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Lincoln MKT concept

Mon, 14 Jan 2008 00:00:00 -0800

By Liz Turner

First Official Pictures

14 January 2008 17:27

Ford’s Geordie design boss, Peter Horbury is working hard to return long-neglected Lincoln from a brand driven by old ladies with poodles to the kind of luxury car presidents might ride (or get assassinated) in. The T in MKT stands for Touring, and he says: ‘When I think of touring, I imagine long journeys in extreme comfort.’

So passengers sit in seats inspired by the first-class cabin of an aircraft, surrounded by fine wood, leather and silk. It’s guilt-free luxury, though. The lightweight resin body panels, energy absorbing materials and wire bundles are made of 85 percent recycled plastic bottles and other polyester waste, the wood is reconstituted oak, and the engine is a 3.5-litre direct-injection petrol V6, one of Ford’s new efficient Ecoboost family of engines. This will deliver 415bhp and 400lb ft of torque, so drivers shouldn’t miss the usual V8.

The concept has just four seats, but it’s based on the Flex platform, and if it went into production it could seat up to seven. The rear wears a distinctive bustle to take all the luggage its pampered passengers would take on their trip.

Advanced LED technology allows infotainment controls to be projected in 3D onto the curved surface of the console. Horbury reckons ‘users of the iPhone will feel quite at home.’

The MKT’s external styling features a number of the Lincoln design cues the design team have distilled from studies of classic vehicles, including simple, slab-like sides, chamfered edges, and bow-wave grille. It’s not easy to classify, however. Is it a saloon, a crossover, a CUV?

Group VP of global design J Mays says it’s another case of Ford experimenting with the CUV segment, as with the S-Max and the Flex. He says: ‘It takes a different point of view from other CUVs. It has the possibility of seven seats, but that’s the only thing that ties it back to a CUV or crossover.’

They say: Reaches a new level of responsible luxury
We say: Intriguing concept worthy of Lincoln heritage
Car verdict: 4/5

By Liz Turner