After piquing our interest with a very successful concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, a Black Label edition this summer at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and months of waiting, Lincoln has finally revealed the production version of its new exclusive compact crossover, the 2015 Lincoln MKC.
We will be covering its design and features at length in the coming days but for now we’ll cover the highlights of this second model of Lincoln’s turn-around.
Following in the tracks of the 2013 MKZ luxury sedan, this new crossover shares its basic underpinnings with the plebeian Ford Escape but wraps them in unique sheet metal. Actually, it is arguably the most accomplished example of what Ford Motor Company executives called “top-hat design”, through which Lincolns were to offer unique body panels and packaging to completely differentiate them from the standard Ford line. First introduced in 2009-2010 with the MKS and MKT, this philosophy is now fully maturing under the guidance of designer Max Wolff.
As opposed to the Escape’s tortured lines, which follow the canons of mainstream brands such as Hyundai, the lines of the MKC are taut, bold and muscular, almost Germanic; indeed, it will certainly give the Audi Q3, BMW X3 and GLK a run for their money, even though its main competition will firstly be the Acura RDX, Lexus RX and to a certain extent segment sweethearts such as the Volkswagen Tiguan.
Under the hood, downsizing remains the rule but here it interestingly gets pushed further than in the MKZ sedan: base engine will be a 2.0L EcoBoost I-4, with an upgrade coming in the form of a new 2.3L variant delivering 275hp. For reference, the MKZ offers a 3.7L V6 with 300hp but the competition usually offers equivalent power if not in turbocharged I-4 form.
Finally, this new Lincoln raises the bar yet another level when it comes to craftsmanship and available features: to make the most of the common mechanical components, required by economies of scale across the Ford Motor Company, Lincoln is pushing luxury and attention to detail to a whole new level, in terms of materials inside, exterior trim and dealership services.
There will be a lot to say in a dedicated review but it’s safe to say that the philosophy behind the Black Label editions has been infused throughout the regular line-up, and we can expect that commitment to be confirmed with the approaching reveal of the next generation MKS, as well as regular updates to the MKZ.
It is, definitely, what a luxury crossover should be.
Photo credits: Lincoln Motor Company.