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2013 Detroit Auto Show: Lincoln’s MKC concept is a less obviously rebadged Ford

The MKC, which debuts this week at the Detroit Auto Show, is a very different kind of vehicle for Lincoln. This is in no way a bad thing, as the brand has been circling the drain for the past several years, and many suspected that it would soon go the way of Mercury. Lincoln owners currently have an average age of 65, and are quite often buying Lincolns based mainly on the prestige the brand carried in years past. So, in an effort to bring in some new blood, Lincoln has hopped on the compact crossover bandwagon, a rapidly growing segment with a lot of potential. Sales of compact crossovers have increased by 200 percent over the past five years, and there is still no clear leader in the segment.

The MKC is built on the same platform as the Ford Escape and Focus, both solid and successful vehicles in their own segments. But unlike so many previous Lincolns, this isn’t a simple rebadging, and the MKC has a completely unique look, both inside and out. Well, it’s fairly unique, Car & Driver reports that the exterior was designed by Dillon Blanski, who is also responsible for the Ford Fusion, and some of the styling cues carry over. But since the Fusion is almost impossibly good-looking for a vehicle in its price range, we doubt anybody is going to complain. Helping to differentiate it from the Escape, the MKC uses Lincoln’s first clamshell rear hatch, which creates a very different profile.

The interior has roughly similar dimensions to the Escape, which is good thing, but unlike the Escape, it has a panoramic glass roof, which is a very good thing. The glass roof will probably be an option, but even without it, the overall fit and finish of the car suggests that it will be noticeably more expensive than the Ford. That’s good though, as it hopefully conveys how much was changed in order to make the Lincoln its own vehicle. There is no word yet on engine options, but we’d expect them to be similar to those found in the Ford, and will almost certainly include a hybrid option.