Ford says Lincoln’s future models will not receive MKZ’s new grille

Article by Anita Panait, on April 19, 2012

Although Lincoln has called the new split grille that dons the 2013 Lincoln MKZ sedan as a major signifier of its what its design direction is for the future, Ford Motor Co.’s top designer says it should be not interpreted that the grille will be fitted on every new car or crossover. The 2013 MKZ carries split grille showcasing chrome horizontal bars intended to conjure spread wings of an eagle. 

J Mays, Ford's group vice president of design, clarified to Automotive News at the New York auto show that the company has not announced that every vehicle within the lineup will don the same grille bars. It should be noted that Lincoln carries a long history of giving its vehicles many different faces. Mays said the MKZ is only meant to signal a new generation of Lincolns, adding that the 2013 model will be the first of new Lincoln cars that would carry “a more innovative face.”

Mays, however, said the all future Lincoln cars will carry a similar shape of the grille apertures and adjacent headlights. Ford's group vice president of design remarked that outside perimeter of the headlamp and grille will be the main characteristics of the new Lincoln models, but clarified that they will not be using one grille texture. Lincoln’s previous models carry the vertical "waterfall grille" that features huge chrome bars.

But instead of attracting new customers, the look divided them. With the latest grille design being made to be much slimmer and more elegant than the previous one, Ford hopes to attract more buyers. The 2013 MKZ grille was the brainchild of Max Wolff, Lincoln's new design chief, who went over from General Motor’s Cadillac unit in 2010. Mays recalled that they already finished MKZ’s design when Wolff arrived. As soon as Wolff saw MKZ’s grille, he suggested changing the grille bars from vertical to horizontal.

The production 2013 Lincoln MKZ, almost exactly the same as the concept car presented at the North American International Auto Show in January 2012, embraces a subtle and distinct design.

Lincoln wanted the new MKZ to convey an elegance and effortlessness that is appealing and open. Moving from classic luxury prompts and complex styles, Lincoln designed a warmth that is luxurious, while practising restraint.

Lincoln MKZ Exterior

The profile of this luxury sedan has a defining, sweeping roofline. A steep, raked windshield and elongated backlight creates a sleek and flowing look that is 10% more aerodynamic than the previous model. With a few simple strokes, the MKZ shape is a completed vision.

The striking, modern design keeps the traditional Lincoln design essentials, such as a more sophisticated split-wing grille interpretation, a first in the 1938 Lincoln-Zephyr.

Sculptured pedestals are the mounts for the rear-view mirrors for the doors. This fitting allows the front door glass to reach further forward, improving visibility and allowing more light in.

Bright, energy-efficient LEDs are in the crafted head lamps. The front headlights are synchronised with the steering wheel, turning in time to increase visibility. The LED technology used in the back allow for the creation of a thin, distinct full-width tail lamp.

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Topics: ford, lincoln

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