2015 Lincoln MKC

The all-new car model – 2015 Lincoln MKC was quietly shown at the LA Auto Show at November 2013, surprising given how important this car is to the Lincoln Motor Company and that it’s rather good looking in person.

So, yes, the MKC shares its platform with a Ford product, or rather several of them, as it rides on the solid C1 bones that also underpin the Focus, the C-Max, and the one most closely related to this Lincoln, the Escape. But calling the MKC a rebadged Escape sells short the alterations that make it, if not a unique vehicle, somewhat more than a simple re-skin.

The MKC offers two turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The new one displaces 2.3 liters, so, as with the MKZ and its V-6, the MKC offers a powerplant unavailable in its correlate Ford (although a stronger version will find its way into the 2015 Mustang).

Compared with the 2.0-liter base unit, it receives unique intake and exhaust plumbing, including a three-port integrated exhaust manifold (as opposed to a single port); a new radiator, condenser, and air-to-air intercooler; larger valves; and its own twin-scroll Honeywell turbocharger that pumps at 15 psi.

Making 275 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 300 lb-ft of torque at 3000, it’s competitive with the German bogeys namely the Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Mercedes GLK, the top-deck versions of which make 272, 300, and 302 horsepower and 295, 300, and 273 lb-ft.

The Lincoln Motor Company announced today that when the MKC goes on sale in summer 2014, it’ll start at $33,995. That gets you the 2.0-liter Ecoboost with front-wheel drive and stuff like paddles for the six-speed automatic, 18-inch wheels, backup camera and a numbered keypad on the driver’s door in the great Ford tradition. The top-shelf Reserve trim level starts at $40,930 and brings even more luxury features including the panoramic roof, navigation, cooled front seats and wifi access…