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click on image for full high-resolution gallery with 25 pics

Thanks to the worst case of embargo breaking in the history of automotive journalism, you're all well aware that Lincoln will be showing the MKR Concept at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. You know about the MKR's signature Lincoln design cues, including the double-wing grille, thin taillamps and dynamic beltline, all of which we're assured will find their way on future production models. You also already know the MKR is powered by a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 that runs on ethanol E85 called the TwinForce engine. Based on the Mustang's platform, much like Ford's Interceptor Concept, the MKR is a rear-wheel drive, four-door coupe.

Lincoln, however, still had some material on the MKR up its sleeve, so we've got the brand's full press release after the jump, as well as an entire gallery full of high-resolution images that haven't been seen before. Enjoy, and Happy New Year!



PRESS RELEASE:

LINCOLN MKR CONCEPT FEATURES NEW DESIGN DIRECTION

  • Reinvigorating Lincoln: The Lincoln MKR concept is a dynamic premium four-door coupe that expresses Lincoln's future design strategy.
  • TwinForce™ Power: The all-new TwinForce™ engine in the Lincoln MKR concept marks the birth of an all-new engine family. The concept's 3.5-liter V-6 gasoline twin-turbo direct injection engine delivers 415 horsepower and 400 foot-pounds of torque – comparable to and better than some V-8 engines. It also runs on E-85 ethanol in the Lincoln MKR concept.
  • "Guilt-free" luxury: Materials including chrome-free leather and renewable resources such as a reengineered oak instrument panel, mohair carpet and soy seat foam provide the Lincoln MKR concept a premium look and feel that's also environmentally friendly.

DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 1, 2007 – Lincoln is pulling the wraps off a head-turning new concept car at the North American International Auto Show next week, signaling its design strategy for the next-generation of premium American vehicles and launching a new engine family.

The Lincoln MKR concept introduces a new design language of "elegant simplicity" on a four-door coupe that also features environmentally friendly amenities and fuel-saving technology, including its TwinForce™ engine.

The concept's 3.5-liter gasoline twin-turbocharged direct-injection V-6 performs comparably or better than V-8 engines, delivering 415 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque on renewable E-85 ethanol.

A New Era of Lincoln Design
The new design – created by a team led by Peter Horbury, executive director, Design, The Americas – showcases the visual elements that will influence a new generation of Lincoln products.

"We've reinterpreted the best of Lincoln designs over time, preserving the restraint and elegance synonymous with the brand," says Horbury. "The Lincoln MKR concept is sophisticated and modern, resembling an athlete – extremely strong and fit but looks elegant in a tuxedo.

"This romantic, sporting coupe should turn heads at the show. And, ultimately, this new design language will help lead us forward in the growing premium segment."

The Lincoln MKR concept features seven key exterior cues, which define modern Lincoln design:
  • Clean, uncluttered surfaces
  • Powerful, dynamic beltline
  • Chamfered surface running parallel to the beltline
  • Distinctive Lincoln bow-wave, double-wing grille opening
  • Thin, horizontal taillamps that run from one side to the other
  • Significant C-pillar smoothly transitioning into the cantilevered roof, and
  • Powerful cantrail/roofrail
  • Three or four of these design elements are likely to appear on future production Lincolns, including the concept's most dramatic feature: the double-wing grille inspired by the 1941 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet. The split grille is designed to resemble the bow of a boat cutting through the water, giving the oversize Lincoln star a proper home on which to stand proud.
The Lincoln MKR concept's four doors and body side remain characteristically clean. A button concealed in the chrome door trim springs open the four 'winged' doors, slightly inclined for additional sophistication and a touch of drama.

From the rear, the coupe concept is instantly recognizable as a Lincoln, thanks to full-width LED taillamps stretching from side to side.

From above, this Lincoln proudly showcases its brand heritage with a large structural Lincoln star that punctuates the glass roof spanning the top of the car.

Modern, 'Guilt-free' Luxury Touches
Inside, the Lincoln MKR concept defines a new direction for modern luxury, with ambient lighting and contrasting colors and materials that offer both a new look and philosophy for future Lincoln interiors.

"The concept's interior builds on the success of earlier Lincolns but stretches the boundaries even further," said Gordon Platto, chief designer of the Lincoln MKR concept. "This unique combination of materials gives the Lincoln MKR a rich interior but features the environmentally friendly amenities that luxury buyers expect in premium goods, including vehicles."

A black oak instrument panel engineered from recycled wood stretches from side to side and carries through to a twin-level floating center console that extends into the rear of the cabin.

This expansive 'T-shaped' panel houses the passenger information display system seamlessly disguised by the flush touch screen control surfaces and a navigation screen that can be concealed by a powered door.

The instrument cluster provides a jewelry-like focal point. Chrome-trimmed gauges illuminated with Ice Blue lighting can be easily viewed in harmony with the concave spoke steering wheel that includes retractable paddle shifters.

"Lighting is an important design element," Platto said. "We know customers are paying more attention to the lighting in their homes than ever before, and we wanted to leverage it to create even more ambiance and drama inside the concept."

Ice Blue lighting is carried throughout the high-contrast interior, emitting from the door panels, mohair-carpeted foot wells, seats, center console and perhaps most dramatically from the large Lincoln star above which is easily viewed from each of the Lincoln MKR concept's four seats.

Each soy-foam based seat stands alone, looking as if suspended in air, wrapped in a creamy cashmere leather made through a more environmentally friendly chromium-free process. Seatbacks are finished with high-gloss, ceramic-looking shells.

The concept also features the THX II Certified Car Audio System, Lincoln's signature audio system, which produces sound quality comparable to home theater systems.

Innovative TwinForce™ Powertrain
Under the Lincoln MKR's sculpted hood is the exquisitely detailed TwinForce engine, finished in chrome and accented in the cranberry red metallic paint that dresses the rest of the modern exterior.

This marks the birth of the new TwinForce engine family that will power production versions of a range of future Ford and Lincoln products.

TwinForce uses direct injection technology and turbocharging. These technologies are common in diesel engines but have only recently been combined together in gasoline engines.

The Lincoln MKR's engine also is flex fuel capable, providing the driver with the flexibility to switch back and forth between gasoline and E-85 ethanol. Combining the high octane found in E-85 or premium gasoline with TwinForce technology allows the MKR's V-6 to deliver 415 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque – an impressive 118 horsepower per liter.

To achieve this type of performance from a V-8 would require an engine displacement of 6.0-liter or larger, nearly double the size of the 3.5-liter in the Lincoln MKR. As a result of the smaller V-6, the Lincoln MKR concept delivers 15 percent better fuel economy than a V-8 with similar performance.

The concept's engine is mated to a six-speed transmission, and the concept features independent rear suspension for more refined road manners.

The car sits on 21-inch chrome aluminum wheels fitted with unique Michelin tires that feature the Lincoln star in its treads.

"The Lincoln MKR concept is important because it marks a new era for the brand," Horbury said. "This is a showcase of modern design that marries power, performance and, essentially, 'guilt-free' luxury."


The Team
The Lincoln MKR concept was developed by the following team members, led by J Mays, group vice president – Design, and chief creative officer:

Peter Horbury, executive director – Design, The Americas
Patrick Schiavone, director – Design, Truck (formerly responsible for developing NA cars)
Gordon Platto, chief designer
Dave Mahoney, exterior design manager
Xitij Mistry, exterior designer
Soo Kang, interior design manager
Jason Baldas, interior designer
James Kuo, interior designer
Jennifer Hewlett, Color and Materials designer
Andy Fulford, project manager


Lincoln MKR Concept Specifications

Powertrain
3.5-liter V-6 TwinForce engine
Chassis lengths
Overall length .......................195.7 in.
Wheelbase .............................112.9 in.
Overall width ..........................75.4 in.
Overall height at curb ..............52.7 in.

Track width
Front .......................................63.7 in.
Rear ........................................63.8 in.

Brakes
Brembo power 4-wheel disc with ABS and traction control Suspension
Front ............ MacPherson Struts and rear-facing L-shaped lower control arm and stabilizer bar
Rear .............Independent Rear Suspension

Headroom
Front .......................................37.8 in.
Second Row ............................36.9 in.

Legroom
Front .......................................42.7 in.
Second Row ............................33.7 in.
Luggage capacity ..............13.0 cu. ft.


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  • 29 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      With this kind of breathtaking car Ford's Lincoln Division certainly has the capability to but Mercedes, Lexus, BMW, Cadillac and everyone else in their rear view mirror. Only question is - will they build it as is? Does the new Ford management team have what it takes to allow this type of stunning product (along with the Ford Interceptor) to make the needed bold statement about the company's future?

      Eye grabbing cars that stir the passions have to lead the way. Go for it Ford. Get back in the game. Make us proud!
      • 8 Years Ago
      The concept is encouraging, in that it proves that Lincoln is no longer running away from its design heritage (think LS -- the ultimate luxo-anycar). I hope, however, that this concept isn't the last word.

      Perhaps the concept’s most controversial aspect is its split waterfall grille, which is supposedly taken from the 1941 Continental. I'm uneasy about that direction for two reasons: the execution is rather cartoonish (too fat and gaudy, particularly in comparison to the subtle elegance of the '41), and the reference is so obscure in Lincoln history that it may look to most people like a rip-off of Pontiac or Imperial.

      The concept's best feature may be the C pillar, which artfully manages to integrate the currently fashionable semi-fastback look with a hint of the traditional Continental limo profile.

      The rest of the car isn’t bad, but it strikes me as too derivative. The front wheel arches reek of Mercedes, and the side markings recall Cadillac. Meanwhile, the anonymous-looking taillights undercut what otherwise is the best effort yet to update the classic “Continental spare” look.

      What’s with those super-sized logos plastered all over the car? This makes some sense as a brand-wide design theme given the number of Lincoln models that are badge engineered. However, aside from the trunk logo, whose size has a historical rationale, the rest recall McDonald’s rather than luxury car.

      Finally, could Lincoln please acknowledge that the switch to alphabet soup names was a bad move? Bring back the Continental!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Concepts are interesting distractions but in Ford's case it amounts to little more than daydreaming. This and the Interceptor will appeal to some and leave others cold. My experience with Ford products in the real world of the present here-and-now is that they are not very good when compared to the competition. Convince me you can build something worthwhile today and I might believe you can do it tomorrow. To get excited about this pair of concepts is the same as getting excited about Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Stunning. One of the most beautiful cars ever. Evokes passion - has a stance and a presence. Looks ready to pounce on something even when standing still. Love the use of lines and curves to define the surfaces and the transitions using light to augment them.

      Please build this Ford! I'm saving up to own one. Can't wait to see the looks on the faces of Lexi owners who think they are all that and a bag of cow chips.
      paul
      • 8 Years Ago
      an amazing design from ford! too bad they won't build it!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think the scenic windshield is clever, although the seats look a tad out of place, as does the center console, mysteriously creeping all the way to the rear of the vehicle.
      • 8 Years Ago
      If Lincoln would actually start producing cars that actually had this kind of awe-inspiring design, they might make truly make it back in the race. Growing up, I always wanted to have a Lincoln as my family bought them for generations; however, these days, I don't see anything on the market that would impassion me. Word to Ford: Make a Lincoln for those of us in our 30s and actually put it out there to be sold. You might be surprised. And remember, our style is not our father's/mother's.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Generally, this is a fine concept car, especially the twin turbo to compete with BMW. However, ever since the movie cars, concepts have unusually large grills that look cartoonish, and this is the most offensive.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Precisely the kind of stunning car that Lincoln needs to get back in the game big time!

      The MKR is simply beautiful, breathtaking, and original yet celebrating the Lincoln tradition, pays homage to the Marques storied past. Build it now! Offer the high tech TwinForce V6 as base power and the all aluminum DOHC 5.0 4 valve "Cammer" as an option.

      Great Job Lincoln - go for it. This car would bring a whole lot of people into Lincoln Mercury showrooms.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "We have the balls to come up with stunning concepts, but for the real cars, you get warmed up Ford Expeditions and Mazda6 based sedans.", some people commented.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Post #15, how silly to say that such a non-angular car looks like a brick. Get some new glasses. And you can take your BMW's and Mercedes and Lexuses and put 'em where the sun don't shine along with your arrogant attitude. I'm an American and I drive American cars and frankly I don't care if the quality isn't quite as high. Lincoln, build this beast and do it within 2 years.
      • 8 Years Ago
      not to crazy about the panoramic roof, the grille can be toned down or/and headlights enlarged. other than that the car is stunning.
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