With the days of pegging the Lincoln Motor Company solely to chauffeured black sedans long behind us, the brand’s latest reveal begins another chapter in the American auto manufacturer’s motoring life.
The cloak came off the sporty new 2015 Lincoln MKC small premium utility vehicle—the second of four new models that Lincoln plans to roll out over the course of four years—at a recent unveiling in New York. Geared towards younger drivers, the automobile is poised to enter a premium compact crossover market, with sales having risen 25 per cent since 2012, and more than 200 per cent since 2009. Indeed, the small premium utility segment is something that Lincoln chief engineer Lisa Drake is passionate about. In New York, she described the MKC’s impressive specifications and muscular proportions, pointing out the low sweeping roofline, which allows for a low centre of gravity, and a favourite design feature of hers, the signature Lincoln split-wing grille design and wraparound liftgate.
“We weren’t exactly sure how we were going to accomplish this,” Drake admits. “So, we developed it with hydroforming and used water to stamp the panels.” Max Wolff, director of Lincoln Design, concurs: “The execution of the new liftgate is a prime example of how a signature premium design element can create a better customer experience.”
Inside, the MKC’s highly-crafted interior has no shortage of storage space. Leather and hardwood details dominate as does a surround sound system featuring THX-distributed bass technology with subwoofers throughout for a better auditory experience. Lincoln’s 24/7 concierge allows the driver to speak to a real person—anytime, anywhere—at the press of a button.
Lincoln also introduces a new engine option with the MKC: a 2.3-litre EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder power plant, which produces 275 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque and also adds to the fuel efficiency. (The 2.0-litre EcoBoost, standard on MKC, generates 240 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 270 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm, according to preliminary test data.) A hands-free parking aide isn’t a new characteristic, which can guide the car into a parking spot, but the same help when guiding a driver out of a tight spot is a brand new option on the MKC.
The compact crossover is the first Lincoln to deliver another modern sign of the time: smart phone connectivity and a MyLincoln Mobile app. The techie tool can remotely check how much gas is in the tank, or can locate the vehicle, among many other tasks. There’s even an option to schedule automatic start-up times and remotely cool down, or heat up, the vehicle’s interior. Now, that’s hot.
The 2015 Lincoln MKC, which had its first road test recently at the Los Angeles Auto Show following its New York reveal, will be available next summer.