In recent years, Ford's luxury brand #Lincoln has slipped far below it's German, American and Japanese rivals. The company is in the middle of reinventing itself, and staging a comeback with new models in segments where it can establish itself quickly. One of the hottest segments right now is the luxury compact crossover market, and Lincoln has just the vehicle for that slot.
Earlier this year, the company launched the newly redesigned MKZ sedan, which is to be followed by the recently unveiled 2015 MKC premium compact crossover. The small crossover market is seen as more of an open field than the crowded premium sedan market.
The small premium crossover market is expected to grow from 204,472 units (estimated) in 2014 to 289,202 in 2015, leaving plenty of room for newcomers. The segment is currently dominated by Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLK, and Cadillac, Lexus and Porsche will be entering it soon.
The 2015 Lincoln MKC will hit showrooms in the second quarter of 2015. A Ford executive is predicting that the MKC "will change the way people think about Lincoln."
Concerned with it being dismissed as an Escape clone, the Lincoln product development team worked hard to differentiate the trucks, which share a platform. Lincoln now has it's own engineering tram and design studio to better meet the needs and expectations of it's luxury customers.
The #2015 Lincoln MKC is wider and lower than the Escape, with a lower centre of gravity. Seating positions have changed, and it's the first Ford to offer a new 2.3 litre EcoBoost 4 cylinder engine. While the numbers are not official yet, this engine is expected to generate 275 horses and 300 lb-ft of torque.
It also boasts a distinctive looking wraparound liftgate, which was seen in the MKC Concept seen at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. It offers a wide rear view and an airy feel.
One special feature is what Lincoln calls "welcome mats." As an owner approaches the vehicle, rectangles of light are created on the ground outside of the vehicle, via an electronic signal.
Designed for both the North American and Chinese markets, this compact cross is stuffed full of features including the MyLincoln Mobile app which allows owners to interact remotely with the vehicle through a modem embedded in the vehicle. It also features a push button gear shifting system and a unique instrument panel.
Starved for new product, Lincoln dealers are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the 2015 Lincoln MKC, and it's premium Black Label edition that will follow in August. U.S. pricing is expected to start at $33,995 plus shipping.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca