Lincoln replaces MKC sliding touch controls with buttons and knobs

Article by Anita Panait, on November 25, 2013

The latest Lincoln MKC crossover now features a MyLincoln Touch system that has buttons and knobs, replacing the sliding touch controls of the MKZ sedan. Both the MyFord Touch and MyLIncoln Touch were the main reasons why Ford and its luxury brand have been at the bottom of customer satisfaction surveys.

Both consumers and critics say that the systems have been “confusing and balky.” Lisa Drake, MKC chief engineer, remarked that they “heard feedback from MKZ customers" when designing the 2015 MKC a compact premium crossover.

While the MyLincoln Touch screen-based infotainment system remains, engineers placed buttons and knobs to make basic functions like increasing the volume, tuning the radio and setting the temperature. Lincoln is set to roll out the MKC compact premium crossover to dealers in late spring or early summer.

Lincoln is also revamping its launch process as well as its marketing strategy, partly due to the fact it had a hard time launching the redesigned MKZ, which the luxury brand has touted as the first car in its brand reinvention. Lincoln’s launch of the 2013 MKZ was also considered a flop, after the sedan arrived over three months late due to quality problems.

The quality issues prompted the delivery of the vehicles from its Hermosillo site in Mexico, to its Flat Rock plant in Michigan for quality inspections and repairs because a new Lincoln Validation Center in Mexico wasn't prepared to manage the volume. Another issue that hounded the MKZ was that it was launched within a few months of the 2013 Ford Fusion. The launch made the MKZ issues more complicated.

The main challenge that the design team at Lincoln needed to hurdle was to come out with a model that would stand-out in a field that has long been considered as competitive. That was not all as the team also needed to meet the challenge of refining further the brand’s very own design language that began with the 2013 MKZ. Indeed, one can see the wraparound hands-free and uniquely-crafted liftgate and even the well-known split-wing grille.

These two are just some of the features that make the use of the design language clearer. Making the new MKC stand out even from its rivals is the sculpted and sleek body. The low shoulders mixed in with the high beltline result in a presence that is not just sporty but also sturdy. Other features on the exterior include the soft lighting and the pedestal side-view mirrors.

Available as well is the all-glass panoramic Vista Roof. All of these allow the new MKC to have a sophisticated and luxurious personality. The highly unique design on the exterior can still be seen on the interior. Upon combining the high-tech features with the craftsmanship, this results in an interior environment that is warm and exudes luxury. Its instrument panel shows a unique architecture and displays the brand’s well known push-button gear shifter.

This allows for an interior space that is inviting while at the same time open. Occupants get to experience the plush leathers having French stitching. Lincoln will be making available the Bridge of Weir real wood and leather trim that is able to highlight the model’s grace and elegance.

Lincoln Design Director Max Wolff shared that the brand’s design team worked untiringly to build a vehicle that would be able to meet what longtime customers expect from Lincoln while also being able to attract a new group of customers. An excellent example of this is the liftgate, he added, which reveals that a premium design element can indeed deliver a better customer experience.

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