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Interview with Pat Schivone, Ford's Design Director, on the new Lincoln MKT (video)

Automotive expert , Updated:
The upcoming MKT is a Lincoln like no other. An exercise in technology and style, the unique-looking 7-seat crossover is penned in a way that brings the brand's presence on the road to a new level.
The MKT will be available with some high-tech, high-class features, including an advanced parking assist system and a twin-turbocharged EcoBoost engine. It's also got a unique-looking backside that's sure to go down in the books.

Justin Pritchard spoke to Pat Schivone, Ford's Design Director, at the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS) in Toronto. Here are some excerpts from the interview, where they discussed some of the challenges of applying Lincoln's sleek new styling language to the new Crossover.

Interview with Pat Schivone, Ford's Design Director

JP: What is the challenge of applying Lincoln's sexy, sleek, elegant new sedan design to a vehicle that's much larger than a Lincoln sedan?

PS: That was the challenge. We were re-inventing the Lincoln DNA with this vehicle. It's the epitome of where Lincoln is going to go. We're growing our design, and making it more modern.

We really wanted to get to the essence of what Lincoln's always meant. Throughout history, despite being understated and sophisticated, there was always a really classy character. Think of John F Kennedy, or the fifties Mark 2 Lincoln. There was always a really classy element to the Lincoln brand.

We wanted that to be a part of the new vehicle, but it's also the 21st century-- so it had to be a very modern looking car, too. Ultimately, we didn't want it to be retro in any way though, but rather to have a combination of pure, sophisticated elegance and modernity.

JP: Your split-waterfall grille is a unique styling element. What's going on with that?

PS: The face of a vehicle is important, especially when you're creating a new design and a new DNA. What we discovered was that the split 'bow wave' grille was present throughout history. Even back in the thirties, the original Continental had this type of grille.

We thought that we could re-interpret it in a new, modern way-- and that it would allow the design to grow. We loved the way the was surrounded by body-color between the grille, rather than just having a chrome emblem on a chrome grille. We knew it was a good starting point to take the new look.
2010 Lincoln MKT