2013 Lincoln MKZ preview concept
2013 Lincoln MKZ preview conceptThe car in these pictures is essentially what will be the 2013 MKZ. In person it had some presence, much more than the plebeian people mover it is replacing, but that presence was primarily at the rear.

The front looked just as rotund in person as it did to me in pictures. Too much flamboyance in the main character lines from the windshield forward (e.g., large radii arcs and bevels). Starting from about the A-pillar, the MKZ’s panels appear increasingly creased and rigid-looking as you move to the rear. By the time you’re at the tail, the shape looks absolutely chiseled.

The sail panel angles perfectly into the shoulder-line which meets up nicely with the trunk-line. It is not unlike the sail panel on Cadillac’s new XTS, which itself reminds me of the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu’s. The tail lights are inoffensive but also somewhat uninspired; however, I think the detailing in the lower rear bumper is a nice finish.

One of the big-item tickets on the order sheet will be the optional retractable glass roof (not shown on this concept which was equipped with a standard sunroof).

013 Lincoln MKZ preview concept front left2013 Lincoln MKZ preview concept left front2013 Lincoln MKZ preview concept rear left

2012 McLaren 12C Spider concept
2012 McLaren 12C Spider conceptMcLaren Automotive has been referred to as the car maker with Formula 1 DNA. This concept of theirs foretells the maker’s next model which will reportedly be available at some point in early 2013.

Once the Spider comes online, both it and the Coupe will share the 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V-8.

Thanks in part to a one-piece chassis that weighs only 165 pounds, the V-8’s 616 bhp propels the 12Cs to 60 mph in only 3.2 seconds, and won’t give up until reaching a top speed of 204 mph.

2012 McLaren 12C Spider front left2012 McLaren 12C Spider interior left2012 McLaren 12C Spider rear left

2012 Mercedes-Benz Concept Style Coupe
2012 Mercedes-Benz Concept Style CoupeOkay, so I think some of the stuff Mercedes has produced over the last five-plus years has been less than worthy of the implications of the badge. Too chaotic; Mercedes shouldn’t have to strain for style.

The S-Class from the 1980s was unapologetic and bold, yet without quirks or breaking a sweat trying to be unique. I remember in the movie The Great Outdoors, with John Candy, when Dan Aykroyd makes his entrance with his S-Class. Even though Aykroyd’s character was a tad tasteless, his car oozed substance. Now I’ve gone way off course.

For quite some time Mercedes seemed to abandon design substance for the sake of fighting a manufactured we need a defining look like everyone else crisis.

I’ve noticed lately that they are invoking the 1980s front end treatment that made the W126 look so balanced. I think it’s a great step. It really lends width to the hood; a design trick that is more needed than ever. Ever-stricter safety regulations are causing hoods to rise like leavened bread.

The Concept Style Coupe name is about as ineffective as possible in defining the car or ascribing it any emotion but where its name is lacking, its style is not.

I think Mercedes has started to settle on a look and, for the most part, I like it. The only part I’d change on this concept would be to firm up the area below the upper grille. Unless that lower opening is actually needed for cooling, I think it should be tamed a bit. I think the upper grille should have prominence and it looks like substantiating the horizontal area below it would give the impression the grille is resting on something, not floating above an open space. It should look planted, not like it is dangling.

2012 Mercedes-Benz Concept Style Coupe front2012 Mercedes-Benz Concept Style Coupe right rear2012 Mercedes-Benz Concept Style Coupe front right2012 Mercedes-Benz Concept Style Coupe rear half2012 Mercedes-Benz Concept Style Coupe front half

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