"The real test of Wolff’s vision will come when the Lincolns he designs from the ground up start hitting the streets, though that won’t happen until mid-decade at the earliest."I'd like to label this article "QUESTIONABLE"
so not giving it its own thread...
Reinventing Lincoln - Businessweek
January 10, 2012, 12:01 AM EST
By Keith Naughton
from page 2:
...Lincoln insiders say the remake of the MKZ reflects how much the company is leaning on Wolff’s talents. The new-look MKZ had been set to make its debut at the New York International Auto Show last April, but after seeing the prototype, Wolff immediately went to his new bosses and told them their supposed game-changing car would be a game-over car unless it underwent radical surgery. Getting approval to delay the rollout required sign-offs from Mark Fields, the top North American lieutenant to Ford Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally, and from Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s global product development chief.
“What he was asking for wasn’t easy to deliver,” says Kuzak, who gave Wolff the green light for an emergency overhaul. The New York intro was scotched and the car’s mid-2012 on-sale date was pushed back a few months to allow time to reengineer parts of its mechanical skeleton.
Wolff started by asking (designer, Solomon) Song what he would have done differently if he hadn’t been shackled with under-the-skin engineering that required such a square-jawed face on the car. Song walked Wolff over to his drawing board, where he pulled out earlier designs that were sleeker and made the car look faster.
“Maybe we could try to get back to that,” Wolff said.
The two designers immediately sat down at a drawing board and begin a marathon sketching session, pushing their scratched-out solutions across the table to each other. When they hit on looks they liked, they took them over to another designer who converted their drawings into 3D computer-animated images they could take for a virtual test drive.
The most complicated feature of Wolff’s design was the front grille of the new MKZ. The car’s avian headlights necessitated an engineering tear-up. To accommodate the headlights’ dramatic wingspan, Lincoln’s engineers had to change the spot where the headlights plug into the frame. That may sound simple, but it requires moving what engineers call “hard points” in the car’s mechanical architecture. And it set off a cascade of changes that the engineers began calling “the Max Change option.” All the underbody parts that connect the headlights to the frame had to be redesigned. The robots and factory tools used to install the headlights had to reprogrammed or replaced to enable a new way of building the car. The massive presses that stamp out body parts had to be equipped with new dies to make those soaring fenders that the headlights now flow into...
It should be... remember 2017 will be Lincoln's 100th Birthday!"The real test of Wolff’s vision will come when the Lincolns he designs from the ground up start hitting the streets, though that won’t happen until mid-decade at the earliest."
So 2015 will be the big year for Lincoln.