December 12, 2012  ·  design  ·  tech

Can the MKZ make Lincoln cool?

Ford's new Lincoln MKZ is very pretty, from the setting of the headlamps in its sweeping angular grille to the chiseled tail end. From a design standpoint it's a bold move forward and a striking contrast to the rest of the brand's model line, which is comprised of the (to say it politely) "unremarkable" MKS and three very dated-looking SUVs. More interesting, though, is the presentation of drive train options and how they're positioned relative to the competition—in a mid-sized luxury market of rear-wheel-drive V6 and V8s, the base MKZ is a front-wheel-drive turbo 4, and you have to think they'll sell plenty in that configuration. Equally intriguing: the 45 MPG hybrid starts at the same price as the base engine (about $36K). In short, both in the sheet metal and on paper it looks very little like the Infinitis and Cadillacs against whom it was clearly designed to compete.

It'd be nice to see this model do well and bring Lincoln the kind of "Classic American Brand" generational renewal enjoyed by Levi's, Timex, Woolrich et al.

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