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Ford Group - Lincoln MKZ Concept 2012

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DETROIT, Jan. 10, 2012 – The new Lincoln MKZ Concept, revealed at the North American International Auto Show, provides a clear vision of next-generation American luxury automobiles. The original concept car with flowing lines and nearly single volume shape was prepared in the brand new Lincoln Design Centre.

“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 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.” 

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.

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 aluminium 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.

 “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.
Responsibly harvested poplar wood, aluminium 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.

The Lincoln MKZ Concept is a styling study that rides on an all-new midsize platform. The sedan is capable of utilizing multiple power train options in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations.

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 “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, Michigan.
Under Wolff’s direction, construction of the 40,000-square-foot studio began in early 2011 and ultimately will house more than 180 modellers, 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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