Focus-based concept takes luxury down a size
12 January 2009

The ubiquitous Ford Focus spread its tentacles a little further into America with the surprise launch of the Lincoln C concept at Detroit.

Lincoln design boss Peter Horbury said that the baby Lincoln’s job is to begin the overthrow of the traditional beliefs that American luxury has to come in large packages.

Young people are used to paying for high-quality items like cameras and music players in small packages, said Horbury: “The Mini could never have succeeded in the US without that kind of understanding.”

The Lincoln C concept, built on a Ford Focus platform, but with pillarless windows and ‘suicide’ rear doors, is around 10cm wider than the production Focus, emphasising interior space and airiness.

The C concept comes with impressively sophisticated, but easy-to-use, net-based infotainment facilities that Ford insists are not far from production.

The C concept also employs Ford’s EcoBoost engine downsizing. Where a 2.0-litre engine might have sat before, there is a new, twin-turbo, 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine, which produces 180bhp and 180lb ft.

This is the first appearance for this engine, which is believed to be earmarked for European Fords, including the Mondeo.

A Mercury version of the baby Lincoln isn’t in the pipeline, insiders say. A Mercury of the same size is planned for the future, however, which will take the notion of small American luxury cars at least one rung up the Detroit ladder.

Steve Cropley

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