for the blue oval’s luxury division? Let’s take an illustrative, pre-launch glimpse at what to expect from Lincoln’s smallest CUV offering.

Déjà Vu Styling

So at first glance, you could be fooled into thinking you are looking at just another Aviator. In fact, the silhouette, floating roof design and front-end could almost be a dead-ringer of the Corsair’s larger brother. Yet it is actually different.

The larger 2020 Lincoln Aviator

While smaller dimensions are the most obvious difference, the Corsair also has stubbier proportions, sleek LED headlamps, simpler lower frontal styling and an evolution of the clam-shell tailgate that debuted on the MKC. Its tapered roofline helps exude a sportier appearance compared to its bigger sibling too.

Sumptuous Accommodation

While the outgoing MKC had interior styling links to Ford’s more mundane offerings, the Corsair is expected to be a unique and luxurious affair. Following on from the aeronautical interior theme found in the Aviator, the cabin will feature vast swathes of real wood, chrome and quality leathers. On top of that, Black Label-specific design packages will push the luxury envelope further again.

Expect a similar touchscreen infotainment system as the Aviator

A large touch-screen with Sync 3 dominates the center dash, with slim line vents, piano key-like gear selector and heating and ventilation controls located below. Other tech goodies should include a customizable LCD instrument cluster, smartphone enabled lock/unlock access and Lincoln’s Co-Pilot360 suite of driver assists; including traffic jam assist, evasive steering aid, reverse braking aid, and active park assist.

Under The Hood

Powertrains will likely mirror those found in the new Ford Escape. These include a 2.0-litre Ecoboost four-cylinder pumping out 245 hp, a 2.3-litre turbo producing north of 285 hp and 2.5-litre plug-in hybrid option. Front-wheel drive will be standard, with all-wheel drive being optional. Power will be sent to the pavement via an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Like its Escape sibling, the Corsair will move away from the current C1 architecture that underpins the old MKC. It will ride an all-new global architecture which forms the basis for the all-new Focus (the one that isn’t coming to America). The new platform will aid in increased torsional stiffness, crash protection and interior packaging.

Luxurious Alternatives

The crossover boom shows no sign of abating, hence why Lincoln are going all-out across the board (although they’re yet to offer a smaller, Lexus UX rival). Still, will the Corsair appeal to those who would normally gravitate towards the European establishment? Time will tell.

There’s plenty of competition in the premium compact SUV segment

It’ll certainly have a tough fight against the likes of the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Cadillac XT5, Volvo XC60, Lexus RX, Acura RDX, Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Jaguar F-Pace.

Launch Timing

Prototypes have already been spotted wearing thing disguise, so we anticipate a reveal in the near future – possibly even as early as New York’s International Auto Show in April. Sales will likely start before year’s end as a MY2020 offering.

What are your thoughts on Lincoln’s MKC replacement? Share your views in the comments below.


Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes

  • Nordschleife

    See this was my concern. Based on the render and the spy shots I just don’t think the Navigator/Aviator style will translate successfully in this smaller package. I actually really like the current one I just hate the interior. I also don’t think the clamshell tailgate will look as good on this but I’ll reserve final judgement until release.

    • Mike anonymous

      I really like the rear end of the vehicle (and in my personal opinion its’ shaping up to be quite sexy). I am also very glad they kept the clamshell tailgate (which I am a fan of). But…


      … with that said. I completely agree. It’s not as though it looks bad at all, its’ just that it seems too much like the Aviator. Lincolns typically have a unique design to each of their vehicles simply sharing elements across the range. It simply seems a little bit too much like the Aviator in my personal opinion.

      I really wish they could have maybe incorporated more of the design elements that made the original MKC Concept had such as the curves and design lines, Giving us more of a radical new design from the brand (really to stretch the ‘legs’ we all know they have).


      I am also not sure how well the floating roof fits onto a smaller vehicle such as this (at least when its’ a ‘baby version’ of the Aviator). I think that the Floating Roof would work much better on a larger vehicle. If they did go the ‘floating roof’ way, then I think the MKC/Corsair should have been something along the lines of a LandRover RangeRover Evoque competitor, making it a bit sleeker and more ‘coupé-like’. Though taking a second look it seems as though the sloping roofing is going in that direction. (fun fact: the original MKC shares the same chassis with the 1st gen R-R Evoque).

      Overall Its’ not bad at all, but I was certainly expecting a little bit more from Lincoln. Maybe (hopefully) they’ve got something up their sleeve. Again I (as you do) will reserve judgement until the vehicles final release.

      • Nordschleife

        I love the clam-shell tailgate too but with how this is styled I feel like it won’t fit well into the overall style. Like you said, I feel the Aviator traits are too large for this vehicle and I feel this was Lincoln’s opportunity to injection some fun into the details. I don’t even like the stance of this vehicle.

      • MarketAndChurch

        Wow, I was really depressed about the new Corsair, but that side profile actually looks really good. I can live with the floating roof, but I agree entirely with you: I wish the front end brought something new to the table. The Aviator looks different from the Navigator, I was hoping they would give us a slightly different headlamp design or a slightly tweaked grille for the new Corsair, or as you mentioned, carried over a few design elements from the original MKC, but maybe make it look better on here. That being said, I’m now a little more optimistic for this than I was when I clicked on this post lol.

      • Bash

        Wait a sec. So Technically, we can get a 1st gen Evoque with much much less price. shouldn’t they sell it with that as a slogan. that alone could attract buyers i guess. they just have to somehow play with the word not to mentioned 1st gen.

        • Stephen G

          Amazing how those Land Rovers don’t hold their value! I wonder why?

  • dumblikeyou2

    How retro of you Lincoln to do the russian doll approach to your model range when all other manufacturers have moved on and are now trying to differentiate each model.

    • Rocket

      What ‘other’ manufacturers are you referring to?

      Volvo? Nope.
      BMW? Nope.
      Audi? Nope.
      Cadillac? Nope.

      Well, I think I made my point. The RDX does not resemble the MDX, but that will change when the MDX adopts Acura’s new styling language.

      • dumblikeyou2

        Hmm, maybe you’re right. I think what I meant to say is “yikes, that Lincoln looks like crap compared to the competition”.

        Thanks for clarifying that for me.

    • Cobrajet

      No there are not. The Russian doll approach works, it sells the brand better and makes the cars look better.

  • Mike anonymous

    I hope they show off a concept car first. I personally enjoy seeing the concept vehicles before they reach their final production phase in addition to letting their customers take a look and give some input into what they would like and not like to have by the time it reaches production,. a sort of ‘test the waters’ approach to vehicle production.

    As of late Lincoln had become increasingly great (especially with the first vehicle of their next generation line-up; The Aviator). I would love to see the great design continue at Lincoln.

  • charlotteharry57

    I have to admit, I’ve never heard of a clamshell tailgate on the MKC. My neighbor has one and to me, it looks just like any other hatch. I really like what Ford has done with this, but the front end sure looks just like the current MKC. They probably shouldn’t have redone the MKCs front end this year. The article has the engine bit incorrect. The Escape will have a 1.5L 3-cylinder (UGH!!!) Turbo standard, with the 2.0L Turbo as the larger option. No 2.3T on the Escape.

  • Tucker Fitties

    Is that Corsair image just a crappy photoshop or is the roof/windshield really that crooked?

  • SteersUright

    Overall, seems impressive, assuming the quality in the little details is finally there to match the germans (how doors close, knobs turn, etc). Engines seem rather weak, though, for something so big and heavy and I think 350hp would’ve been more appropriate for the bigger engine option. Also, the headlights just plain ruin an overall elegant design as they look like they were lifted directly from a Focus or other inexpensive product.

    • GreenPat

      Big and heavy? This is smaller than the Q5/X3/GLC. More the size of a Lexus NX. 350 hp would be nice for the top engine and the 2.3 twin turbo could come close. In the Mustang it is 310 hp and in the Focus RS it’s 350 hp. Not bad considering the NX is the #1 seller in this segment as it’s top end F-sport only has 235 hp.

  • JTL2017

    Isn’t the corsair supposed to compete with the xt4, xc40, q3, and many others in the sub-compact category? I could be wrong.

    • Rocket

      The current MKC is a tweener. Like the XT4, it’s a few inches longer than the XC40, X1, etc, but considerably shorter than the X3, Q5 and others in the class above. I don’t think specs have been published on the Corsair, but it won’t surprise me if it’s a little larger than its predecessor. The MKC’s back seat is pretty tight.

      • jtothada

        Well what did the MKX compete with?

        • Rocket

          The MKX/Nautilus competes directly with the XT5, as well as premium trims of the Murano, Edge and Passport. It’s the size of the GLE, but I suspect few are cross-shopping the two. Maybe the next generation if it follows the Aviator in the switch to RWD and upgraded materials.

        • Stephen G

          The Q5 competed with the MKX.

  • schnittz

    If the Q7 knock off (aviator) looks somewhat OK, it doesn’t mean that those design cues will work with other models. End result is fugly.

    • LJ

      You’re high if you think the Aviator looks anything like a Q7.

  • Justin Spencer

    Lincoln is definitely far more interesting these days than past years however I find it very hard to trust any Ford products.

  • ascariss

    Don’t think the roof on the right side should be that bright in those lighting conditions.

  • Roland Fairwater

    I agree.

  • Paul

    Yeah that floating roof like look is weird.

  • Paul

    I like it and I hope it does well for Lincoln.

  • MarkoS

    Its not Killer like the Aviator, but it works at least as well as the Navigator. Lincoln could be the one to watch.

  • ksegg

    I’ll be the one to say it now.

    After what feels like an eternity – I think Lincoln is finally back.

    As for Cadillac, they’re still very much lost in space.

  • Pissed Canuck

    At least Lincoln tries for some style in its redesigns. As for Cadillac, their latest entry (XT6) is a knockoff of the Honda Pilot.


      XT4 is a knockoff of the Volvo XC60

    • Liam Paul

      oh please, every lincoln suv looks like the other one, no originality, in other words, boring!

    • Ron

      Thats a very long stretch to say the Caddy looks like the Pilot. However, if you squint, almost all SUVS look practically alike.

  • MarketAndChurch

    I don’t like it. I feel like this was a lost opportunity for Lincoln but put the blame firmly on Ford’s cost-cutting efforts. I hope they prove me wrong next month. But I was looking at the profile of the new Escape, and was hoping for a serious Q5 competitor.

    • Stephen G

      See Nautilus

  • MarketAndChurch

    It’s ugly on here.

  • Harry_Wild

    I would like the Corsair to be sleeker then bulky looking exterior! There are tons of bulky looking luxury compacts on the make already like the Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLC!

    • Stephen G

      I think the MKC was targeted by the Q3. The Q5 targets MKX.

      • Harry_Wild

        MKX is the Nautilus?

  • J. Clark

    I’m surprised Lincoln chose the name Corsair. For those that don’t remember, it was the name of the second-highest model/ trim level of the 1958 Edsel. Kinda like Chevy naming their next new vehicle the Vega… 😉

    • Socarboy

      Millennials won’t know any different

    • SteersUright

      Also a very, very beautiful American WWII fighter plane.

  • Stephen G

    Don’t get your panties in a wad, this is only a rendering.

  • Dennis Scipio

    I still don’t like the front end of their newest models, it looks like a pig nose.

  • SteersUright

    The wheels and headlights are awful. They make an almost great design look too geriatric and mundane. No younger professional would ever find this hip, sexy, or appealing in the way they might even the newer Volvo SUV’s, and certainly the Germans. This is more of a Lexus RX competitor, and thats a shame. This Lincoln should have had properly awesome, huge wheels with great design as well as a more dramatic and imposing front graphic. Also, the side looks like the side of a dishwasher, just a slab of metal as opposed to looking muscular and bold. Lastly, its hugely underpowered, That said, I still think its a vast improvement over prior Lincolns.

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