By on June 18, 2018

2019 Lincoln MKC, Image: Ford Motor Company

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.]

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89 Comments on “Ahoy! Lincoln’s Next MKC Might Debut As the ‘Corsair’...”


  • avatar
    pale ghost

    I guess they’re counting on people not remembering the Edsel Corsair.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    ANY name would be better than a number. Well ALMOST.
    And have you seen the prices for an Edsel Corsair lately ?

    • 0 avatar
      civicjohn

      As someone here mentioned before, please, change the the naming to something, anything (ham sandwich comes to mind) – MKX, et. al., not that I was in a particular rush to buy a Lincoln, but at least I can put some visual memory to a nameplate.

      As the author said, other than F-150, which is very well known, it’s similar to the Southern method of learning to count to 10 –

      1, 2, Earnhardt, 4… (I get to use this joke because I’m Southern and ready to take the heat).

  • avatar

    I can’t wait to tell my buddies in the Corvair club that Lincoln is bringing back the Corvair! Oh, wait a minute….

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    There was a Capri in the Fifties, bring it back.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      There was also one in the ’90s, and aside from myself and a few others, it isn’t exactly fondly remembered.

      Corsair goes with Lincoln’s apparent travel themed naming scheme.

      If they want to do a little roadster based off the Mustang, Capri might work. But, that’ll happen right after the new Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight and Pontiac Star Chief goes into production, as in never.

    • 0 avatar
      civicjohn

      @28,

      My first car was a 1974 Mercury Capri, I believe it came from Germany(?) – manual sunroof, 4-speed manual, that wonderful bronze color, pleather, it was an awesome ride.

      Since my parents were divorced, I was in a car wreck in 1976 and used the settlement money to buy it. I had never driven a manual before but my mother needed to get back to work so I learned to drive a manual on the interstate going home. Sincere apologies to anybody if I got in your way…!

    • 0 avatar
      Marty S

      Good catch. I remember it too. 1952-59 Lincoln Capri.The “hot rod Lincoln” – Panamerican Road Race.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    Cosmo !
    https://classiccars.com/listings/view/1042233/1949-lincoln

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    “Alphanumeric naming strategies”

    Pickup numerics correspond roughly to the ratings class that they fall into.

    Class 1 – small trucks or “light” full sized 1/2 ton pickups
    Class 2a – Ford F150, Sierra/Silverado 1500, Ram 1500
    Class 2b – Ford F250, Sierra/Silverado 2500, Ram 2500
    Class 3 – Ford F350, Sierra/Silverado 3500, Ram 3500

    All the way to Class 9

    On the other end, car alphanumerics are pulled out of some advertising executive’s azz.

    • 0 avatar
      IBx1

      These days they make no sense; I miss when BMWs and MBs had their engine displacement as the number. At least Nissan stuck with it for the whole Z lineage.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        Agree. Numbers are only good when they make sense. I worked for a company that copied the random number thing because of Lexus. Our products had nothing to do with cars but we were in a semi luxury market and management claimed an overlap in demographics with those fancy Toyotas and just ran with it.

        Infiniti is odd because they just use Q for everything (why?) plus X (for CUV or SUVs) with a BMW-like modifier of 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8 to indicate size. It seems very uninspired.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    They should use the Pratt & Whitney 2,000 horsepower 18 cylinder from the F4U Corsair.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    How about the “Crestliner”? Ford had that name in 1950–1951.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Well, I suppose naming it “Comically Overpriced Escape” wasn’t going to move the metal.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Right, what they need is to develop a unique platform for a relatively low volume model, like Lexus did for the NX and Acura did for the RDX. They would have to keep it in production for 20 years straight to recoup their investment, but at least internet commenters would have to think up new reasons to hate their products.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        You know, John, it’s not like I haven’t given crap to the other manufacturers who do exactly what Ford’s doing here. But Ford has a history of barfing out comically overpriced versions of Fords as Lincolns, and expecting that their customers won’t eventually get that the joke’s on them. They did it for the better part of 40 years, and it damn near killed Lincoln. You’d think they’d have learned their lesson.

        Nope.

        I guess that if we’re tossing in Lexus and Acura here, well…Lexus isn’t exactly setting the world on fire, and if the RDX/MDX rapture happened tomorrow, that’d be it for Acura.

        (By the way, have you actually looked at the NX? I have. And it looks and feels expensive…and nothing like a RAV4. MKCs look and feel like really nice Escapes.)

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        John, I think you see things too often as slights to Ford, when people here poke the same fun at General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, et al.

        Truth be told, I think the MKC is a decent upgrade over the Escape, but I don’t particularly like either one–having received several MKCs as loaners–and so wouldn’t buy them.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          it might have been funny the first few times, but we’re probably at the eleventy-billionth time now that someone thinks they’re being clever by calling platform-sharing “badge engineering.”

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      “Well, I suppose naming it “Comically Overpriced Escape” wasn’t going to move the metal.”

      FreedMike hits a 3 pointer!

      Nailed it!

      Ford is going to crash harder than most automakers when the next big downturn hits.

      It is not far off and will be on Jim HACKett’s term.

      Jim “Hatchet Man” HACKett, chopping Ford’s # of vehicles, Ford’s inherent worth down massively with each passing day (and sending vehicle design and quality control to Calcutta).

  • avatar
    ceipower

    Lincoln needs something. Dropping the alphabet soup model names is a very small start. Lincolns all look like tarted-up Fords, IMO. Lincoln lost its mojo a long time ago. It could be fixed , but Ford shows no signs or willingness to make a long term commitment of that kind. Some low volume specialty products would generate Buzz for the entire line. A 4 door convertible perhaps or a Bentley-eske super coupe? The bean counters would never allow this. At Best we’d get a Mustang with a Lincoln grill or maybe a re-styled Taurus with an Lincoln grill. Lincoln is doomed. Cadillac has spent 1/2 billion dollars trying to get it’s mojo back over the past 20 years..The result- an over toasted Suburban/Tahoe with crests is it’s top seller by far.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      “…maybe a re-styled Taurus with an Lincoln grill.”

      Hi, and welcome to the year 2018. A lot has changed. For example, the “restyled Taurus” you’re predicting has already been released, sold, and has been replaced by the Continental, which shares very little with North American Ford cars. Some could argue that the Chinese (only) Taurus is a restyled Continental, but it isn’t the other way around. Some could also argue, quite ignorantly, that it is a “rebadged Fusion”, although that is stretching the truth from here to the moon and back.

      • 0 avatar
        civicjohn

        @JohnTaurus,

        I miss the days of the Lincoln Town Car. When I had to fly up to LGA and do some meetings with our clients, I always used a car service that attempted to link themselves with the music business (but at the time, all of the executives had an Escalade to take them home).

        Most times, my customers would make the reservation for me, bottled water, Billboard, everything a wannabe like me enjoyed. I even remember when L.A. Reid had his “Bentley watcher” engaged. If the Bentley and the watcher were next to Worldwide Plaza (a cross street to 8th. Ave), I knew he was “in the house”…

        Now, UBER and Lyft have created more traffic in Midtown Manhattan, taxi medallions aren’t worth crap anymore, and I recently read about the 6th cabbie that committed suicide. That is screwed. Those people worked endless hours only to be blindsided by ride share services. I know, progress is good. I started using UBER when it was only available in Silicon Valley, and I loved it!

        Fast forward to the future, if NYC has autonomous cars in the city, goodness knows what will happen. Hell, our orange leader’s lawyer is mainly in trouble because of his medallion bs.

        I guess I’m just too old school. The new Nissan cab, meh, won’t ever replace the drivers who at least tried to make my ride enjoyable.

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          @civicjohn– “You must lead a charming life.”

          • 0 avatar
            civicjohn

            @scarey,

            “Charmed” is not a term I would use. I just lucked out and found a niche that became a global standard, and then I broke my back and I walk with a cane. Whatever, I could be pushing up daisies.

            But even when the driver was cutting through Central Park to make my flight, I always felt comfortable and never ever missed a flight.

            I do remember my first flight to NYC when I was 24 and I shared a cab with a buddy into the city. The driver slammed his car into the rear bumper of another car, I think I moaned a bit, and the cabbie turned around and said to me in his thick Bronx accent, “welcome to New York.” I never said another word for 10 years. I remember on Sundays the cabbies would go 60+mph on Fifth Ave….I just prayed….

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Lincoln’s naming conventions could have worked with a bigger range. Jaguars didn’t work but now I think they do. For example XE is Jaguars small car, E Pace is the small SUV. XF and F Pace are mid size car and Mid size SUV. XJ and J Pace are large lux car and will be large lux SUV… it makes sense with a bigger range because there is a common letter linking models by size.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    How about the Lincoln Turnpike Cruiser for the the MKC. For a subcompact crossover the name should be the Lincoln Aspire since it aspires to be bigger.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    There was also the Navy’s (and Marine Corps’) Chance-Vought F4U Corsair of World War II and Korea. And LTV’s (later Vought) A-7 Corsair II attack aircraft (USAF/Navy) of the ’60’s and ’70s.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    The Lincoln BTK, no, that won’t work either.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    The Lincoln Log, umm, probably not.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    The Lincoln Nebraska, it has a nice middle ‘Murica ring to it…maybe not.

  • avatar
    SilverCoupe

    Because compared with competitor’s vehicles its design will be “coarser”?

  • avatar
    Mike-NB

    I had no idea that a Corsair was a pirate ship prior to reading this. I just assumed that it was named for the Vought F4U.

    I think Lincoln is making the right move with renaming their vehicles to something that has a hope of being remembered. I have a Lincoln MK … hold on, I have to go check… Z… I have an MKZ and would prefer if it had a cool name.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      The M.K.Z on your car is easy to remove. Replace it with “Schooner” and you’ll be the only kid on your block with one. A friend of mine did that, but he used “Mickey Zee”. Someone asked him, “who’s ‘Mickey Zee’?” and he told them it was Mickey Mouse’s French cousin.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    The Lincoln Alligator FTW !

  • avatar
    conundrum

    I highly doubt Ford/Lincoln has patented the name Corsair. Names are not patentable things. Inventions may be granted a patent.

    Trademarked is the word you need.

    So if Corsair bombs in focus groups where the participants are more interested in the pay and lunch than for sitting around garbling nonsense, Lincoln, on whom millions of words have been wasted to about null effect, can call it the Mark Trade. That would be more memorable anyway. “I’ve got a Trade” has a nice ring to it considering what they purchased.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    With the current face of Lincoln it could be the Mincer for all anybody would know. Squeeze some garlic in there and protect yourself from vampires.

  • avatar

    Why would anyone buy a SUV from a luxury division that sells less than a 100,000 vehicles a year.

    The Cosair was the first naval fighter to fly faster than 400mph in level flight. It was unstoppable during the pacific campaign during WW2. It was also used during the Korean War. This turd of a vehicle should not use the great Cosair name.

    It has just been announced that Hacket the-hatchet man has axed the Lincoln Continental for 2022. Since Ford announced the cancellation of most of their cars it stands to reason their sales would slump. This is something the Hatchet-man does not comprehend.

    Ford – what a disgrace!

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      No Continental !?!?!?!? Let’s see (understand that I have been a Ford guy since BEFORE it was cool, bought my first New car *Mustang* in 1973)- Ford will be selling the F-series pickups and Expedition and Excursion spinoffs Check, Transit Vans Check, Mustang Check, the Lincoln Navigator, Check, so far so good, An Indian-built Japanese/Korean clone SUV, *probably an image-killing BLUNDER the likes of which has not been seen at Ford since 1958, the Lincoln Aviator (probably now in doubt with the demise of the Continental), Lincoln MKC, and Lincoln MKX. Are the MKC and the MKX both necessary ? No.
      And hybrid variants of all, probably leading to hybrid-only lineups later.
      I don’t think that the Eco-Sport will be able to hack it as Ford’s only non-Mustang car. Sales will be disappointing and damaging to the brand.
      That leaves pickups and offshoots, vans, Mustang, and a crappy Indian POS.
      Ford Death Watch starts in 3…2…1…NOW !

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I read a story that they are converting a shuttered Mitsu store to Lincoln, closing two other Lincoln stores, and there will be a single sales location for central Indiana.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Lincoln is a dead brand walking.

      They waited 10 years too long to redesign and build a Navigator even remotely competitive (okay, it’s not actually competitive at all at the 80k+ price point), and unveiled a homely new one with the styling of a barn just in time for the next deceleration in auto sales (and SUV sales) and downturn in the overall economy.

      Also, Lincoln dealerships have all the prestige, class and charm of a KIA dealership, complete with 90s era salesbros and New Jersey hoes.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    They can start closing some factories now. As I said, they will have Ford and Lincoln pickups(5), Ford and Lincoln SUVs (4), Ford vans (2), Mustang, Ranger/Bronco, and Eco-Sport. They had better get a new ‘strategery’ soon.

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    Complain non stop about letter names, get normal name, complain about normal name. OMG FORD DEATHWATCH!

  • avatar
    thegamper

    If there is a Lincoln name that should be resurrected, it has to be “Blackwood”. Nothing speaks to exquisite taste, sophistication, elegance like the model that bore that name.

    Joking aside, love me some Continental. Think it’s the only vehicle Lincoln makes that I would actually consider paying for.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    Actually, this is how I scored it in actual models- Ford P/U (1), Ford/Lincoln Expedition/Excursion (1), Ford/Lincoln mid-size SUVs (2), Transit/Transit Connect (2), Mustang (1), Ranger/Bronco (1), Eco-Sport (1), for a total of 9 separate distinct lines. I don’t work at Ford, so please help me if I am wrong
    IMO, Lincoln should consist of Nav and Town Car only.

  • avatar
    mcs

    Wait until they decide they need a Lincoln version of the EcoSport. You know they will. It’s only a matter of time.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    The Lincoln MS13.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    The Lincoln TunnelVision.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    The LincoSport.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    They were probably thinking about channeling the graceful F4U Corsair from WWII, but it conveys more of the attitude of the A-7 Corsair II from Vietnam Era. The A7 was nicknamed SLUF for “Short Little Ugly F***er”. Just saying –

  • avatar
    zipper69

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      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.

  • avatar

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

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