Ford’s luxury brand, Lincoln, is still undergoing some heavy reform in order to keep up with the always-changing competition. As part of that reform, Lincoln has been completely redesigning their lineup with a newer, more futuristic, and streamlined design language, which was exhibited with the new 2013 Lincoln MKZ flagship.
However, Ford Motor Company’s top designer, J Mays, says that the MKZ’s new grille will not be a design anchor for the rest of the lineup futures—in other words, where as BMW has a long-standing tradition with kidney-shaped double grilles, or Mercedes with their big, boxy chrome grilles, Lincoln doesn’t plan to do the same with the MKZ’s chrome schnoz.
“We haven’t made an announcement that every single car within the lineup is going to have the same grille bars,” said Mays in an interview. “We needed with the MKZ to signal a new generation of Lincolns. That’s the first of the new cars to come with what I would call a more innovative face on it.”
The change comes after reception for Lincoln’s previous vertical “waterfall grille” was criticized for looking too much like teeth. As a result, Lincoln scooped up Max Wolff, who was formerly the design chief for Cadillac. Lincoln hopes that Wolff will revitalize and reinvent the brand with a more youthful image.
“I’ll give credit to Max on that,” Mays continued. “When I brought him in from GM, he said, ‘Is there anything we can do to the grille?’ I said, ‘There’s loads we can do with the grille. What do you have in mind?’ He wanted to keep the split grille, which I think is a good decision, but he wanted to experiment with changing the grille bars from vertical to horizontal.”
The new face on the 2013 MKZ reminisces on the design of the original 1938 Lincoln Zephyr. However, Mays along with many others have said that Lincoln’s ability to keep up with the competition in the design field has been inhibited by the brand’s desire to stay traditional. Mays also added that he doesn’t want to get Lincoln’s grille design to be employed on different cars, just in different styles, much like what BMW and Mercedes-Benz have been doing.
“There’s nothing wrong with that strategy. I just don’t think it’s the right strategy for us,” Mays concluded. “The MKZ is the first car of what will be a pretty long year journey of Lincolns. It takes years to build a brand up. The MKZ is the first step on that road.”
All Photos Copyright © Omar Rana – egmCarTech.
– By: Chris Chin
Source: Automotive News