- What it is: a compact luxury crossover from Lincoln based on the Ford Escape
- Why it’s important: the compact CUV space is the fastest-growing segment in the luxury car market, and Lincoln needs a competitor to grow
- When it will launch: Lincoln will begin delivering MKCs to dealers in the summer of 2014
- Where it is made: the compact crossover will be produced alongside its Ford platform mate at the Louisville Assembly Plant in Louisville, Kentucky
- Why it’s unique: new 2.3 liter EcoBoost engine, Approach Detection, and always-on connectivity
Feast your eyes on the all-new 2015 Lincoln MKC — a compact crossover with a brand new nameplate that serves as the second vehicle in the brand’s grand scheme to reinvent itself and its lineup by introducing four new luxury vehicles by 2016.
Based on Ford’s Global C vehicle architecture shared with the Ford Escape (Kuga), C-MAX, and Focus, the MKC is entering a crowded segment of compact crossovers that’s currently the turf of such stalwarts as the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLK, Audi Q5, and the Acura RDX. If successful, the MKC will increase sales volume at Ford’s struggling luxury arm, which lag top-tier competitors from Germany and Japan.
The design of the MKC follows Lincoln’s new design direction, with the new signature split-wing grille clearly prominent front and center. The body is sculpted, with prominent lines running all around the car, while a high beltline and low shoulders create a sturdy and athletic presence. A hands-free wraparound liftgate is touted by Lincoln as a significant design element. No matter where you look, the Lincoln DNA is evident in the MKC — and the entire package comes across as tasteful and agreeable.
Under the hood sits Ford’s 2.0 liter EcoBoost turbocharged four-banger making 240 horses and 270 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s the base engine. The optional powerplant is the all-new (and much-awaited) 2.3 liter EcoBoost mill offering a projected 275 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque. All-wheel-drive is optional, and includes Continuously Controlled damping, which monitors the road and the suspension reacts on average within 20 milliseconds, providing a smooth ride with enhanced handling. To note, CCD isn’t limited to AWD, as the technology is also available in front-wheel-drive MKCs. Drivers can use Lincoln Drive Control to select from sport, comfort and normal drive modes to cater to their driving mood.
On the inside, the MKC features a unique design that combines craftsmanship and high-technology to deliver a warm and luxurious environment. Located on the instrument panel, Lincoln’s signature push-button gear shifter provides an open center console. Plush leathers with French stitching, and available Bridge of Weir leather and real wood trim accentuate MKC’s elegance and grace.
The MKC features seven standard airbags, including a class-exclusive driver’s knee airbag, as well as a host of safety systems, including a lane-keeping system, collision warning system, class-exclusive park-out assist technology, lane-keeping system, and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS). Speaking of technology, MKC features a new and exclusive Approach Detection feature, which senses when an owner is near an responds by illuminating “welcome mats” on the ground next to both front doors. At the same time, headlamps, taillamps and door handles glow with soft lighting tuned to complement the vehicle’s exterior color. Now that’s rather unique and creative.
The MKC will also be the first Lincoln to have always-on built-in connectivity, allowing owners to use a smartphone app to control the vehicle. With the MyLincoln Mobile app (our wish has been granted!), MKC owners can start, lock, unlock and locate the vehicle, as well as schedule a remote start event for a set time.
Production of the Lincoln MKC is slated to begin in the second quarter of 2014 at Ford’s Louisville Assembly Plant in Louisville, Kentucky, with deliveries expected to begin in the summer of 2014.