The new Lincoln MKC might not be for everybody, but it sure is opening up a whole new market segment for local Lincoln dealers.
Lincoln’s new “cute ute” should start arriving in Pittsburgh area dealers this month, mostly for training purposes. But the public has already been clamoring for this new small premium sport utility, which comes out on the heels of Lincoln’s popular MKZ sedan. There’s no doubt that the MKC’s introduction marks another major step forward in the reinvention of the Lincoln brand.
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.
“Lincoln MKC is a perfect blend of inspired automotive design and dynamic driving performance in a segment that has grown in popularity in recent years,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president of Ford global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln. “As a challenger luxury brand, entering this segment is a natural next step for us. MKC will do more than just compete – it will change the way people think about Lincoln.”
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.
MKC comes standard with a 2.0-liter 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. When equipped with the all-new Lincoln exclusive 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, MKC offers 285 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 305 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,000 rpm.
This makes the Lincoln MKC an all-EcoBoost vehicle.
The MKC comes standard with front-wheel 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 Lincoln MKC is a unique creation from the ground up with an assortment of first-in-class features. Its ingeniously implemented wraparound liftgate is an excellent example of the convenience features offered in this diminutive sport utility.
“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.”
The luxurious interior embraces driver and passengers alike, and its new and innovative technology personalizes the MKC ownership experience. 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 plush cabin.
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 eight-inch touch screen. Knobs and buttons on the center console provide additional and easy access to control the air conditioning and sound system.
With MKC, Lincoln continues its move toward targeting a younger, more diverse customer. The brand is expected to roll out several more completely new luxury vehicles to meet its previously stated goal of introducing four completely new luxury vehicles by 2016. With the MKC, its second new vehicle, the brand is clearly on its way.