The MKZ Concept presented at the 2012 Detroit Motor Show previews an upcoming production model and redefines Lincoln’s design direction.
The exterior design features a balanced body volume with a flowing silhouette that gently connects the roofline to the tail profile, giving a look that sits between the a three-box sedan and a pure hatchback.
The front end is characterized by a new interpretation of the trademark grille, which includes two wing-shaped elements that feature horizontal bars and integrate the headlights.
The car’s sides feature smooth surfaces and a sharp, arched character line that runs just below the high waist line, defining the car’s shoulders.
The interiorcontinues the “warm tones” theme with a taupe/cream scheme.
Among the main design elements are the modern dashboard, the partially floating center tunnel, the back-lit logo on the sill plate and the original storages integrated in the rear of the front seats. The leather seats feature a distinctive perforation pattern.
After the video we report selected information from the official press release.
Exterior Design“The MKZ Concept’s shape is a vision of simplicity completed with just a few strokes,” said Max Wolff, Lincoln design director.
“Our movement as a brand is toward something we call elegant simplicity. It’s something warmer and more restrained, which is moving away from complex designs and traditional luxury.”
Warm hues are evident in every aspect of the new vehicle’s Cognac-colored exterior. The deep finish is achieved with a rich base coat covered in multiple layers of tinted clear-coat finishes.
By retaining key, recognizable brand design elements, the MKZ Concept remains clearly identifiable as a Lincoln. One example is the reinterpretation of the split-wing grille, introduced on the 1938 Lincoln-Zephyr.
The sedan’s profile is dominated by a long, sleek and sweeping roofline that allows the design to break away from the traditional sedan three-box shape.
The lengthening of the roofline enables a more flowing, elegant and more naturally aerodynamic appearance.
A panoramic glass roof spans uninterrupted from the windshield to the top of the backlight. Integrated into the sedan’s aluminum and boron steel superstructure, the fixed-glass expanse extends to the side roof rails of the cabin, creating an airy, open interior.
LED technology enabled an extremely thin and distinctive full-width tail lamp graphic. Exhaust tips are cleanly integrated into the rear fascia.
Interior DesignThe Lincoln MKZ Concept’s four-seat interior is open, warm and inviting. “The front graphic is repeated in the dramatic sweep of the instrument panel, helping tie the interior to the exterior.”
“These flowing forms create a comfortable and functional interior that particularly appeals to the younger, more diverse customers we are targeting,” said Wolff.
Innovative interior features include push-button transmission gear selection, an open, tiered center console and liquid crystal instrumentation.
The reconfigurable 10.1-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) LCD positioned ahead of the driver operates with the latest version of MyLincoln TouchTMas does the nearly flush-mounted center 8-inch LCD touch screen.
Interior materials include poplar wood, aluminum in bright and satin finishes as well as leather.
Champagne-colored leather seats with dark taupe accents feature a champagne perforation pattern, so-called because the perforations on the seat backs conjure the image of champagne bubbles rising from the bottom of a glass.
Technical FeaturesThe Lincoln MKZ Concept is based on an all-new midsize platform, and can be equipped with multiple powertrain options in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations.
The Lincoln MKZ Concept features Lincoln Drive Control and the Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) adjustable suspension.
Lincoln’s designDuring the past 14 months, Lincoln has built a dedicated team – including designers, engineers, quality and manufacturing experts as well as marketing and sales leaders. The team includes people from luxury brands, some outside of automotive.
“This team wakes up every morning thinking about Lincoln – and only Lincoln,” Fields said. “These are the people committed to delivering world-class vehicles with a customer experience to match.”
Many of the new team members begin working this year in the all-new Lincoln Design Studio in Dearborn, Mich.
Under Wolff’s direction, construction of the 40,000-square-foot studio began in early 2011 and ultimately will house more than 180 modelers, engineers, stylists and designers in a space that encourages creativity and collaboration.
“This is the first time Lincoln has had its own studio since the 1970s,” said Wolff.
“Having our own space is critical to the continued development of the brand. We are passionate about creating beautiful, even seductive, vehicles – and the MKZ Concept marks just the beginning.”
“Lincoln is an important part of our company’s success,” said Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company president of The Americas.
“The luxury piece of the industry is significant. In any given year in the U.S., the luxury segment is 11 to 13 percent of overall sales, and it is important for us to win customers in the luxury market with strong new vehicles. That is a key reason we have invested so heavily in Lincoln.”