Lincoln MKZ concept

At the Detroit Auto Show this week, Ford revealed its concept for the new Lincoln MKZ, which is expected to hit the market later this year.

While the new Lincoln MKZ will technically be a redesign of the 2012 MKZ that’s available now, Ford says the new version will help redefine the Lincoln brand. “With the Lincoln MKZ Concept, we are not introducing a new car,” Derrick Kuzak, Ford Motor Company group vice president for global product development, says in a press release. “We are essentially introducing a new brand. The MKZ Concept is the next step in the reinvention of Lincoln, something we’ve been quietly but aggressively pursuing.”

The new MKZ’s exterior diverts from the 2012 model with a wing-like front grille and a longer, slimmer profile. “The MKZ concept is as sleek as the fantastic-looking Fusion, but distinguished by the more delicate louvers on its new grille, and especially, by the longer arch of its roofline, and a very short trunk,” says The Washington Post.

The new MKZ will have an all-new platform, according to Lincoln, and will be available with either front- or all-wheel drive. Other than that, Lincoln doesn’t go into detail about the powertrain, but the engines could be similar to the new Ford Fusion’s.

USA Today reports, “The MKZ could share some four-cylinder EcoBoost engines with the Fusion, but they can be calibrated to change everything from noise control to suspension systems and electronic throttle control. …” While the Fusion will be available with three gasoline engines or as a hybrid or plug-in hybrid, options with the MKZ may be limited to gasoline-only and hybrid powertrains.

The MKZ’s interior will also distinguish it from the new Fusion, which is an affordable midsize sedan. The four-seat Lincoln MKZ concept has wood inlays, leather seats and a panoramic glass roof. As a concept, the MKZ is outfitted in a lot of features that may not be standard on the production model, though the Los Angeles Times reports that “Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally said the car was ‘very close to what you will see in the showroom.’”

The new Lincoln MKZ should be available by the end of the year, most likely as a 2013 model. Pricing data hasn’t been released, but the 2012 Lincoln MKZ starts at $34,755.

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