2015 Lin­coln MKC pro­vides fresh choice for small pre­mium util­ity cus­tomers

The Washington Times Daily - - Auto -

con­cept ve­hi­cle at the 2013 North Amer­i­can In­ter­na­tional Auto Show in Detroit – rep­re­sents a crit­i­cal mile­stone in the com­pany’s plan to ex­pand its lineup.

Ar­riv­ing on the heels of the all-new and suc­cess­ful 2013 Lin­coln MKZ sedan, MKC be­comes the sec­ond new ve­hi­cle in the brand’s plans to in­tro­duce four new lux­ury ve­hi­cles by 2016.

MKC gives Lin­coln a com­pelling of­fer­ing in the small pre­mium util­ity ve­hi­cle seg­ment, the fastest-grow­ing part of the lux­ury mar­ket. The seg­ment has grown by 25 per­cent since 2012 and by more than 200 per­cent since 2009. The seg­ment growth is be­ing driven by new lux­ury buy­ers who are com­ing into af­flu­ence, as well as by cur­rent lux­ury own­ers who are mov­ing from larger ve­hi­cles to smaller ones as their life de­sires change.

With MKC, Lin­coln con­tin­ues its move to­ward tar­get­ing a younger, more di­verse cus­tomer. The ve­hi­cle also po­si­tions Lin­coln to res­onate with driv­ers in de­sir­able mar­kets on the East and West coasts. De­signed to In­spire In­side and Out The Lin­coln de­sign team faced the dual chal­lenge of cre­at­ing a stand­out ve­hi­cle in a com­pet­i­tive field, while fur­ther re­fin­ing the Lin­coln de­sign DNA that started with the 2013 MKZ. From its sig­na­ture split-wing grille to its uniquely crafted, hands-free wrap­around lift­gate, the Lin­coln DNA is ev­i­dent.

“Our de­sign team worked tire­lessly to cre­ate a ve­hi­cle that at­tracts new cus­tomers to the brand while meet­ing the ex­pec­ta­tions of long­time Lin­coln driv­ers,” said Max Wolff, di­rec­tor, Lin­coln De­sign. “The ex­e­cu­tion of the new lift­gate is a prime ex­am­ple of how a pre­mium de­sign el­e­ment can cre­ate a bet­ter cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence.”

MKC presents a sleek, sculpted body that helps it stand out among peers. Its high belt­line and low shoul­ders cre­ate a

sturdy, ath­letic pres­ence, while fea­tures such as soft ex­te­rior light­ing, pedestal side-view mir­rors and an avail­able panoramic, all-glass Vista Roof ® give the ve­hi­cle a lux­u­ri­ous, so­phis­ti­cated per­son­al­ity.

The unique de­sign also car­ries through to the in­te­rior, where crafts­man­ship and high-tech com­bine to of­fer a warm, lux­u­ri­ous en­vi­ron­ment. An ar­chi­tec­turally unique in­stru­ment panel show­cases Lin­coln’s sig­na­ture push-but­ton gear shifter, which pro­vides an open, invit­ing in­te­rior space. Plush leathers with French stitch­ing, and avail­able Bridge of Weir leather and real wood trim ac­cen­tu­ate MKC’s el­e­gance and grace.

“We gave at­ten­tion to ev­ery de­tail to con­vey a stylish, fash­ion-ori­ented ve­hi­cle,” said Soo Kang, Lin­coln in­te­rior de­sign chief. “Our use of col­ors, ma­te­ri­als, stitch­ing – ev­ery de­tail was con­sid­ered to cre­ate an over­all lux­u­ri­ous ex­pe­ri­ence.”

To be more con­sis­tent with the Lin­coln driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, an all­new Lin­coln steer­ing wheel de­buts on MKC and will be avail­able on all fu­ture Lin­coln ve­hi­cles. This highly tac­tile leather-wrapped wheel pro­vides bet­ter feel­ing and con­trol and puts the brand’s new de­sign DNA in the driver’s hands.

The en­hanced THX® II Cer­ti­fied Au­dio Sys­tem, an in­dus­try-first fea­tur­ing THX-dis­trib­uted bass tech­nol­ogy and 14 right-, center- and left-slot speaker as­sem­blies, is avail­able. The state- of-the-art au­dio sys­tem de­liv­ers a rich, im­mer­sive sur­round sound ex­pe­ri­ence that re­pro­duces mu­sic as it was mixed in the stu­dio.

SYNC® with MyLin­coln Touch™ en­ables driv­ers to per­son­al­ize MKC by us­ing voice-ac­ti­vated com­mands or sim­ple touch con­trols on the class-ex­clu­sive 8-inch touch screen. Knobs and but­tons on the center con­sole pro­vide ad­di­tional and easy ac­cess to con­trol the air con­di­tion­ing and sound sys­tem.

Lin­coln Lux­ury Meets Dy­namic Per­for­mance

When equipped with the all-new 2.3-liter Eco­Boost en­gine, MKC of­fers a pro­jected 275 horse­power at 5,500 rpm and 300 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,000 rpm, ac­cord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary test data. Class-ex­clu­sive Ac­tive Grille Shut­ters are de­signed to help im­prove MKC fuel ef­fi­ciency at high­way speeds.

MKC comes stan­dard with a 2.0liter Eco­Boost four-cylin­der tur­bocharged en­gine, pro­jected to pro­duce 240 horse­power at 5,500 rpm and 270 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,000 rpm, ac­cord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary test data. This makes Lin­coln MKC an all-Eco­Boost ve­hi­cle.

MKC comes stan­dard with fron­twheel drive and 18-inch wheels. Driv­ers can up­grade to Lin­coln’s In­tel­li­gent All-Wheel Drive and 19-inch wheels for en­hanced cor­ner­ing and han­dling and an even sportier look.

The In­tel­li­gent All-Wheel Drive sys­tem also in­cludes Con­tin­u­ously Con­trolled Damp­ing. Driv­ers can use Lin­coln Drive Con­trol to se­lect from sport, com­fort and nor­mal drive modes to cater to their driv­ing mood. CCD con­stantly mon­i­tors the road; the sus­pen­sion re­acts on av­er­age within 20 mil­lisec­onds, pro­vid­ing a smooth ride with en­hanced han­dling.

CCD also is avail­able in the stan­dard front-wheel drive con­fig­u­ra­tion of MKC.

“The width of MKC’s track has been set to al­low the de­sign­ers the free­dom to cre­ate a planted stance for the ve­hi­cle, and it pro­vided engi­neers the op­por­tu­nity to min­i­mize body roll and give the ve­hi­cle a more sporty feel,” said Lisa Drake, MKC chief engi­neer.

Tech­nol­ogy Pro­vides Pro­tec­tion, Con­fi­dence

MKC of­fers ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy such as col­li­sion warn­ing with brake sup­port, a Lane-Keep­ing Sys­tem and driver as­sist to help driv­ers avoid com­mon ac­ci­dents. The col­li­sion warn­ing sys­tem is de­signed to alert the driver if it de­tects a po­ten­tial front-end crash. The sys­tem is­sues an au­di­ble alert in the cabin, a vis­ual alert on the wind­shield and au­to­matic brake as­sist sen­si­tiv­ity.

MKC in­tro­duces avail­able park-out as­sist tech­nol­ogy, a class- ex­clu­sive fea­ture that en­hances the ve­hi­cle’s ac­tive park as­sist ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Where ac­tive park as­sist helps guide driv­ers into tight par­al­lel park­ing sit­u­a­tions, park- out as­sist steers driv­ers out of tight park­ing spots.

The ve­hi­cle’s Lane-Keep­ing Sys­tem uses rearview mir­ror-mounted cam­eras to iden­tify lane mark­ers and help driv­ers avoid un­in­ten­tion­ally stray­ing from their lane. Dash­board-mounted cam­eras mon­i­tor driver alert­ness. If the sys­tem de­tects a driver’s alert­ness level drop­ping be­low a given thresh­old, a warn­ing is is­sued via a chime and a pop-up mes­sage ap­pears on the left­hand clus­ter screen.

MKC also of­fers a stan­dard Blind Spot In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem, which con­tin­u­ously mon­i­tors the ve­hi­cle’s blind spots with radar sen­sors, and clas­sex­clu­sive cross-traf­fic alert, which de­tects traf­fic as the ve­hi­cle backs from a park­ing space.

Driver con­fi­dence and safety is fur­thered by the in­clu­sion of seven stan­dard airbags, in­clud­ing a clas­sex­clu­sive driver’s knee airbag. In pre­par­ing MKC for the road, the ve­hi­cle was sub­jected to 5,000 vir­tual and real-world crash tests and a va­ri­ety of con­di­tions.

Ex­pe­ri­ence Lin­coln’s Uniquely Warm Re­cep­tion

MKC will greet own­ers with ex­clu­sive Ap­proach De­tec­tion, which senses when an owner is near and re­sponds by il­lu­mi­nat­ing “wel­come mats” on the ground next to both front doors. Si­mul­ta­ne­ously, head­lamps, tail­lamps and door han­dles glow with soft light­ing tuned to com­ple­ment the ve­hi­cle’s ex­te­rior color.

MKC will be the first Lin­coln to have al­ways-on built-in con­nec­tiv­ity, al­low­ing own­ers to uti­lize a smart­phone app to con­trol the ve­hi­cle. With the MyLin­coln Mo­bile™ app, MKC own­ers can start, lock, un­lock and lo­cate the ve­hi­cle, as well as set in­te­rior tem­per­a­ture gauges.

Driv­ers also can use the app to place a call for road­side as­sis­tance, mon­i­tor the ve­hi­cle’s fuel level, check tire pres­sure and bat­tery sta­tus, and pro­gram en­gine start times to al­low the ve­hi­cle to heat or cool to com­fort­able lev­els.

Lin­coln MKC pro­duc­tion is slated to be­gin in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2014 at Louisville As­sem­bly Plant in Louisville, Ky. Ve­hi­cles are due in show­rooms next sum­mer.

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