2008 Detroit Auto Show: Lincoln MKT Concept Preview
What it Is
Lincoln MKT Concept Preview – Detroit Auto Show: Lincoln bills the MKT Concept, which is built on the Ford Flex platform, as a luxury touring vehicle in crossover clothing. Power comes from the EcoBoost 3.5-liter, direct-injection, twin-turbo V-6, which feeds into a six-speed automatic transmission. The four-seater includes every current luxury feature and plus a few new tricks. Efficiency and recycled materials are part of the concept’s execution, and Lincoln showcases its new design language.Why it Matters
Lincoln can double its crossover offerings from one to two by producing the larger MKT. Americans are more inclined to buy some kind of SUV instead of the traditional large sedan that Lincoln, Cadillac and Buick were known for. The MKT would broaden the Lincoln range in the right direction.
What’s Under the Hood
The MKT gets the EcoBoost engine, which is being introduced in the Lincoln range on the MKS sedan next year. It’s a 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged, direct-injection V-6 that produces 340 horsepower and 340 lb.-ft. of torque. The automaker says they picked the engine for the concept because it’s light weight and efficiency.
What It Looks Like
The MKT is more modern looking than the MKX, a little less boxy and carries a few traits we’ve seen on other crossovers – large wheels under flared fenders and a muscular front end. The front grill is more stylish than the MKX’s, and the Lincoln emblem stands out more. In the back, a bustle rear end design was used to add cargo space. It’s one of those design features that people love or hate. The popularity of large expanses of glass in the roof is represented here and it’s larger than the MKX panoramic ceiling. Much of the “glass” is actually made of recycle materials, are all the body panels, energy absorbers and wire bundles. All of that in the name of more efficient manufacturing, shrinking the carbon footprint.
While the MKT’s instrument panel is a on the futuristic side with its touch-screen controls in the center stack, the LED gauge cluster looks like its ready for the road. Stylish front seats, while on pedestals in the concept, look like they could be replicated for a production version. The back seats are fully reclining, with extending thigh supports and a footrest that extends from below the passenger seat. The center console runs front to back, with audio and climate controls for rear-seat passengers. The overall design is the curvy style that’s the current rage among automakers.
What Lincoln Says
“We envisioned this concept as a modern grand tourer, really a Learjet of the road,” said Peter Horbury, Ford’s design guru for 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.”
What We Think
The MKT could have been Lincoln’s answer to the Buick Enclave/GMC Envoy. But with only four seats and a size more in keeping with something based on the MKS sedan, the concept doesn’t point in that direction. It could take over some of the duties of the Lincoln Town Car, but even with its bustle rear end it probably can’t handle as much luggage. With Volvo, Lincoln and the barely breathing Mercury the soon to be the only members of the Premier Auto Group at Ford, the Blue Oval needs Lincoln to be a luxury brand that differentiates itself from its Swedish sibling. The MKT would do that, continuing what the MKX began.
MyRide Road Test Editor
Photo Credit: Staff