The Lincoln MKZ Concept, revealed at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, signals a significant step in Lincoln's reinvention, providing a clear vision of its next-generation vehicles.
"With the Lincoln MKZ Concept, we are not introducing a new car. We are essentially introducing a new brand," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford Motor Company group 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."
Lincoln MKZ Concept: Exterior
The Lincoln MKZ Concept strongly hints at the production model arriving in dealerships later in 2012, as well as Lincoln's design future.
"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 Lincoln MKZ Concept remains clearly identifiable as a Lincoln. One example is the more refined interpretation 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 taillamp graphic. Exhaust tips are cleanly integrated into the rear fascia.
Lincoln MKZ Concept: Interior
The 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 Touchâ„¢ as does the nearly flush-mounted center 8-inch LCD touch screen.
Responsibly harvested poplar wood, aluminum in bright and satin finishes as well as leather help create a sculptural, luxurious and comfortable interior space. 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.
Lincoln MKZ Concept: Engineering
The Lincoln MKZ Concept is a styling study that rides on an all-new midsize platform. The sedan is capable of utilizing multiple powertrain options in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations.
Like the recently introduced MKS and MKT with EcoBoostâ„¢, the Lincoln MKZ Concept features Lincoln Drive Control and the sophisticated Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) adjustable suspension.