New Lincoln MCK Compact Crossover May Launch as Early as Next Year

On Monday, Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln division will unveil its MKC Concept model at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The automaker hasn’t said when the production model will arrive in showrooms but there is speculation that it could be launched as early as early 2014.

The MKC Concept is Lincoln’s entry into the compact luxury crossover segment which grew by 60 percent last year, and is intended to compete against other luxury models including the Audi Q5, Range Rover Evoque and BMW X3.

Lincoln’s Director of Global Marketing, Matt VanDyke thinks the compact luxury crossover segment holds great promise for the automaker. VanDyke says, “It’s something we can get into and get a strong toehold.”

The MKC is at the heart of Lincoln’s attempt to remake its image and revive sales among younger buyers. Last year, Lincoln’s U.S. sales fell by four percent.

The average Lincoln customer is 65 years of age and has an annual income of about $100,000. The MKC and new MKZ represent Lincoln’s attempt to woo what it calls the “progressive luxury customer” who average 57 years of age, with an annual income over $150,000.

The new MKC features a raked rear liftgate, dominated by a LED tail lamp which traverses the width of the vehicle’s rear.  MKC exterior designer Murat Gueler says the new design “eliminates the traditional vertical cutline on the rear seen on utilities.” The MKC’s front end features the “split-wing” grille first seen on the MKZ.

Other similarities to the MKZ include a panoramic sunroof push-button gear selector which has been relocated to the left of the right of the instrument panel, giving the center console a spacious, airy feel. The center console extends from the front of the vehicle to the rear cargo area. MKC interior design chief Soo Kang said, “We don’t want to have a loud, noisy interior. We wanted quiet.”

The MKC utilizes Ford’s C platform which it shares with the Focus sedan and 2013 Escape crossover. Lincoln’s redesigned “star lattice” logo is embossed on the seats and floor mats of the MKC Concept model and is expected to be carried over to the production model.

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