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What’s in a Name: Why Lincoln Chose the Corsair Name

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2020 Lincoln Corsair Reveal NYIAS 2019
Photo: Lincoln Motor Company

We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief comforted by the knowledge that Lincoln is totally, completely, officially done naming its vehicles using the MK_ nomenclature. What started with the return of the Lincoln Continental carried on with the Nautilus and Aviator, reflecting a trend toward names that express the brand’s value and evoke the feeling of exploration and journeying. The new Lincoln Corsair continues that trend, building up the brand’s ethos of Quiet Flight and the idea of names that stand out a bit more than the old alphanumeric approach.

More on the Latest Lincoln: The Corsair looks to be a big hit with young luxury lovers

“We believe that distinguishable vehicle names that fit with who our luxury clients are help build on the whole Lincoln brand narrative of being warm, human, and personally crafted,” said Lincoln Marketing Manager Trevor Scott. “The MK approach we used in the past didn’t necessarily help to achieve that, and in many instances, it may have provided more confusion for customers looking at the variety of models in the Lincoln portfolio.”

Scott said that the process of coming up with the Corsair name took years, beginning with several options that were whittled down to the best fit. To get there, Lincoln looked out at other auto brands to see what was available domestically and internationally, and it pulled in luxury customers to get their feelings about potential naming options.

Eventually, the team landed on Corsair, which derives from the word cursus, which is Latin for journey. The idea behind the name is that it will help it appeal to a younger demo, continuing Lincoln’s shift away from the existing perception of the brand that holds it primarily as a favorite choice of older drivers.

“We are expecting Corsair to target more aspirational, affluent, and youthful clients for Lincoln. They are motivated clients that are looking for distinctive design, purposeful technology, and unique experiences that encapsulate their sense of discovery,” he said.

Lincoln is next expected to replace the MKZ sedan with a vehicle called the Zephyr.

Still Ticking: The MK nomenclature lives on (for now) with the 2019 Lincoln MKZ