Lincoln will debut a new concept car at the Detroit Auto Show based on Ford Australia’s bread-and-butter Falcon sedan, picture above. After suffering years of shrinking sales and poor brand image, Lincoln will try to appeal to a younger audience with a new model. The concept car will be RWD, but execs are currently debating whether the production car should also be RWD like most high-end luxury cars or FWD/AWD like most cars in the Ford line-up. The concept was made under the watch of Ford North American design chief Peter Horbury, who has said it will incorporate design cues that will make their way to future Lincolns.
The reason FoMoCo is tapping its Australian subsidiary is because it’s an expert at building large RWD sedans and has been making them for decades. Ford Australia sells an upscale version of the Falcon called the Fairmont that may require minimal changes to make it a Lincoln. It will be building a new generation Falcon codenamed Orion for 2008, which would be the version that Lincoln would use. If Ford greenlights the concept car, it’s possible that the new Lincoln would be imported from Australia, a report from BusinessWeek
We think a move like this is long overdue for Lincoln. If Ford has decided not to shutter the brand, it needs to start thinking creatively and use its global resources to maximise efficiency. We’ll have to wait for the Detroit show to see what Lincoln has in store for us.