2013 MKZ Debuts with Retractable Panoramic Roof
DEARBORN - Back in the old days, drivers and passengers were exposed to the elements. The first car bodies were, of course, nothing more than motorized open buggies, with some having surrey-style fabric roofs. Not only were there no side windows, but windshields had not been invented.
Lincoln’s founder and legendary innovator, Henry Leland, was the first automaker to offer a car with fully enclosed interior. Drivers and passengers appreciated the protection from the weather, road grime and smells of early 20th century motoring.
In a curious twist since Leland introduced the Osceola – the so-called “closed-car” concept in 1905 – drivers have been torn between wanting comfort provided by a protected interior and excitement and fun of open-air motoring.
In the following 11 decades, engineers and designers conceived multiple “convertible” roof options: targa tops, T-tops, traditional fabric-roof convertibles, retractable hard-top convertibles and the ever-popular moon/sunroof. The most recent trend follows the growing popularity of large panoramic roofs like those offered on the Lincoln MKX, MKS and MKT.
For 2013, Lincoln expands on the concept of the panoramic roof on the all-new MKZ midsize sedan. The retractable panoramic roof is the largest moving glass panel roof in Lincoln history, and at 15.2-square-feet is the second-largest in the world. According to supplier-partner Webasto, the MKZ’s roof offers the largest effective opening available on any sedan in the world.
The MKZ’s panel retracts riding on tracks that follow the curvature of the sweeping roofline.
A dedicated team managed by Jeff Comfort, engineer, Moonroof System, and Doug Martinelli, supervisor, Power Closure Systems, helped bring the vision of the Lincoln Design Studio to life.
“The panoramic roof is one of the features we included in the new MKZ to deliver a show car for the street,” said Solomon Song, manager, Lincoln Design. “In person, it is striking. The translucent roof panel delivers an open and airy feeling to the interior when the roof is closed, then really opens things up when it retracts.”
Expect the retractable panoramic roof to become a signature feature for Lincoln.