DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 1, 2007 – Lincoln is pulling the wraps off a head-turning new concept car at the North American International Auto Show next week, signaling its design strategy for the next-generation of premium American vehicles and launching a new engine family.
The Lincoln MKR concept introduces a new design language of elegant simplicity on a four-door coupe that also features environmentally friendly amenities and fuel-saving technology, including its TwinForce engine. The concept’s 3.5-liter gasoline twin-turbocharged direct-injection V-6 performs comparably or better than V-8 engines, delivering 415 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque on renewable E-85 ethanol.
The Lincoln MKR concept features seven key exterior cues, which define modern Lincoln design:
* Clean, uncluttered surfaces
* Powerful, dynamic beltline
* Chamfered surface running parallel to the beltline
* Distinctive Lincoln bow-wave, double-wing grille opening
* Thin, horizontal taillamps that run from one side to the other
* Significant C-pillar smoothly transitioning into the cantilevered roof, and
* Powerful cantrail/roofrail
Three or four of these design elements are likely to appear on future production Lincolns, including the concept’s most dramatic feature: the double-wing grille inspired by the 1941 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet. The split grille is designed to resemble the bow of a boat cutting through the water, giving the oversize Lincoln star a proper home on which to stand proud.
The Lincoln MKR concept’s four doors and body side remain characteristically clean. A button concealed in the chrome door trim springs open the four winged doors, slightly inclined for additional sophistication and a touch of drama. From the rear, the coupe concept is instantly recognizable as a Lincoln, thanks to full-width LED taillamps stretching from side to side. From above, this Lincoln proudly showcases its brand heritage with a large structural Lincoln star that punctuates the glass roof spanning the top of the car.
Inside, the Lincoln MKR concept defines a new direction for modern luxury, with ambient lighting and contrasting colors and materials that offer both a new look and philosophy for future Lincoln interiors. A black oak instrument panel engineered from recycled wood stretches from side to side and carries through to a twin-level floating center console that extends into the rear of the cabin. This expansive T-shaped panel houses the passenger information display system seamlessly disguised by the flush touch screen control surfaces and a navigation screen that can be concealed by a powered door.
The instrument cluster provides a jewelry-like focal point. Chrome-trimmed gauges illuminated with Ice Blue lighting can be easily viewed in harmony with the concave spoke steering wheel that includes retractable paddle shifters.
Ice Blue lighting is carried throughout the high-contrast interior, emitting from the door panels, mohair-carpeted foot wells, seats, center console and perhaps most dramatically from the large Lincoln star above which is easily viewed from each of the Lincoln MKR concepts four seats.
Each soy-foam based seat stands alone, looking as if suspended in air, wrapped in a creamy cashmere leather made through a more environmentally friendly chromium-free process. Seatbacks are finished with high-gloss, ceramic-looking shells.
under the Lincoln MKR’s sculpted hood is the exquisitely detailed TwinForce engine, finished in chrome and accented in the cranberry red metallic paint that dresses the rest of the modern exterior. This marks the birth of the new TwinForce engine family that will power production versions of a range of future Ford and Lincoln products.
TwinForce uses direct injection technology and turbocharging. These technologies are common in diesel engines but have only recently been combined together in gasoline engines. The concepts engine is mated to a six-speed transmission, and the concept features independent rear suspension for more refined road manners.
The car sits on 21-inch chrome aluminum wheels fitted with unique Michelin tires that feature the Lincoln star in its treads.