SEOUL, Korea – In a competition open to both domestic and import vehicles, the Lincoln MKZ has been named Innovation of the Year by one of South Korea’s top newspapers.
The 2014 Car of the Year (COTY) awards, presented by the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper, are considered one of the country’s most prestigious automobile honors.
To be eligible, a vehicle must have been introduced in Korea in the preceding calendar year. This year, 46 models competed for honors, and 16 finalists were selected for test drives as part of the second evaluation process.
The Innovation of the Year Award is for the “most innovative car in various aspects in the automobile industry and market, including technology, design, performance, smartness and eco-friendliness.” The MKZ was selected based on its modern design interpretation of elegant simplicity in addition to its class-leading technology, including one of the world’s widest-opening retractable glass roofs and Push Button Shift gear selector.
“Not only with the artistically crafted exterior, the Lincoln MKZ is the most innovative in terms of design,” said Jang Jin-Taek, CEO of Car Media. “I am so impressed with innovation and technologies and with the driver interface inside the Lincoln MKZ. The idea of replacing the traditional mechanical transmission shift lever with a contemporary five-button interface is amazing.”
The Lincoln MKZ, which represents a key milestone in Lincoln’s reinvention, made its Asia debut in South Korea last spring, at the Seoul Motor Show. Its official launch in May included an innovative exhibition by eight renowned Korean artists, “Art by MKZ,” featuring artwork that reflected messages of Lincoln’s design values – progress and sensation, transformation, reimagination and the coexistence of the past and future.
Several months after the launch, Lincoln partnered with promising artists through the Lincoln Reimagine Project to create groundbreaking art based on their experience with the Lincoln MKZ under the theme ”Creating New Out of Old.”
Vehicles being considered for Car of the Year honors were assessed by a 20-member panel of automotive experts and journalists.