Lincoln MKZ sedan so hot it's smoking, literally

Lincoln's MKZ sedan concept hit a snag at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show when a door panel started belching smoke.

Spontaneous combustion: The MKZ's door was puffing like a pack-a-day smoker. Lincoln attributed the smoke to an electrical short. Tim Hornyak/CNET

DETROIT--Sexy new cars should come with some sizzle, but when they start to smoke, caveat conceptor.

That was the case at the 2012 North American International Auto Show when the new Lincoln MKZ sedan concept began puffing away while on a tilted stage.

It happened while a lovely lady was posing for photos by the MKZ's driver-side door for a New York Times photographer. Tendrils of smoke suddenly began wafting up from the panel.

I hate to say cherchez la femme, but perhaps she was a little too lovely.

The smoke turned into a veritable column, and in moments Lincoln staff were all over the MKZ, ushering journalists away from the vehicle.

Off limits: Lincoln men shooed everyone away and closed ranks around the troubled MKZ. The car was available for viewing soon after. Tim Hornyak/CNET

Designed by Max Wolff under the theme of "elegant simplicity," the MKZ concept was apparently slated to be shown at the 2011 New York auto show, but was pushed back for more work.

The concept is seen as key in the reinvention of Lincoln, formerly the top-selling luxury brand in the U.S.

The MKZ was given a more aggressive look, a bolder front, and a grille that looks like the wings of an eagle, a throwback to the 1938 Lincoln Zephyr.

The swishy interior features LCD instrumentation, push-button transmission gear selection, as well as poplar, aluminum, and leather finishes.

Perforations in the seat leather are meant to conjure champagne bubbles. Perhaps the smoky door echoes a fine Cuban cigar.

Lincoln dismissed the haze, however, as normal growing pains.

"The car is a concept so minor issues with concepts tend to arise," said Lincoln's Sam Locricchio. "The incident (electrical) was resolved quickly and without incident, and (the car) therefore was available shortly afterwards for media."

The lady in question, when asked about the smoldering, just smiled quizzically.

 

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