The Lincoln Concept C is what the Ford Motor Company hopes to make the standard for future luxury sedans. It embraces the idea of ample interior room, by delivering more space than a 1961 Lincoln Continental (which was a big boat of a car), but at the same time it abandons the idea that a spacious luxury sedan must be extremely large. The Concept C has about the same overall length as a Ford Focus and the same width as a Ford Fusion mid-size sedan.
Furthering the idea that the Concept C could be the future, the car is built on Ford’s C346 platform. This is the same platform that will be the basis for the next generation Focus, which will have a single platform across the globe (the old Focus had one platform for the North American market and another platform for elsewhere in the world). One of the major perks of this platform is that it allows designers to stretch the length or width of the car without much problem, making it versatile and thereby reducing production and development costs.
So what makes the Lincoln Concept C a harbinger of the future? First of all there is the styling. Compact cars tend to have a fairly uniform styling. They are compact and the styling reflects that. The Concept C throws that notion out the window and asks, “Who says a compact can’t be slick and stylish?” The wheel arches are flared, giving the car a wide, aggressive stance, and the body work is proportioned to evoke the sense of a cutting-edge work of engineering, not a bare-bones compact model.
Also, that wider stance makes for extra room under the hood, allowing for a wide variety of potential engine options. The show model that Ford has displayed in the past few months featured a 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. The EcoBoost line has been creating a lot of buzz because the engines are capable of producing a lot of power in a smaller, more fuel-efficient package. Also, it wouldn’t be hard to insert a hybrid powertrain or even the five-cylinder turbo engine that powers the Focus ST (and also produces 225 horsepower).
But, as the name implies, this is still only a concept vehicle and there are no concrete plans to bring it into production. However, while previous flashy concepts have raised some initial excitement and then vanished into history, the Lincoln Concept C has been raising interest among all segments of the auto industry, from dealers to drivers to journalists. The inherent flexibility of the platform and the range of powertrain options make it more likely that some version of the Concept C will make it to showroom floors. There will probably be changes, specifically to the interior (check out the gallery link below for more pictures on the funky dash, unique seat design, and stunning roof), but with luck, the Lincoln Concept C will be hitting the roads sometime soon.