First Look: Lincoln MKC Concept

Lincoln MKC Concept takes a drive down a runway at the Auto Show in Detroit

When Ford committed to ensuring the continuance of the Lincoln brand a few years ago, that promise came with more than just words. During last year’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Lincoln unveiled their new design philosophy in the form of the MKZ Concept. Today, we get our first look at the MKC, Lincoln’s first splash in the compact crossover market.

Lincoln MKC Concept takes a drive down a runway at the Auto Show in Detroit

A distinctive split-wing front grille, a signature Lincoln design cue since the famed Zephyr and Continental of the 1930s sets the tone for the MKC. The modernized take on this classic look sets the tone for an elegant compact crossover.

“The MKC Concept has a wonderful stance and sits beautifully on its wheels,” said Murat Gueler, MKC Concept lead exterior designer. “It has a sleek, sculpted body and wheel arches and elegant shoulders. The lines of the vehicle appear relatively simple on first look but with a second view reveal a dynamic three dimensionality. The Lincoln design team has done an outstanding job with the MKC Concept in communicating Lincoln’s design vision for reaching a new and discerning clientele.”

The clamshell rear liftgate is as beautiful as the front facia. An uninterrupted, highly crafted rear-view appearance highlights signature full-width tail lamps. This is made possible by a liftgate design with a side-view cutline –a first for Lincoln.

A luxury crossover utility wouldn’t be complete without a glass roof. Lincoln executes this beautifully with an unobstructed panoramic window to the sky that look more sky light than sun roof.

Look at it how you will, but the interior of the MKC is so elegant, that the only way to sum it is to call it a concept. The use of premium materials abound, along with plenty of chrome and wood jewellery. There is also an emphasis on subtle and some not-so-subtle integration of Lincoln branding throughout the cabin of the vehicle. From the Lincoln Star lattice themed speaker mesh, light fixtures to floor mats and branded illuminated scuff plates, branding has rarely looked so classy.

Ford CEO Allen Mulally promises us that despite how unfalteringly excellent the MKC looks as a concept; it is very much like the production model.

Ford CEO Allen Mulally talks about the new Lincoln MKC Concept at the 2013 North American International Auto Show

The small utility segment is the fastest growing luxury vehicle segment at the moment. With no clear front runner from any of the luxury auto marques, Lincoln is preparing itself for true and proper domination of this segment with the new MKC.

“We are reinventing Lincoln by focusing on the largest and fastest-growing segments of the luxury market, while offering clients something different,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president of Global Marketing, Sales and Service and Lincoln. “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.”

Standing on the show floor under flood lights at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the MKC looks phenomenal. Maybe it’s first look excitement, that’s got me singing such praise for the new Lincoln.

Photographs by Kanishka Sonnadara and Lincoln

Kanishka can be found on Twitter @autoKsS.

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