Detroit 2009: Five Favorite Designs

2009 Lincoln C Concept

Yet another highly appealing Freeman Thomas cartoon car following in the wheel tracks of the Volkswagen New Beetle, the Audi TT, and the Chrysler 300C, the Lincoln Concept C presages a different kind of luxury car. Interior volume is equal to the beloved 1961 Lincoln, but overall length is in Ford Focus territory. A wide track and wheels at the corners give it a firmly reassuring stance, rather like the original Morris Mini Minor, in fact. The funky hubless steering wheel will probably never make it to production (although it should), but the sumptuous, elegant, and refined interior with superbly integrated electronics seems a certainty. Outside, there are odd antecedents: the truncated rear recalls the just-replaced Renault Mégane, and the jumped-up front fender profile is the latest Japanese hot lick. Never mind, this package and the EcoBoost power are the future.

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