The Lincoln MKR Concept: Jaws on Wheels

There seems to be a new generation of auto designers in Detroit and around the world who have a fascination with the front end. For proof, just look at the muscular, aggressive grilles and front-end treatments of such recently introduced vehicles as the 2008 Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe and Scion Fuse (see below), as well as such concept vehicles as the 2009 Chevy Camaro and Ford’s new Mustang-based Interceptor Concept (which reminds us of RoboCop, oddly enough). Another case in point: the Lincoln MKR Concept, whose design was leaked in advance of the Detroit Auto Show, which kicks off next week.

Just look at that grille. It’s like staring down the throat of Jaws, what with all that toothiness going on — but a happy Jaws, we must admit. The darn thing looks like it’s smiling after having just come from the shark dentist. Anyway, it seems to be the design wave of the future, so we might as well get used to these in-your-face grilles. Someday we might all be driving cars that look like this.

Not that that would be a bad thing. Despite that aggressive exterior, the MKR is fairly friendly inside, with a rumored 3.5-liter V6 that produces 415 horsepower and runs on E85 ethanol (for the uninitiated, that’s a mixture of 85 percent ethanol, made primarily from corn, and 15 percent gasoline). A six-speed automatic transmission, Brembo disc brakes, and MacPherson struts are some of the other standard features.

Inside, the car sort of resembles an iPod, with totally sleek and sculpted cream-colored seat backs, smooth surfaces of creamy leather, ice-blue interior lighting, and an expansive black oak T-shaped intrument panel made from recycled wood. (Okay, twist my arm, I want one, I want one!)

According to the rumor mill, this car is slated for production, with some modifications. We won’t see the large wheels and partial-glass roof, for example. But we’ll probably see those front grille teeth. Just make sure you brush before you get behind the wheel.

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