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Thanks to the 1961 Continental, one of the first things many car fans imagine when they hear "classic Lincoln" is suicide doors. Therefore it's only logical we'd come to expect them on any signature Lincoln show car. The 2002 Continental concept had them, and so did the 2003 Navicross concept. So why did Ford decide to leave them off the striking MKR concept? Automotive News quotes the MKR's exterior designer, Xitij Mistry, saying conventional doors were used on the concept because they're easier to put into production. Hmmm. That's interesting. Does this mean the MKR is a shoo-in for production? Could be. "I love it, love it, love it. To me, it almost looks like a production car, and that was a bit of a surprise. It's real, and that's a good thing," said Pat Schiavone, director of the design team at the beginning of the MRK project.

One more interesting design note on the MKR after the jump.

[Source: Automotive News]

Another interesting note out of Automotive News' talk with the MKR's designer team concerns the car's front seat interior door handles. It seems the cars' interior designer, Jason Baldas, went through dozens of different sketches, none of which pleased the bosses. So one night Baldas broke protocol by sculpting his favorite sketch from clay. That did the trick and you can see here the elegant shape Baldas envisioned in one of his earliest drawings.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Design gets the car noticed on the lot and certain number of sales. Reliability (real and percieved) and utility make a car a hit.
      • 2 Years Ago
      th reverse door opening would be a signaturre statement!!! representing a boss's powerful design and makeup! quit letting the car customizers have fun destroying the manufacture's design !!! lets see the company grow and have fun with it!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Design isn't just about a bold skin. The attention to detail is what makes the difference--the seams, the gaps, the touch of the materials, the latches, the switchgear, the overall quality of execution. For whatever reasons (and legacy cost is probably the major one) the domestics still cheap-out on the details, even on the expensive models. And for Lincoln, it should be about engineering if they want to seriously compete with any near-luxury brand (Acura, Infiniti, Audi), not to mention BMW, Lexus or Mercedes.

      Compare the new Lincoln MKX crossover with the new Acura MDX. Pricing similar, but Acura way ahead on engineering, details, space efficiency, etc.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It's not design. It's not reliability. It's having what the other guy lacks. When the Japanese came over, the domestics lacked rock-solid reliability (outside of their pickup trucks, I guess). What Toyota and Honda (until recently) lack now is bold design. That's what worked for Nissan. That's what will work for the domestics. Look at what the 300 did for Chrysler.
      • 8 Years Ago
      That's a sweet looking ride.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I must disagree - I think design is exactly what the domestic companies are messing up - especially in the luxury niche! Lincoln is outsold by BMW, Audi, etc - the german designs are much nicer and worth the extra money. If lincoln produces a car like this, it might actually be a vehicle worth purchasing over its german counterparts, given the interior is of high quality and not the typical lincoln interior where they cover cheap ford interiors with low quality false leather.
      • 8 Years Ago
      you know, i really want the domestics to come back and kick the damn japanese out, but i just feel like they can't do anything right. they've got their priorities all wrong. ford, gm and dcx think that they have to come out with all these new, sharp designs and provocative models which catch everyone's eye when they're concepts.
      but what is it that makes the japanese do so well? it clearly isn't design! my 8 year old son puts more design into cars he draws on napkins than honda and toyota put into their cars. the rice-rockets can't compete in any level on design with any domestic or european manufacturer. no, it's not design. it's reliability (or rather, the illusion of it, since toyota has more recalls than any other manufacturer).
      why don't the domestics get it? Stop putting so much effort and resources into design. spend it on making a reliable car that will have good resale value 6 years from now. that's what will save the domestics.

      all that said...wow, that's a beuatiful car!
      • 8 Years Ago
      My take on no suicide doors is that this car will be based on the Fusion/Zepher, hense conventional doors. Check out the greenhouse, it is very similiar to the above twins. They will change the front and rear of the car to suggest the concept.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have to respectfully disagree with Che on this one-

      I think design is where the battle is at. GM and Ford have invested billions in their plants to improve quality, reliability and productivity. I know I may start a flame war here, but this investment has led to huge reliability gains, especially for GM, which really is number 2 in reliability now, behind Toyota products.

      I think the failure in GM and Ford has been in trying to chase Toyota and Honda in what they do best. They make great appliances with excellent reputations. You cannot out Maytag the Maytag. Why buy a G6 that has little design excitement when someone can buy another Accord? Even if the reliability is there in the G6, why should a Honda fan risk it? Ford and GM need to excel at what they CAN do best, which is to draw on their heritage and make great designs (no, not just retro, but draw on heritage like BMW does).

      People do not believe that GM is catching on reliability and quality, even though multiple sources say this has happened. By making great design, people will perceive it as quality and reliable. This leads me to another point. I think quality means different things to different people. I think quality means reliable to the general public, but it means good materials and nice fit and finish to the automotive press. Once the press starts talking quality based on good interiors and design, the public will see it as more reliable. Once they are drawn in with a good deign, the reliability gains GM and Ford has made will keep them.

      As far as the suicide doors go, I don’t think they are that practical. I have them on my truck. While is does improve access, they are not that accessible in a parking lot situation where you can’t get to the opening if both doors are open.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yeah, design is all good and stuff but it won't last if the cars aren't reliable. American car companies have yet to shake the "unreliable" stigma they have. New cars with new designs typically have 1st year problems. American car companies have to be hyper diligent in making sure these cars roll off the lines without any major defects. A big recall on a new car is catastrophic for a company that has had a history of design problems.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I suspect that the MKR does not have "Suicide Doors" because that are not as safe as standard doors and they reduce the structural integrity of the car because of the poor geometry of the center section. With regular doors you have a nice structural support pillar at the center of the car's side and this also improves side crash protection.

      That said - this car, the Lincoln MKR, is the most beautiful car I have ever seen.

      FoMoCo - I am first in line with my checkbook in hand. Please build it ASAP.

      Although I would prefer an all aluminum DOHC 5.0 4 valve "Cammer" instead of an overworked V6.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Che, I think they're trying to take the Altima route: push the design and looks and once you bring people in that way, push the quality up through the revisions.
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