DETROIT, Jan. 10, 2012 – 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.”
Introduced at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the new MKZ Concept provides a strong hint at the direction Lincoln is taking with its next-generation MKZ midsize sedan and other future Lincoln models.
“The MKZ Concept’s shape is a vision 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.”
The new front end features a more refined interpretation of the traditional Lincoln integrated grille and lamp graphic. The horizontal bars are an elegant focal point.
A fine line of chrome defines the grille and lamp graphic. It runs in a single, uninterrupted stroke that pushes the boundaries of manufacturing to achieve an unparalleled level of craftsmanship.
The compact headlamps use multi-unit LED technology. At the rear, LED technology enables an extremely thin and distinctive full-width tail lamp graphic.
Panoramic Glass Roof
Tinted glass spans uninterrupted from the windshield to the top of the rear backlight. Integrated into the sedan’s structure, the full-width glass expanse creates an airy, open cabin.
The sleek, sweeping roof enables the design to break away from the traditional sedan three-box shape, lengthening the roofline for a more flowing, elegant and more naturally aerodynamic appearance.
Clean, Architectural Details
The side view reflects an intentional lack of extraneous trim and a vision of simplicity. Crafted details include the concept’s side mirrors that feature a prominent, structural pedestal design.
The array of handcrafted materials – not just wood, aluminum and leather – creates a warm, artistic, luxurious and visually inviting space. Accent and architectural ambient lighting elements paint the interior forms with light to set the tone. This increases the level and depth of the driver’s engagement with the Lincoln MKZ Concept.
The center console dramatically reaches the full length of the interior, creating a decidedly personal four-seat cabin. The console’s tiered design provides significantly more storage room and visual space than conventional solid designs.
The champagne colored leather seats with dark taupe accents feature a champagne pattern, so-called because the perforation pattern on the seat backs conjures images of champagne bubbles rising from the bottom of glass. Seats also feature a tuxedo stripe with raw edges to amplify the design’s clean lines.
The driver views a fully reconfigurable 10.1-inch TFT (thin film transistor) LED instrument panel that utilizes crisp graphics to display vehicle information. The Lincoln MKZ Concept utilizes the latest generation of SYNC ® and MyLincoln Touch™.
Utilizing a unique electric shift actuation, the Lincoln MKZ Concept uses lighted buttons instead of a conventional mechanical shifter to change transmission gears. The design helped reduce overall vehicle weight while allowing more freedom in designing the center console.
The instrument panel sweeps up and out to the sides, creating a sense of motion while maximizing the interior’s visual space. Engineers were able to physically maximize the interior’s space by reducing the actual volume of the instrument panel by 30 percent compared with the current production MKZ.
The 8-inch LCD interactive touch-screen monitor is nearly flush mounted so as not to disturb the rolling form of the center console. The forward presentation of the LCD intuitively engages the driver and helps eliminate visual clutter.
Lincoln MKZ Concept
2012 Lincoln MKZ
Overall length; in/mm
Overall width; in/mm
Overall height; in/mm
Sign in via these external providers to leave a comment: