Ford surprised show goers at last January’s Detroit Auto Show with the unveiling of the new Lincoln MKT concept vehicle, which back then officials described as a possible preview of a new flagship for Ford’s premium division. Last month Ford finally confirmed production plans for the MKT and now the Blue Oval’s president of the Americas Mark Fields has revealed that it will go on sale soon after its public debut at next year’s Detroit event.
The production version of the car will retain a great deal of the concept’s styling, including the distinctive bow-wave and double-wing grille, thick C-pillars and cantilevered roof – all designed to hide its humble Ford Flex underpinnings. The MKT will also come in six- or seven-passenger variants and include an assortment of safety gizmos such as Ford’s recently announced Blind Spot Monitoring and Cross Traffic Alert System.
“It will offer the comfort of a luxury sedan, the spaciousness and flexibility of a crossover and the performance of a sports sedan, courtesy of its EcoBoost engine,” Fields said during a recent interview with MotorTrend.
The engines at the heart of the new MKT large crossover will include the 3.7L V6 unit that also powers the MKS sedan, rated at 270hp (201kW) and 265lb-ft (360Nm) of torque plus the new 3.5L EcoBoost twin-turbo V6, estimated to produce 340hp (253kW) and 340lb-ft (460Nm) of torque in the MKT’s implementation.
The MKT will be among the first vehicles to get the EcoBoost engine, along with the MKS and the Ford Flex. The combination of direct injection and turbocharging in the engine are claimed to provide 20% better fuel economy while reducing emissions by 15%, compared to larger displacement naturally aspirated engines.
Fields also explained that Lincoln is positioning itself between Buick and Cadillac in the U.S. domestic prestige market, and that it will take some years still until it will be able to compete with Cadillac in overseas markets.
The new MKT isn’t the only new model Lincoln has in the pipeline. According to Fields, a facelifted version of the MKZ will make its debut at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show in November and there are still plans for a new RWD sedan based on the recent MKR concept.