The slick and luxuriously trimmed MKC concept that Lincoln unveiled at the North American International Auto Show Monday showed lots of light interior colors and an airy large glass sunroof, yet showgoers and industry watchers expressed concern that the production-looking concept may look too much like the 2013 Ford Escape crossover introduced about a year ago, with which the new MKC concept shares a platform.
“Everything the customer touches,” said MKC chief exterior designer Murat Gueler, “is totally detached from anything else” Ford makes. “The front, rear, and side views are completely different.”
It was just a year ago that Ford made a promise to reduce the number of its car platforms — the industry’s way of describing a general size of a certain model line. Critics contend that making a Lincoln that shares a platform with a Ford will not appeal to buyers. Gueler, however, sees that not as a problem.
“The global C platform (that the MKC concept uses) has a lot of good aspects about it. There is an openness to it. Spaciousness comes from our new use of different materials and their light colors,” Gueler explained at the unveiling of the MKC concept.
The MKC concept took about one year to design, with dozens of Ford designers’ idea sketches vying for favor within the company’s design ranks. In concept form, it seats four people, instead of five passengers that the Escape can carry.
“We need to step-by-step build out the Lincoln model line, to reinvent the brand,” Gueler admitted, and although he wouldn’t reveal which Lincoln model he expected to be introduced next, Ford’s Executive Vice President of Marketing for Lincoln Jim Farley told an auto show audience that within the next four years there will be four new Lincoln designs in addition to the MKC.