Lincoln MKT Concept Could Foreshadow Future Large Crossover
By Chris Haak
Monday morning in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show, Lincoln revealed its MKT crossover concept. (Yes, another crossover introduction at the auto show!) The MKT is based on the architecture of the Ford Flex, but instead of the Flex’s intentional boxiness, the MKT uses swoopy styling. According to Peter Horbury, executive director of Design, The Americas, “We envisioned this concept as a modern grand tourer, really a Learjet of the road.”
The concept MKT seats only four, but has a cavernous cargo area and those four seats are very large (called “executive size” by Ford). The second-row seats fully recline and have heated and cooled thigh supports that deploy from under the seats. Were the MKT to go into production, it would almost certainly add a third row seat and more “pedestrian” first and second row seats. Ford confirmed that the MKT does have the capability to add a third row in a production model if it were to be approved for production, which is logical since it’s based on the large three-row Ford Flex’s platform.
The MKT concept’s powertrain consists of a 3.5 liter EcoBoost (twin turbo) V6 that produces an estimated 415 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque on premium fuel or E85 and a six-speed automatic transmission. The power and torque numbers for this engine are, of course, a little high as concept vehicles tend to be, but if there were to be a production MKT, its EcoBoost engine would likely be close in output to the one that will appear in the MKS sedan’s in a year or so. The MKS sedan’s EcoBoost engine will produce 340 horsepower and 340 lb-ft of torque, which is still pretty good.
Of course, in spite of being a large vehicle, the MKT would have fallen out of the pattern for concept cars in 2008 if it didn’t have sustainable, ecologically friendly materials used throughout the vehicle, and in its interior specifically.
I really believe that Lincoln will eventually produce the MKT, because in a world of 35 mpg CAFE standards, the V8 body on frame Expedition’s days may be numbered. The MKT could also be a potential replacement for the very old Town Car in livery service, since it will be very spacious and comfortable, plus will probably be more fuel efficient than the old V8-powered Town Car. Now, if only they could fix its name; literally every time I see ‘MKT’ I think of “market,” and I’m sure that Ford wants their crossover’s name to evoke images of two couples going to the symphony rather than someone going to the MKT – I mean market – in the MKT.
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