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Lincoln reveals the cars of tomorrow with a very strong nod to the past

By Tom Gibson | July 27, 2021

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Is this what the cars of tomorrow look like? The Lincoln Motor Company thinks so.

Lincoln reveals the cars of tomorrow with a very strong nod to the past

The American giant recently revealed four concept cars aimed at depicting the types of vehicles we’ll see in 2040. 

The designs are eye catching to say the least and have drawn comparisons in this office to everything from Batmobiles to space ships and there’s certainly nods to 30s America captured within the cars too. 

Lincoln reveals the cars of tomorrow with a very strong nod to the past Image

The concepts were created by four teams of transportation design students at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California and Lincoln’s design director, Kemal Curic, said: “We didn’t want to restrain or limit the students, so we had very few descriptors. We wanted an autonomous, electric, and shared two-seater, four-seater, high-riding four-seater, and six-seater. We wanted to include our brand pillars of humanity, beauty, and gliding, based on our vision of Quiet Flight, which is what Lincoln stands for. And we said, let’s dream up something the world has not yet seen.”

The results are quite stunning, and complete, in part because the students worked in conjunction with colleagues from film, illustration, animation and architecture departments to create both the vehicles and the stories behind them. 7

Lincoln reveals the cars of tomorrow with a very strong nod to the past Image

There’s a two-seat autonomous Glider is inspired by Lincoln Zephyrs and Continentals of the past—Streamline Moderne vehicles from the ’30s and ’40s, favoured by Frank Lloyd Wright—and a four-seat sedan loads up digital images that provide a couple with scenes from their 30-year marriage as they tour locations where these memories were made. A four-seat SUV takes a family on an adventure, displaying images from their mother’s initial connection with astronomy as she prepares to go into space. And a six-passenger luxury cruiser, built out like a living room, takes an up-and-coming band on a relaxing drive as they prepare for their first big gig.

“I was mesmerized by the visualization,” says Curic. “I love putting all these diverse skill sets together where we focus not only on the vehicle but also on the feeling these vehicles will convey in 2040. I was blown away by the architecture, environmental, and storytelling bit. They do a lot of Hollywood work at ArtCenter, so it’s all about the narrative.” These narratives help communicate more fully how the appearance of the car might change—but, perhaps more important, how it might be integrated into our lives in new ways as technologies and needs shift. Curic notes the “intriguing architecture and buildings, and the vehicles built into these backgrounds…[the stories give a] more holistic sense of our future incorporating cars into the built environment,” says Curic.

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