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Posts Tagged ‘Lincoln crossover’

Lincoln Launches into Compact Luxury CUV Segment with New MKC

Detroit maker hopes to get ahead of the curve in rapidly growing segment.

by on Jan.13, 2013

A concept for now, but expect to see the Lincoln MKC compact luxury crossover return in production form.

Once one of the leaders of the U.S. luxury market, Lincoln has been little more than an afterthought in recent years — but the Ford brand is hoping to regain its former glory with an aggressive product program and, with this week’s introduction of the new MKC, it is looking to get ahead of the curve, rather than lag behind.

While the compact crossover making its debut at the North American International Auto Show is officially described as a concept fans of the Lincoln MKC prototype won’t have to wait long to see a production version enter the line-up, one of four new models the maker has promised to introduce by 2014 – with an array of additional offerings to follow in the years beyond.

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The Lincoln MKC targets one of the market’s fastest-growing segments. Sales of compact crossovers have grown 200% over the past five years in the U.S. market, and 60% in just 2012, noted Matt VanDyke, Lincoln’s new marketing chief.  And where they account for about 11% of the overall American market they’ve surged to 25% of the luxury segment.

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Honda, Lincoln to Unveil Downsized Crossovers at Detroit Auto Show

Compact CUVs among the market’s fastest-growing niches.

by on Dec.11, 2012

Honda's Urban SUV Concept will reappear after a new assembly plant opens in Mexico.

Honda plans to unveil the Urban SUV Concept at next month’s Detroit Auto Show, a crossover that will be based on the Japanese maker’s subcompact Fit model.The North American International Auto Show, as it’s formally known, will be awash with downsized crossover-utility vehicles – including the long-rumored Lincoln MKC which will share some of its basic underpinnings with the small Ford Escape, albeit trimmed out for the luxury market.

Small cars, in general, are rapidly gaining ground as fuel prices nudge ever upward. According to Ford Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields, B- and C- segment models have jumped from 13% of the overall U.S. market to 20% since 2005. And the trend is expected to continue at an even faster pace.

 

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Nowhere is that expected to be more apparent than in the compact and subcompact crossover niches. Manufacturers are rapidly adding ever-smaller crossovers such as the Buick Encore and BMW X1, both in mainstream and upscale market segments.

Honda is offering little detail other than to describe the Urban SUV as “a global concept model combining a sporty and dynamic SUV profile with a spacious, functional interior.”

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Spy Shots: 2014 Lincoln Compact Crossover

Escape with a luxury touch?

by on Nov.01, 2012

Lincoln's new compact CUV ventures out with relatively little camouflage. Photo credit: Jim Dunne CAR SPY

Once one of the dominant luxury brands, Lincoln has slipped into near obscurity, in recent years, as it’s been passed by BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus as well as cross-town rival Cadillac.

Part of the problem has been a lack of a competitive product portfolio. But now, Ford Motor Co. seems intent on giving Lincoln what it needs with an assortment of offerings that will cover a lot more white space over the next few years.

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The turnaround effort gets seriously underway in 2013 with the launch of an all-new Lincoln MKZ and is followed by, among other critical additions, an all-new sport-utility vehicle — shown here.

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First Drive: Lincoln MKX

MKX is good, but it doesn't stand out compared to Ford Edge.

by on Sep.02, 2011

Lincoln's MKX crossover was refreshed for 2011.

Ford has gone on record to say that it knows its Lincoln brand needs to step up its game. So what’s wrong? This MKX crossover offers a good chance to examine some of the issues.

The MKX is the Lincoln version of the Ford Edge. Both vehicles were freshened for 2011 with mildly updated styling and small revisions to everything from the engine to the aerodynamic aids. But the biggest change was the addition of MyLincolnTouch, a new graphic user interface that works with Ford’s groundbreaking Sync voice control system.

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The MKX’s relationship to the Ford version is evident immediately. While some Lincolns, such as the MKZ and MKT, get unique shapes compared to their Ford counterparts, the MKX and Edge differ mostly in front and rear-end treatments. Other automakers – such as Toyota which builds its Highlander and Lexus RX350 on same platform, for example – do a better job differentiating their luxury vehicles from the garden-variety ones.

Lincoln has at least established a good start on the styling front. The split-wing grille design is unique, yet it also looks back on Lincoln history.

But beyond the special grille, Lincoln’s styling isn’t expressive or cohesive enough. The MKX literally looks like an Edge with the fancy grille and some extra bright work throughout the rest of the vehicle.

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