Tony O'Kane | Jan 12, 2012

Ford's American prestige offshoot Lincoln has pulled the covers off its MKZ Concept, a car that not only previews the production 2013 MKZ, but also shows off the brand's new design direction.

A bold, grille-centric front end smoothly merges with slab-sided doors, with a sharp character line running nearly the full length of the car.

Huge 20-inch alloy wheels fill out each wheelwell and the MKZ Concept sits on a wheelbase that's 123mm longer than the current production MKZ, giving it a more sure-footed stance.

It's longer and wider than the current MKZ too.

Inside is a plush interior trimmed in leather, aluminium and wood. A push-button automatic transmission declutters the centre console, and the console also features a full-length panoramic glass roof.

The production 2013 MKZ will be built on Ford's new mid-size platform, which also underpins the upcoming 2013 Ford Fusion.

Lincoln is keeping tight-lipped on engine choices for the MKZ, but with the Fusion's platform engineered for turbocharged inline fours, V6s and hybrid powertrains (as well as FWD and AWD drivetrains), there's plenty of choices available.

Electrically-adjustable dampers will also see use on the new MKZ, as well as technology like lane keep assist.

The 2013 Lincoln MKZ is expected to hit North American showrooms later in the year.

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