By Mike Goetz
There weren’t too many notable surprise concepts at Detroit – this was one, the Lincoln C Concept. The “C” stands for C-size car, which means Focus/Corolla/Civic territory. This would be a dramatic move, if the premier Lincoln brand were to actually build a production car in this category.
Ford’s chief designer for the Americas, Peter Horbury, noted that people have gotten used to the idea that you could pay more for a smaller version of the real thing, citing examples like laptops, iPods and digital cameras. “People will be happy to buy a smaller car that is better for the environment and more maneuverable in the city as long as the vehicle has all the attributes they want.”
The concept features a 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine and Ford’s all-new, dry, dual-clutch Powershift six-speed transmission. The interior is way out there, with steering wheel, console and seats that appear to be floating in space. The vehicle also debuted Ford’s vision for future connectivity – a new human-machine interface that puts the original Star Trek’s “bridge” to shame.