Were these all missed opportunities?
Lincoln is finally getting back on track. Just look at that all-new Continental Concept making its debut in New York. For years though, Lincoln staggered, essentially left with poorly rebadged Fords. Sure, the Town Car was well liked and a limousine favorite, but it was a damn road yacht. There was no youthful appeal to the brand and Ford nearly killed it off. Still, Lincoln attempted to figure itself out with several concepts that never made it to production. A few were really cool and bold. Another one or two, well, you’ll figure it out when you see them.
The MK9 Concept premiered in 2004 as sort of a hint at a future return of the Lincoln Personal Luxury car. All of the typical chrome bits and elegant lines were there, but Lincoln, for whatever reasons, opted to pass on this one. Shame.
Before today’s all-new Continental Concept, Lincoln attempted to breathe new life in this famous nameplate back in 2002. The result back then was also great and its styling was solid. It even had suicide doors, something blatantly missing on the 2015 concept. This concept was luxurious, elegant, and daring. Why didn’t this one make production? There’s no good reason.
Apparently Lincoln couldn’t decide if it wanted a crossover or a sedan concept, so it opted to go with the two-for-one approach. This is the 2003 Navicross Concept, basically the sequel to the MK9 concept. It’s pretty much a jacked-up sedan. On the plus side, it did feature suicide doors and a supercharged 4.2-liter V8.
Consider the Mark X Concept sort of a "Lincolnized" 2004 Ford Thunderbird. Actually, it may have been better for Ford to go with this retractable rooftop convertible over the new Thunderbird itself. Why? Because the latter was quite expensive and had limited appeal. If given Lincoln styling and even a higher sticker price, more money could have been made. Sadly, we’ll never know.
And then there’s this one, the C Concept. Now, to its credit, it does have suicide doors, found on those old and iconic Lincolns. And that’s about where the coolness ends. Revealed in 2009, Lincoln figured then the way forward was with small cars because, well, young people liked them. But does anyone see Cadillac doing small cars? No, and Lincoln dealerships quickly told the corporate bosses to avoid a production C Concept at all costs. However, some of this concept’s styling made it to the production MKT large crossover.