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by Tim Beissmann

The 2013 Lincoln MKS and MKT vehicles unveiled at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show give us our first indication of the Ford-owned luxury brand’s new styling direction under Australian designer Max Wolff.

The Victorian – who previously worked in design teams at Holden, GM Daewoo Korea and Cadillac – was appointed to the role of Lincoln director of design in December 2010. At the time, Lincoln said its future vehicles would build on its recent designs, with an emphasis on refining the brand’s hallmarks.

Wolff immediately went to work on cleaning up the “deliberately provocative” front ends of the MKS and MKT. He explains every exterior panel from the A-pillar forward is new on the MKS.

Above: 2013 Lincoln MKS

“The styling of the new MKS adds both refinement and elegance to the car while visually lowering and widening the front end,” he said. “The continuous bright surround linking the grille and headlamps is particularly rich and adds something significant to what is already an expressive, balanced design.”

Above: 2012 Lincoln MKS

Wolff said he also set out to change the proportions of the MKT’s face, giving it wider feel that is less vertical and tall.

Above: 2013 Lincoln MKT

“The execution of the new MKT’s grille and the grille bars is a lot more refined and elegant. The new front graphic displays a lot of three-dimensionality, but it’s accomplished in a calmer, more restrained way.”

Above: 2012 Lincoln MKT

He says the interior of the 2013 Lincoln MKS is also more “inviting and engaging”, thanks to the addition of the MyLincoln Touch infotainment system and the shift away from linear, horizontal design elements.

“Now we have an interior that’s dominated by lines that sweep up from the centre stack and flow out to the sides. This is a styling cue you’ll see more in future Lincoln models.”

 

Wolff is responsible expanding the Lincoln range, which will include at least five all-new or significantly updated models over the next three years, including the brand’s first compact C-segment vehicle.

Wolff was the senior exterior designer of the Holden SSX concept in 2002 – which, at the time, was the company’s largest concept project. A number of design elements from that vehicle, most notably the flared wheels arches, can now be found on the Holden VE Commodore.




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