We were admittedly bullish about the Lincoln MKC Concept when we introduced it to you yesterday, as we were taken aback by how cohesive the C-platform crossover is in the metal. As it turns out, so were you, dear reader. With hundreds of comments booked on our original Deep Dive story, the overwhelming temperature of the Autoblog Commenteriat is one of surprise and delight – quite an accomplishment for a marque that many had written off for dead. The reception here under the bright lights of the Detroit Auto Show appears to be no less positive, but we thought you might want a second, closer look afforded by these live photos.

Lincoln remains mum on production MKC drivetrain specifics (we're thinking it will start with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder out of its similarly sized Ford Escape relative, or maybe the midlevel 1.6-liter), but we shouldn't have to wait too long. The showcar is expected to closely mirror the production model (due as early as later this year), so much so that Ford global marketing boss Jim Farley explicitly told the press conference masses, "When you see the MKC, do not think concept." That's good news, as the MKC is pivotal to Lincoln's effort to rebuild awareness and consideration on the back of its MKZ sedan, a model just now going on sale. In fact, with the small crossover segment exploding, the MKC could very well turn out to be more important to the brand than the MKZ.

After seeing these new photos, are you more or less enamored with Lincoln's new concept? Leave a comment after voting in our poll below.

What do you think of the Lincoln MKC Concept?
It looks amazing, I'm impressed 6413 (39.2%)
It looks pretty good 5580 (34.1%)
It's alright 2334 (14.3%)
It's disappointing 851 (5.2%)
It's awful 1179 (7.2%)
Show full PR text
MKC Concept New Opportunity for Lincoln

> Lincoln MKC Concept debuts at 2013 North American International Auto
Show – Lincoln's first-ever small vehicle

> Small luxury utility concept signals future Lincoln entry into industry's
fastest-growing segment

> MKC Concept introduces the "Lincoln Experiences" suite of technology and
signature content to enhance the driving and ownership experience

DETROIT, Jan. 13, 2013 – Lincoln today introduces the MKC Concept, a vision of how Lincoln will enter the industry's fastest-growing small luxury utility segment.

With nearly 60 percent growth in 2012 and more than 200 percent in the last four years, the small luxury utility segment has far eclipsed all other luxury segments. The opportunity is a key next step in Lincoln's strategy to grow with four all-new vehicles targeted at the highest-growth segments over the next four years.

"We are reinventing Lincoln by focusing on the largest and fastest-growing segments of the luxury market, while offering clients something different," said Jim Farley, executive vice president of Global Marketing, Sales and Service and Lincoln. "The just-introduced MKZ re-establishes Lincoln in the largest luxury segment, and the MKC Concept highlights a key opportunity in the fastest-growing part of the luxury market."

This segment growth is being driven at both ends of the demographic spectrum. Many new buyers are coming into affluence and purchasing their first luxury vehicle. Others are moving from larger vehicles to smaller ones to simplify their lives. This growth includes China, where Lincoln will begin selling in the second half of 2014 through independent dealers.

Creating 'Lincoln Experiences'
Lincoln is being reinvented in every way – from a complete new lineup of stunningly designed vehicles to how dealerships provide surprising personal client services and how drivers engage with their vehicles. The goal is to appeal to a new type of luxury clients considered cultural progressives, who are open to new ideas and experiences.

In current and future vehicles, these "Lincoln Experiences" will include a variety of distinctive features, such as push-button transmission engagement, programmable ride control, unique and diverse powertrains, personalized lighting, and a suite of customizable functions that are unique for each client as the vehicle instantly recognizes the operator and creates a personalized welcoming sequence.

Future Lincolns also will combine these unique experiences with the option of stunning, bespoke interior and exterior design appointments that will transcend typical luxury automotive standards, furthering the brand's transformation. The MKC Concept explores many of these transformative ideas.

Exterior design
The MKC Concept builds on the foundation of the Lincoln Design DNA found in the new MKZ. These warm, open and inviting design cues are a core element of the brand's heritage.

"The MKC Concept has a wonderful stance and sits beautifully on its wheels," said Murat Gueler, MKC Concept lead exterior designer. "It has a sleek, sculpted body and wheel arches and elegant shoulders. The lines of the vehicle appear relatively simple on first look but with a second view reveal a dynamic three dimensionality.

"The Lincoln design team has done an outstanding job with the MKC Concept in communicating Lincoln's design vision for reaching a new and discerning clientele."

An uninterrupted, highly crafted rear-view appearance highlights the signature full-width taillamps. This is made possible by a liftgate design with a side-view cutline – a Lincoln first. It shows how the dedicated Lincoln design and engineering teams have worked together to deliver customer-focused solutions that not only elevate the appearance, but also provide maximum load capability.

"This approach eliminates the traditional vertical cutline on the rear seen on utilities, which in turn contributes to the athletic presence of the vehicle," Gueler said.

The continuity also is apparent in the execution of the frameless windows, which amplify the richness of the design, as does the signature split-wing grille. The exterior is augmented by warm, cream-based white metallic tri-coat paint, 20-inch premium wheels with polished chrome rims, and a large fixed panoramic roof that runs the length of the vehicle.

Interior design, colors and materials
High-end bespoke design, materials and execution inspire the four-passenger interior.

"There is a significant upgrade in materials and a stylish, fashion-oriented package. The materials are combined with progressive combinations and uses of stitching and colors," said Soo Kang, Lincoln interior design chief.

Just like MKZ – which sets the tone for the brand's thoughtful new approach to design – the MKC Concept features a distinct push-button gear shift selector. This enables a flowing, expressive and architectural center console design covered with riveting details, and unique colors and materials.

The headliner is wrapped with high-end material, providing a warm and luxurious feel. The pillars are wrapped with premium leather. The seats also feature premium leather and include a unique embroidered Lincoln Star and crimson stitch accents.

The Lincoln Star lattice also is subtly placed on the MKC Concept's floor mats to complement the lattice design in the speaker mesh, light fixtures and lug-nut covers.

The smooth leather also wraps the door trim uppers, armrests, bolsters, console side rails, instrument panel and cargo area.

"There is a rich softness to the exterior and interior palette of the MKC Concept," said Susan Lampinen, group chief designer, Color & Material Design. "The leather-wrapped architecture complements the open-pore and designer hand-dyed woods."

Other refined details include finishes like appliqués cut from layers of reconstructed natural wood infused with a metallic flake for a glistening effect on the steering wheel, upper instrument panel and door panels.

A true Lincoln
"The Lincoln MKC Concept is designed to strike a perfect balance between warm, inviting comfort and the engaging and superb dynamic qualities of performance, ride, handling and braking," said Farley. "This balance is focused toward a new luxury automotive client emerging in the marketplace – someone who recognizes a great vehicle and demands a balance between all-out performance and comfort."

About Lincoln
Lincoln is the luxury automotive brand of Ford Motor Company, committed to creating compelling vehicles with an exceptional ownership experience to match. Lincoln will introduce four all-new vehicles in the next four years. For more information about Lincoln, please visit media.lincoln.com or www.lincoln.com. Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/lincoln.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      The best looking SUV/CUV on the planet at the moment. Even if its just a concept. lol.
        • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Amazing in white of all colors. Imagine black or sangria. Great job LMC!!!!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Very nice work here, kudos to Max Wolff and his team!! Compared to the design direction that Lexus, Infinity and Acura have taken, this is far superior.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Beautiful car!!!! Now don't change a thing for the production model. I like the MKZ stayed tru to the concept so do it again for this!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Stunning. Keep 'em coming Lincoln.
      Travis C. Vasconcelo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Very good concept vehicle. Leave it as it is and it will sell. Dumb it down too much and it will be another "add chrome to it and make it upmarket" failure
      • 2 Years Ago
      and 636 toyota Rx owners think that it looks awful...the higher the toyota rx owner number the more credibility for the Lincoln...The RX looks like a dog turd stepped on by their owner compared to this.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just Beuatiful. Looks better than the MKZ.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I like it. The powertrains need to be sorted out. The 2.0L Ecoboost is a good starting point. Having driven the Escape with the 1.6L it would be a mistake to put it in this car. While sorting out powertrains Lincoln needs to do its Ford counterparts one up and include a large ecoboost 4 or a V6 to complete the luxury packaging like they did with the MKZ.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Or drop the MKZ hybrid drive option in here. You cannot get that on the Escape. It would be a nice option.
        • 2 Years Ago
        I agree.. anything less than the 2.0L eb would be a disaster.
      • 2 Years Ago
      This looks great even though I expected a far more chisled back end looking at the side profile of this vehicle. It's a whole lot better than their previous attempts either way. Kudos!
      • 2 Years Ago
      If this came out tomorrow I'd buy it. Good looking and American made. I've been impressed with Ford lately but not Lincoln. This could change my mind.
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is a mature and cohesive design. More important, it is the first Lincoln design fully executed under the brand's new design studio and under Max Wolff's direction (the MKZ was reportedly started before he arrived). That bodes well for the upcoming MKX and MKS redesigns, both of which need to be major departures from what they are now. The next question is what kind of unique engineering Ford is willing to provide for Lincoln. The upscale suspension and big sunroof are nice enough, but the whole experience--from interior materials to powertrain to ride and handling--need to feel special and completely distinct from what you can get at a Ford dealership. The MKZ is still only about 3/4 the way there in that regard. I realized that Ford is dead set against a RWD Lincoln, for reasons I cannot begin to fathom, but I think the company needs to offer serious high-performance options on a low-volume basis, as every major luxury competitor does. A hot-rod Lincoln option (hmmm...HRL sub-brand?) would so a lot to raise Lincoln's profile, and at a relatively modest cost.
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