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It seems as if the two domestic luxury brands are engaging in a game of tit for tat. Yesterday, Cadillac revealed its new BMW 3-Series fighter, the ATS. Today, rival Lincoln took the spotlight, taking the wraps of this, the 2013 MKZ Concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
We’ve been hearing for months about Lincoln’s new focus, including the formation of an independent design group, with the task of making the brand’s vehicles look a lot more distinctive. Brand Design Head Max Wolff, calls the MKZ Concept “elegant simplicity,” with the objective of creating a car that embodies “warmth.”
Features such as a Cognac colored exterior, contrasting Champagne leather interior, accented with “responsibly harvested” Poplar wood are designed to accentuate this feeling of coziness, while the seats themselves feature perforations in the center, in order to give the impression of Champagne bubbles rising from a bottom of a glass.
So perhaps this car, is not only symbolic of a new design direction for Lincoln, but also emphasizing the brand’s new found freedom, via a rolling celebration.
High-tech interior embellishments include the latest version of MyLincoln Touch, accessed by a Thin Film Transistor Screen directly ahead of the driver, as well as a push button gear selection feature, said to become a signature touch of future Lincoln products.
Outwardly the MKZ employs a new take on the Lincoln split grille, that almost harks back to the 1938 Zephyr and more fluid lines that break away from the almost blocky look of the current MKZ sedan. Out back, full width LED taillamps and big bold chrome “Lincoln” lettering, plus exhaust tips integrated with the rear fascia are signature touches.
Yet most impressive, is the panaromic glass roof, a feature we can also expect to see more of on future Lincoln products, according to Wolff. The glass is actually integrated into the car’s structure, made from steel and boron and is designed to provide each occupant with a “personal,” open air experience.
And that basically sums up what Ford is trying to do with Lincoln, turning the marque into a true boutique brand, where the ownership experience is as intimate as the vehicles themselves. Will it work? Time only has that answer, but as other luxury brands, specifically Teutonic ones, seem bent on bigger and better, the strategy might just work.