DETROIT -- When it comes to Lincoln design, car buffs invariably recall the 1961 Lincoln Continental and its iconic suicide doors.
The internal debate over whether to repeat the doors became a major source of tension in the development of the MKR concept. Early on, most of the designers involved in the project pushed for rear-hinged suicide doors.
But the conflict was resolved by the team's commitment to keep the MKR a practical vehicle that could end up in showrooms. Conventional rear doors, hinged at the front, won out in part because they are more feasible for a production car.
Suicide doors are a "neat novelty," but the Lincoln team "didn't want to live in the past," said chief designer Gordon Platto. To make the MKR's doors distinctive for the concept stage, they are hung at a rakish upward angle of about 8 degrees.
The MKR's production feasibility, exhibited in part by those doors, makes it a departure from some other recent Lincoln concepts, said Xitij Mistry, the designer who drew the car's exterior.
Said Mistry: "Lincoln's past show cars were a bit indulgent as to what could be achieved."