Lincoln showed off its C concept at the 2009 Detroit auto show, with the idea that luxury cars don't have to be big. This urban cruiser uses an economical 1.6-liter four-cylinder direct injection engine. Even more interesting is the six-speed dual-clutch transmission, a new development from Ford we hope to see in a production car soon.
At first glance, the C looks very odd, but when we noticed the wide, two-tone rear pillar, the style became clear--the C hearkens back to luxury hard tops of the 1930s. The front grille features Lincoln's signature wings, another feature brought back from an earlier era.
The C has a hubless steering wheel, with the wheel rotating on a chrome rim to provide steering input. A hubless wheel gives the driver an unobstructed view of the instrument panel. Paddle shifters for the dual-clutch transmission are mounted on the stationary rim.
A touch pad lets the driver control the interface. This concept is meant to have the conceptual dashboard avatar Ford showed off at CES 2009, a virtual person named EVA who helps the driver by reading incoming e-mail, scheduling appointments, providing traffic directions, and communicating through a conversational voice command system.