• Jan 14, 2008
click above for more high-res images of the Lincoln MKT

We first saw spy photos of the Lincoln MKT concept only a week ago, and it's now here as a concept at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. Based on the fact that a development mule was spotted already, you can ignore Lincoln when it says the MKT is a potential new vehicle for the brand. It is a new vehicle for the brand. The new premium CUV is believed to be based on the platform of the Ford Flex and follows the Explorer America concept in being powered by one of Ford's new EcoBoost engines. Like its sedan sibling, the MKS, this one gets a turbocharged 3.5L V6 that allows you to choose between either E85 or premium grade petroleum-based gasoline. The premium requirement is the result of the engine being optimized for the higher octane ratings of the biofuel. The upside is that output jumps from 340 hp/340 lb-ft to 415hp and 400 lb-ft. All of that twisting force is transmitted through a six-speed automatic transmission and distributed to all four wheels for propulsion. The voluminous interior of the MKT has also been optimized for comfort and luxury with only four seats allocated for passengers. If a production version with a third-row bench arrives, this looks like the likely candidate to replace all those Town Cars in livery fleets. The body work incorporates more of the new Lincoln design cues that first turned up on last year's MKR concept but were too late for the MKS. That body work is formed from "upcycled" plastics produced by Sabic Innovative Plastics, the same people who produced the materials used on the Chevy Volt and Hyundai Qarmaq concepts.

Follow the jump for Lincoln's official press release with more details than we can muster at this late hour, and check back later today for live shots of the MKT from the floor of the Detroit Auto Show.

[Source: Ford]



PRESS RELEASE:

LINCOLN UNVEILS ULTIMATE TOURING VEHICLE CONCEPT;
PREMIUM UTILITY FEATURES ELEGANCE, SPACE, EFFIENCY

• Growth opportunity: The Lincoln MKT concept shows a new potential vehicle for Lincoln, demonstrating the brand's new design language works as well on a spacious luxury utility vehicle as it does luxury sedans like the new 2009 Lincoln MKS.
• EcoBoost power: Ford's global solution for improving fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions for millions of customers – EcoBoost engine technology – powers Lincoln MKT.
• Responsible luxury: The Lincoln MKT concept reaches a new level of responsible luxury with the use of more environmentally friendly materials that offer a premium look and feel.

DETROIT, Jan. 14, 2008 – Lincoln today pulls the wraps off a new premium utility concept vehicle – unsurpassed in its balance of spaciousness, comfort and fuel efficiency – that shows customers a new way to tour in style.

The Lincoln MKT concept features a 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine with turbocharging and direct injection that produces the power and torque of a V-8 engine with the fuel efficiency of a V-6. EcoBoost – combined with advanced transmissions, electric power steering, weight reductions and aerodynamic improvements – is a key part of Ford Motor Company's vehicle sustainability strategy.

The company is introducing EcoBoost engines that will deliver up to 20 percent better fuel economy on half a million Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles annually in North America within the next five years. Ford will first introduce EcoBoost in the Lincoln MKS next year. The luxury sedan will feature a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6, delivering an estimated 340-horsepower and more than 340 lb.-ft. of torque on regular gas.

"EcoBoost engines can deliver better fuel economy and performance on a full range of vehicles, from small cars to large trucks," said Mark Fields, president of The Americas. "The Lincoln MKT concept offers the comfort of a luxury sedan, the spaciousness and flexibility of a full-size utility and the performance of a sporty roadster – executed with new technologies and materials that make it as environmentally friendly as it is elegant.

"The Lincoln MKT concept is understated but powerful – inside, outside and under the hood."

Premium Efficiency
The Lincoln MKT concept features an EcoBoost engine that's flex-fuel capable, providing the driver with the flexibility to switch back and forth between premium gasoline and E85 ethanol-gas blend. Burning these high-octane fuels, the MKT concept's V-6 engine delivers 415 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque – an impressive 118 horsepower per liter.

The concept's engine is mated to a six-speed transmission for greater fuel efficiency. Fuel efficiency also is helped by weight-saving, eco-friendly "upcycled" materials from SABIC Innovative Plastics.

Two upcycled plastic materials, Valox iQ and Xenoy iQ, were used in making the Lincoln MKT body panels, energy absorbers, wire bundles and glazing. The resins are made from discarded soft-drink bottles and other polyester waste, keeping them out of landfills, reducing energy consumption and shrinking the vehicle's overall carbon footprint.

Some applications of the resin help the vehicle resist heat and chemicals and also improve overall noise and vibration.

Spacious Elegance
Drivers and passengers alike will appreciate the Lincoln MKT concept's spaciousness – right down to the seats that mirror those found in first-class aircraft cabins. Four executive-sized chairs offer comfort and unprecedented leg room. As an added pleasure, second-row heated and cooled thigh supports deploy from under the seats, while footrests deploy rearward from the front seats, allowing passengers to fully recline.

"We envisioned this concept as a modern grand tourer, really a Learjet of the road," said Peter Horbury, executive director of Design, The Americas. "With the Lincoln MKT concept, you find a premium utility that could as easily accommodate a businessperson slipping into the back seat on the way to his or her next meeting in the chaos of Manhattan as a family packed up for a weekend getaway to the coast."

The vehicle's symmetrical interior design divides the cabin thoughtfully, providing all four passengers equal access to the vehicle's appointments.

Through the use of soothing tone-on-colors, eco-friendly materials, ambient lighting and flexible storage, the MKT concept offers customers a unique combination of serenity and connectivity.

Environmentally friendly details include the plush, hand-knotted rug made from banana silk that covers the floor and complements the contrasting Creamy Pearl chromium-free leather seats.

Elsewhere in the interior, chrome accents – including a one-piece sculpted door handle featuring a baroque-influenced graphic – mirror the elegant lines on the concept's exterior.

For the center stack, designers invented and patented a solid-state lighting technology that allows them to project onto a contoured surface in 3-D. Until now, all projection was limited to flat surfaces with square or rectangular boundaries like a flat-screen television.

This new technology allowed designers to use non-traditional shapes and spaces for information displays as well as unique storage spaces in the center stack.

The expansive instrument panel and twin-level center console, finished in a reconstituted oak veneer, houses an assortment of technologies, including an instrument cluster inspired by Swarovski crystals. It uses Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) strategically positioned so light appears to emanate from the center of three circular dials and radiate to the outer edge of the dials.

The MKT concept's center console, which runs the entire length of the vehicle to create a feeling of continuity between the upper and lower portion of the cabin, contains individual air vents, audio and climate controls, and personal storage.

In addition, a flat screen deploys from a floating overhead console which also hides two small cameras, each aimed at one of rear seats to provide on-screen "conference calling."

In the rear cargo area, a smart space behind the second-row seats provides additional storage. Designers also included a power lift system that raises and lowers a series of rails behind the rear seats to allow flat-load or compartmentalized storage.

Lincoln's timeless design on a whole new package
The Lincoln MKT concept features Lincoln's signature double-wing chrome grille, encapsulating LED headlamps that wrap around into the sculptured hood, lending the luxury utility a powerful presence.

Its elegant body side chamfer runs along the shoulder, with dynamic haunches over the rear wheel arches. Inset into each front fender and traveling through the door panels are chrome Lincoln stars with spears that add visual length to the car. Meanwhile, winged, curb-clearing doors give the car a dramatic sense of direction, agility and forward movement.

A substantial C-pillar creates an aura of privacy for the rear occupants. Like limousines, the MKT cuts an interesting profile – long, low and comfortably wide. The signature roofline runs the entire length of the greenhouse and remains uninterrupted. The roof itself is glass, allowing in natural light.

As an unconventional surprise, designers incorporated a bustle-back design into the concept. The classic look provides massive storage capacity, crucial for any trip.

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

The exterior is bathed in a rich Liquid Bronze Metallic paint that compliments the chrome brightwork. The intricate 21-inch, 14-spoke interlocking chrome aluminum wheels have body color accents.

"The Lincoln MKT concept represents harmony in motion, balancing sculptured shapes and contours traditionally associated with beautiful cars on a crossover vehicle that offers the luxury of space and efficient, powerful performance," Horbury said.

Specifications
Powertrain
Engine: 3.5L V6 EcoBoost
Horsepower: 415 HP @ 5750 RPM
Torque: 400 lb.ft. from 2000 to 5000 RPM
Transmission: 6-speed select-shift AWD

Chassis
Length: 208.4 in
Wheelbase: 120.7 in
Width: 78.7 in
Height: 63.9 in

Track Width
Front: 67.1 in
Rear: 67.0 in

Suspension
Independent Rear Suspension


Headroom
Front: 41.5 in
Second Row: 39.4 in

Legroom
Front: 42.0 in
Second Row: 44.0 in

Tire size
285/35/ZR21




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 31 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm just glad it doesn't look like the Flex. I do like the look of the front though. I can't wait to see if the rest of it looks as nice. Don't get me wrong it's definitely a hate it or love it kind of look. The only thing that matters is if the ones that love it, buy it, and they come in numbers. Even then that number doesn't have to get anywhere near 150,000.

      Trucks aren't racers and neither are civics
        • 7 Years Ago
        Forget what I said about right-size posturing of the platform. This thing is exactly one Navigator (non L) long, down to the tenth of an inch: 208.4". At least they say it has weight saving measures. As a concept, a giant first class cruiser is a surreal dream, but certainly they intend to nearly double the seat count, should something taking up this much real estate reach production.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You can see the rest of the images here. I'm not sure what happened above, but Autoblog seems to have left out the link to the gallery and the image goes no where, so follow this link instead:

        http://www.autoblog.com/photos/detroit-2008-lincoln-mkt-concept-2/575429/full/

        If Ford keeps cranking out vehicles like this, they're going to be sitting pretty very soon. The attention to interior detail, the right-size posturing of platform, and advanced EcoBoost powertrains show just how well they understand their target buyers. The functionality of the F-150 shows the same kind of understanding. The Verve, I'm a little less sure of. Its economy car frugality with larger car experience is right on the money, so the buyer doesn't feel like they are "settling for less car." The exterior look is a bit too swoopy though, and everything is a bit too stretched like an overdone face lift. But this Lincoln MKT looks quite the modern luxury chariot. I'm a GM guy, but a RWD MKR would look at home enough next to this in dealer showrooms to make me consider putting one in my garage.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ford is back folks. 415 HP and 400 TQ from a V6. (On Premium. Why the hell wouldn't you spend the extra .20 cents for 75 HP?)
      • 7 Years Ago
      WOW...can you say ugly... was this car designed by a family member of chris bangle?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm not normally a CUV person, but I kind of like this thing. With 415hp, AWD, four seats, and a Lincoln interior it sounds like it would be a lot of fun (though not necessarily fun on an Audi RS4 level, which also has about the same HP, AWD, and four seats; though I'm sure less weight and handles better).

      With that said, for me it would be more useful and comfortable than an RS4 because of it's much larger interior space and a tow rating over 3,500lbs. As long as it doesn't have an Audi RS4 price tag I think I would enjoy it.

      Any idea on what they curb weight on the this is? It doesn't weigh much more than the MKX, does it? 415hp is impressive, but only as long as it isn't pushing around 5,000+lbs.
      • 7 Years Ago
      After looking at all of the photos, I believe this vehicle can do for Lincoln what the Enclave did for Buick.

      Mulally, you are insane if you don't greenlight this vehicle!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I like the new styling push quite a bit. Ford's attempt to revitalize the brand's luxury accouterments will differentiate the "new" Lincoln from the past years' Ford-also-rans.

      This 'EcoBoost/TwinForce' business is interesting to me. They claim 20% better economy, while giving the option to use unleaded gasoline or E85. It remains to be seen how good it can be to make driving a 415hp monster a good economic and ecological choice.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Holy crap ... is Ford on an ugly kick this year or what? First the F-150, then the Verve (which is not that bad, but it'll get worse if they go to production; count on it), and now THIS?

      If they don't want anyone to know they're killing Lincoln off, they're sure having a hard time hiding it by rolling out this ... thing.
        • 7 Years Ago
        WOW! are u serious?!?
        I think this thing looks great!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't know, I think it looks kind of nice. Although I'll have to see more pictures/angles before making any decisions about its appearance.
      • 7 Years Ago
      After having seen all of the photos, I'm completely sold on this vehicle. I will buy my first "luxury" vehicle from Lincoln if the MKT comes to the dealer looking as it does in these pictures.

      It is beautiful! And the reclining back seats with leg and foot rests?! What?! This vehicle will firmly place Lincoln back among the best in the luxury segment.

      Watch out Caddy!
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is beautiful and will sell very well based on that alone. The interior is also gorgeous. Stay as true to the concept as much as possible and this is a sure winner, Ford!
      • 7 Years Ago
      ah and for the people that thought the Edsel and the Pacer were really nice looking cars we have, Taaa Daaa, the new Lincoln MKT. Be sure and catch it in the new "Robo Cop" movie coming to a theater near you.
      Art
      • 7 Years Ago
      Looks like an old train with a cattle pusher mounted to the front
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