Lincoln MKR Concept

February 17, 2014
Lincoln MKR Concept

Lincoln MKR Concept

Lincoln MKR Concept

The interior of the Lincoln MKR Concept is notable for what isn’t there — mostly, too many buttons, the blight of the modern luxury car.

At rest, everything lies dark and dormant, but when activated, the instrument cluster lights up in sequence, a wood panel on the center console retracts to expose the navigation system, and the turn-signal and headlight stalks pop out from the steering-wheel spokes to provide access to the paddle-shift levers. Horbury says of this simplicity: “[We have a] fewer number of buttons doing more operations. If you don’t put excessive decoration on something, it tends to stand the test of time.”

The interior continues the symmetrical theme of the exterior, with wood trim that covers the dash, bisects the cabin as a floating center shelf, and continues back to form the rear parcel shelf. On the passenger side is a multifunctional screen that is meant to provide extra data from the navigation system. Rear passengers are offered little sensory stimulation, but they can take solace in the fact that there’s a lot more headroom and legroom than in a Mustang.

Although Lincoln calls the wood trim in the cabin “engineered oak,” we call it particle board — but we’ll both agree that it looks and feels good. The leather in the Lincoln MKR Concept is tanned without the use of chromium sulfate, which is environmentally unfriendly. Sure, it’s still leather, but the cows are raised and, uh, harvested humanely. Even the seat foam has an environmental hook: It’s made of soy instead of petroleum products. It’s all part of what Lincoln calls “guilt-free luxury,” or having your no-trans-fat cake and eating it. Some of this tree huggery could actually make its way into showrooms.

Lincoln MKR Concept interior

Lincoln MKR Concept interior

Which brings us to the tough question: Will Ford build it? Lincoln is saying as little as possible on that decision at the moment but does promise that elements like the large double grille will be here in the near future. The twin-turbo engine doesn’t seem too far out, either — it’s based on an existing architecture that would give Lincoln some much-needed differentiation from its Ford counterparts. But will we ever see the Lincoln MKR Concept on the street?

Only the product planners know for sure, but it seems that Lincoln (and Ford) can’t ignore the fact that most of its competitors have a rear-wheel-drive offering. Chrysler has the 300, and GM will have a whole slew of rear-drive vehicles in the near future in North America. If you look at the ease of platform sharing as opposed to producing new chassis architecture, and the admission from Ford that there is excess capacity at the Mustang plant, then the Lincoln MKR Concept seems like a no-brainer — especially if Lincoln can make a car that’s as stylish and sexy as a CLS for a lot less money.

Lincoln MKR Concept

Lincoln MKR Concept

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 4-door sedan


ENGINE TYPE: twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 213 cu in, 3496cc
Power (SAE net): 415 bhp @ 5750 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 400 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic with manumatic shifting

Wheelbase: 112.9 in
Length: 195.7 in
Width: 75.4 in
Height: 52.7 in
Curb weight: 4075 lb

Zero to 60 mph: 5.3 sec

To order your new Lincoln MKR Concept rival with a brand new Toyota Camry 3.5L V6 268hp engine for only US$20,000.

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