Ahoy! Lincoln's Next MKC Might Debut As the 'Corsair'

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Alphanumeric naming strategies don’t seem to work particularly well on American cars. There are exceptions, Chrysler’s 300 and the Ford F-Series come to mind, but usually you get a name and then a string of numbers and letters tacked on to denote badassery or size when applicable. While this is just a personal theory, it really seemed like America’s luxury brands were just trying to copy the Germans when they collectively made the swap and everyone noticed.

While alphanumeric monikers help automakers avoid certain issues in countries where a word may hold a different meaning, they aren’t particularly imaginative. It also distances new models from established names that help to move units on brand recognition alone. That isn’t to suggest those names are inherently better, but going against tradition can definitely work against you.

Lincoln knows that better than most, and has decided to give the MKC a real name for its 2020 redesign.

According to Automotive News, dealers were shown the Corsair, along with the next-generation Ford Escape, Explorer, Mach 1 battery-electric crossover, a small off-roader, and a Lincoln Continental with suicide doors late last month at a meeting in Orlando.

While the attendees noted that Ford said it may not use the Corsair name on the new MKC, the company has already patented it. The Lincoln brand is keen to ditch its old MK naming scheme, which just about everyone hated. Being linked to privateers and sailing, the Corsair could be a good fit alongside the Aviator, Navigator, and Nautilus, too. It definitely sounds better than simply calling the model “the pirate” or using a less imposing ship name like yawl or skiff. Brigantine might work in a pinch, though.

Assuming it adopts the name, the Lincoln Corsair is expected to drop anchor in dealer lots in 2020 as a 2021 model.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Zipper69 Zipper69 on Jun 20, 2018

    I guess there was a drop in brain power at some stage, it was clear to us growing up that "Mk" meant "Mark" followed by a Roman numeral, so we all knew that MkVII translated as "Mark Seven" When did Lincoln throw in the towel and admit the buying public is full of illiterate morons? MKZ ? er...no, it's supposed to have a number, nitwit...oh, never mind.

    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Jun 21, 2018

      Somebody at Ford may have found the old phrase "nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. A recent report noted that both aptitude test scores and standardized IQ test scores administered by schools have been dropping steadily for over a decade. You might be inclined to blame the tests, but the Park Service in Hawaii recently issued a warning to tourists not to try to roast marshmallows over the lava. They were posing for pictures.

  • Akear Akear on Mar 27, 2019

    I loathe SUVs, but I have to admit Lincoln SUVs are quit attractive.

  • Varezhka I have still yet to see a Malibu on the road that didn't have a rental sticker. So yeah, GM probably lost money on every one they sold but kept it to boost their CAFE numbers.I'm personally happy that I no longer have to dread being "upgraded" to a Maxima or a Malibu anymore. And thankfully Altima is also on its way out.
  • Tassos Under incompetent, affirmative action hire Mary Barra, GM has been shooting itself in the foot on a daily basis.Whether the Malibu cancellation has been one of these shootings is NOT obvious at all.GM should be run as a PROFITABLE BUSINESS and NOT as an outfit that satisfies everybody and his mother in law's pet preferences.IF the Malibu was UNPROFITABLE, it SHOULD be canceled.More generally, if its SEGMENT is Unprofitable, and HALF the makers cancel their midsize sedans, not only will it lead to the SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST ones, but the survivors will obviously be more profitable if the LOSERS were kept being produced and the SMALL PIE of midsize sedans would yield slim pickings for every participant.SO NO, I APPROVE of the demise of the unprofitable Malibu, and hope Nissan does the same to the Altima, Hyundai with the SOnata, Mazda with the Mazda 6, and as many others as it takes to make the REMAINING players, like the Excellent, sporty Accord and the Bulletproof Reliable, cheap to maintain CAMRY, more profitable and affordable.
  • GregLocock Car companies can only really sell cars that people who are new car buyers will pay a profitable price for. As it turns out fewer and fewer new car buyers want sedans. Large sedans can be nice to drive, certainly, but the number of new car buyers (the only ones that matter in this discussion) are prepared to sacrifice steering and handling for more obvious things like passenger and cargo space, or even some attempt at off roading. We know US new car buyers don't really care about handling because they fell for FWD in large cars.
  • Slavuta Why is everybody sweating? Like sedans? - go buy one. Better - 2. Let CRV/RAV rust on the dealer lot. I have 3 sedans on the driveway. My neighbor - 2. Neighbors on each of our other side - 8 SUVs.
  • Theflyersfan With sedans, especially, I wonder how many of those sales are to rental fleets. With the exception of the Civic and Accord, there are still rows of sedans mixed in with the RAV4s at every airport rental lot. I doubt the breakdown in sales is publicly published, so who knows... GM isn't out of the sedan business - Cadillac exists and I can't believe I'm typing this but they are actually decent - and I think they are making a huge mistake, especially if there's an extended oil price hike (cough...Iran...cough) and people want smaller and hybrids. But if one is only tied to the quarterly shareholder reports and not trends and the big picture, bad decisions like this get made.
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