Lincoln Director of Design Max Wolff at unveiling of Lincoln MKZ

2013 Lincoln MKZ Important Step for New Design Director

Before the grand opening of the New York International Auto Show, Lincoln debuted the 2013 Lincoln MKZ before a packed house at the beautiful IAC building in Manhattan's lower West Side. It's the first Lincoln product to come out under Lincoln's relatively new director of design Max Wolff and it demonstrates what a difficult job he has ahead of him.

The 2013 Lincoln MKZ reveal, appropriately enough, was inside the stunning edifice designed by noted architect Frank Gehry. It was an event design to denote Lincoln's emphasis on luxury with a six-piece musical ensemble, a sand artist, open bar, outstanding cuisine and a tower of cupcakes. And, let's not forget, Max Wolff.

He stood in front of the assembled mass and waxed enthusiastic about the midsize sedan's inviting appearance that Wolff said invoked "modern simplicity." He seemed most proud of the front fascia's split-wing grille, which he poetically described as "inspired by eagle's wings."

Later in an interview to the side of the MKZ stage, Wolff said the front fascia was his signature element in the car's design. He only came onboard in January 2011 after a stint as Cadillac's exterior design director. When he first joined Lincoln, he said the design team was unhappy with the MKZ's front end. "One of the defining moments was going from vertical to horizontal," he said. "It adds visual width."

Wolff plays an important part in the revival of the Lincoln brand. It has been hit with plummeting sales as Ford products go upscale, almost negating the need to purchase a Lincoln. As one journalist put it at the event, "Why purchase a Lincoln when you can buy a Ford that looks like an Aston Martin?"


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