Lincoln will soon expand its luxury lineup to include a compact crossover, and our spy photographers manage to catch the 2015 MKC testing with minimal camouflage. Expected to go on sale next year, the 2015 Lincoln MKC prototype spied here looks remarkably like the concept shown at the 2013 Detroit auto show.
This 2015 Lincoln MKC bears the split-wing chrome grille that announces all modern Lincoln products, while its liftgate features the skinny LED taillight shapes found on the concept car. Though the lower rear fascia has shades of Ford Escape, that's one of the only clues as to the origins of this luxury crossover. The remainder of the bodywork that we can see through the camo tape suggests the 2015 Lincoln MKC will look distinct from the Ford crossover on which it is based.
Inside, this prototype features the button-free, capacitive-touch center stack that is familiar from the Lincoln MKZ sedan, topped by a large screen for the MyLincoln Touch infotainment system. A large LCD screen appears to take center stage in the instrument cluster, and it looks like the 2015 Lincoln MKC will have a healthy assortment of controls on its steering wheel. And just like the MKZ sedan, this MKC crossover uses a quintet of buttons, rather than a physical lever, to control the automatic transmission. As for what that drives that transmission, we can most likely expect the 1.6- and 2.0-liter turbo-four engines used in the Ford Escape.
Lincoln previously suggested that small crossovers account for about 25 percent of the luxury-car market, and the brand is eager to dip its toe into that sales pool. Although the all-new MKZ is proving a modest success, Lincoln sales remain sluggish overall. Adding a small crossover could help draw even more shoppers to Lincoln showrooms and help rejuvenate Ford's luxury wing. A recent report suggests the 2015 Lincoln MKC will go on sale in early 2014.