Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Flying Buttresses Hide Luxury Car Secret: It's a Hatchback!

C H O P — Gadzooks, Batman, the MKZ Sportback model ushers in a new era at Lincoln: The luxury hatchback. The C pillar is raked back from the sedan, and the rear window is slightly tunneled into the hatch. While not as overt as GM's '66-'67 intermediates, Dodge's '68-'69 Charger, Ford's '71-'73 Pony cars, or even the classic long-lasting Jaguar XJS, the look is distinctive and the extended sail panels allow the cutlines for the new hatch to disappear. 

This new addition to the lineup includes a power-operated rear hatch, triple-glazed rear glass and a second powered separate 'trunk' lid for smaller items. The hatch also includes a second interior rear window, that is engineered to stay down as the hatch is open to prevent dust and noise from entering the interior. This interior window locks flush against the exterior hatch at the touch of a button. 

Sportback models also benefit from the brand's new powered rear coach doors, borrowing a term from Rolls-Royce; suicide doors in colloquial parlance. This new feature of Lincolns and Mercurys adds wide-opening power rear doors with electronic 'nanny' devices built into their soft- and hardware to prevent any unwanted openings once under way. To see them in action is to love 'em; don't underestimate their value as street theater. There is more buzz on the street about these powered side doors than there is about the rear hatchback itself. That might be Ford's plan all along given the average American automobile buyers' historical apathy towards hatchbacks.

Eco-Boost 4 and 6 cylinder petrol engines will be available at launch, with TDi and Hybrid models joining them in Spring.

B T W :
C H O P   T R I V I A  —  Even though this appears to be such a big change, once the rear pillars were stretched, and the roof lowered a smidge, the chop was basically done. Of course, I went on to play in photoshop a few more hours, changing the doors and embossing the nameplate on them per a suggestion from my fine-fellow-chopper 2b2, and tweaking this and that. For a change, I chose to keep the blank backgrounds of the original photos, better to show off the changes to this little chopped Lincoln.

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