Lincoln MKZ Concept revealed

Lincoln MKZ Concept 09.01.2012
Lincoln MKZ Concept 09.01.2012

The battered American luxury brand Lincoln has shown signs of a faint heartbeat with the unveiling of of the MKZ Concept at the Detroit Auto Show today.

The MKZ Concept, which strongly hints at the 2013 production model, is the first real development to emerge since Ford committed to invest $1 billion in Lincoln by 2014 in a bid to revive its troubled luxury brand.

Although the overall body silhouette has potential with a sweeping roofline that skews the typical sedan three-box shape, we wish they would stop using chrome wheels and find a new grille design. We can certainly appreciate the historical importance of the split-wing grille, introduced on the 1938 Lincoln-Zephyr, but it's time to move on and try somethig new. Other exterior features include a panoramic glass roof, LED full-width tail lamp and rear fascia integrated exhaust tips.

The interior on the other hand does a better job as the sweeping center console is quite striking. Overall, the atmosphere conveys craftsmaship and fine materials. Other interior features include 8-inch LCD touch screen, reconfigurable 10.1-inch TFT LCD instrument cluster and the latest version of MyLincoln Touch in-car communications and entertainment system.

The MKZ not only represents a preview of its next-generation vehicles, but also symbolizes the resurrection of the withering brand. As part of Ford's commitment, the company will launch new or updated versions of the MKS, MKX, MKT and Navigator. Additionally, Lincoln will gain a new entry-level sedan and, possibily, a small crossover.

"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."

The mid-size sedan arrives in dealerships later this year, but of course without some of the fancy design elements.


The new Lincoln MKZ Concept, revealed today at the North American International Auto Show, 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 MKZ Concept strongly hints at the production model arriving in dealerships later this year, 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.” (View a video highlighting the main design elements of the Lincoln MKZ Concept here.)

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 more refined interpretation of the split-wing grille, introduced on the 1938 Lincoln-Zephyr. (Click here for image.)

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. (Access Lincoln MKZ Concept specifications here.)

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. (Click here for gallery.)

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 Touch™ 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 EcoBoost™, the Lincoln MKZ Concept features Lincoln Drive Control and the sophisticated Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) adjustable suspension. (Click here for information on these Lincoln technologies and here for background on the Lane Keeping System, another feature integrated into the MKZ Concept.)

The Business of Lincoln

“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.”

During 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.”

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Comments (14)

JoeSalmassi JoeSalmassi
this is hilarious, this is NOT the 2014 MKZ concept, this is the 2014 MKS concept. MKZ new body style is already released. Its available in the 2013 model. Vehicle shown above is built on the Taurus frame as opposed to the MKZ built on the fusion frame. This vehicle is much greater in size than the MKZ.
Oct 8th, 2012 12:24am
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Automophile6683 Automophile6683
WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY THINKING? this is the ugliest lincoln i've ever seen. Built a sporty cruiser coupe'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!can i get a MK9/MKR V-8 full size coupe? PLEASE!!!
Mar 24th, 2012 12:45am
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benz_man benz_man
I love the perforations in the leather. lol
Jan 10th, 2012 6:43pm
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techie69 techie69
I don't think there is enough of it, perhaps new owners can take a fork and generate new ones!
Jan 10th, 2012 8:27pm
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techie69 techie69
Buick says build it guys! Nice repeat theme of the Fusion, let's not differentiate the center stack. Alas, Oldmobile Aurora has been ressurected, well at least from the back! Ahem, love what they call this, American luxury. Hyundai/Kia with their upstart into luxury segment are probably loosing sleep with is 1st cannon salvo from Lincoln! Oh yeaahh!
Jan 10th, 2012 5:07pm
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ValdesArtHouse ValdesArtHouse
Jan 10th, 2012 4:18pm
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Hamanoo Hamanoo
i like the car but interior resembles the ford fusion / mondeo :(
Jan 10th, 2012 3:42pm
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DUB160A4 DUB160A4
GORGEOUS inside and out!! Wonderful job, LINCOLN!!!!
Jan 10th, 2012 3:42pm
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techie69 techie69
A good Buick replacement, that's about it!
Jan 10th, 2012 3:25pm
1 0
kits kits
P.S. The trunk is a copy of Laguna Coupe, but the Renault looks much better, no offence. I wonder what is Renault wainting for to return on the American market. The quality of their cars is at least at the same level with the American ones if not much better, not to mention their engines, especially the diesel ones.
Jan 10th, 2012 2:14pm
-1 4
kits kits
I don't know... A hint of Renault Laguna 2's back. A little bit of Audi A7 also in the back, and a little bit of Volvo at the trunk area. Pretty nice copy, yet the rear end of the car doesn't seem quite right. It's a shame that American industry is not original anymore and has to copy like the new born automotive industries (see China). Still, compared to European cars, value for money ratio is much better in the USA.
Jan 10th, 2012 2:09pm
1 1
Finaly a.Lincoln with a nice looking.grill! The interior is very nice i like it. Build it as it is and its going to sell well
Jan 10th, 2012 1:53pm
1 1
it says SIRI US could that mean its got Siri onboard (like the iphone)
Jan 10th, 2012 1:48pm
0 2
il_tifosi il_tifosi
Not bad. Not bad at all! Good job Linc!!
Jan 10th, 2012 1:06pm
1 1