It is not quite a secret anymore, the MKS is about to leave the stage and let the Continental represent Lincoln again in the full-size segment – after more than a decade of absence. And yet, it seems that the brand is not letting its current flagship wither on the vine! First of all, there are two new and stunning colours: a very trendy “Java” brown, and a bold “Bronze Fire” which was displayed at auto shows and looks absolutely beautiful (and also available on other Lincolns). But then there’s something more significant.
It was very discreet, and did not even make it in Lincoln’s 2015 model-year press release – as a matter of fact I just saw a 2015 in the street, and it immediately caught my eye. Indeed, the MKS received a new trunklid that brought it in line even more with the new design identity adopted with the release of the 2013 MKZ sedan: gone is the Lincoln star that was embedded since 2013 on the rear-view camera assembly, replaced with a tasteful chrome insert and Lincoln spelt out in bold lettering across the trunk. Here’s how it looked before:
And how it looks now:
The new design definitely lightens the visual weight of the trunk lid: before, the rear-view camera’s bulky assembly dragged the eye down and neutered the effect of the trunks horizontal sculpturing. The new design retains a subtle rear-view camera, introduces a scallop useful to lift the trunk, and most importantly draws your eye across the trunk. That way, you notice the small integrated spoiler, your eye follows the inner partition of the tail lights, and then comes around to follow the bumper and the chrome insert back the other way. If also works well with the rear diffuser insert.
This new way of identifying Lincolns from the rear is already built into all the other models released since 2013, and it was not clear why the MKS didn’t receive the same treatment – could it be because the rear-view camera then planned for the facelifted MKS required too big an assembly? With all the new models released since by Lincoln, we can maybe suspect that a new supplier was found for these cameras.
It reminds us of what Jaguar did in 2007 when it released the all-new and stunning XF sedan, when it comes to mixing and matching identification and the use of emblems around the car: the brand decided to have the traditional round “face” logo of the jaguar (the animal!) dead center in the front grille, and move the Leaper hood mascot on the trunklid.
When the XF was released, there was interestingly enough a lot of talk about whether or not the “new” Jaguar was forfeiting its identity and symbols and becoming too modern by ditching the hood ornaments and the usual emblem on the trunk. I remember reading that the designers at Jaguar felt that, on the contrary, the Leaper mascot was such a strong symbol that it would pay off more by being on the trunklid and allowing people to instantly identify a Jaguar as one when it passed them. With the XF’s facelift, the name “Jaguar” even disappeared from the trunk altogether.
For Lincoln, back then I remember reading too that some people felt the Lincoln star logo was a liability, after years of brand recognition being diminished with products deemed too close to equivalent Ford models. Hence the name being spelt out in bold and proud letters on the trunk, as it is now on the MKS.