A Curious Concept from 1983 – The Lincoln Quicksilver

Like all great inventions – whether the Lincoln Quicksilver is one or not – if they’re released to early it would be pure insanity.

In any case, experimentation is always valuable. As redundant as it may seem, Ford began research on an aerodynamic car design in the early 1980’s. Their studies have impacted the way they design the exterior and even the placement and construction of other features like engines, ever since.

A series of model prototypes were soon completed. Among them, the Probe concept model showed a seemingly outlandish take on the mid-sized sedan and SUV class, inside and out. Not surprisingly, this odd model was never mass produced for the public, although the Ford Motor company made significant gains in their research and development.

rear view of the Lincoln Quicksilver concept

image credit to www.oldconceptcars.com

Around the same time, in 1983 a similar concept model was completed by Lincoln. Called the Quicksilver, it appears shockingly similar to the Probe models. While the key differences aren’t obvious, there’s a lot to say about the Quicksilver model we know about.

The 1983 Lincoln Quicksilver Concept Car

Carrozzeria, once a prominent research division of Ford, played a seemingly pivotal role in the proof of this concept vehicle, which made its debut at the Geneva motor show.

Unlike anything they’d ever released, Lincoln introduced it as a spacious luxury sedan. Its predominant qualities dealt with its aerodynamic shape, which spans over approximately 280mm worth of chassis length. This provided a performance benefit to the cost-effective model choice, however luxury features like its unique interior played a major role as well.

The chassis model used was an AC ME 3,000. The Lincoln Quicksilver also utilized the engine layout of this chassis, to support their 3L V6 engine.

By today’s standards, this would deliver an exceptional amount of power, and the 5-speed manual transmission was in many ways ahead of its time. While similar manual transmission models had been available previously, Lincoln took a calculated gamble with their first one in nearly ten years.

A Look at the Radical Interior and Exterior

The body itself is clearly goal-oriented and didn’t favor the appearance quality. In fact, achieving a Cd rating of 0.30 is an impressive feat.

However, Lincoln still achieved remarkable results in aesthetics with the 1983 Quicksilver concept, as the glasshouse exterior is practical and well designed to match the large aerodynamic body. It’s certainly a testament to the beautiful panoramic glass roof featured on the 2017 Lincoln MKZ.

It’s certainly more refined than the oft-compared-to Ford Probe series. Looking inside, however, we see a lot of risk and experimentation.

The circular form of most of the interior shapes is in stark contrast to the strictly square shaped object designs of the time. Everything, from the air vents and odometers and gauges are developed around the same shape and contour of the steering wheel. Even by today’s standards, the circular dashboard seems a bit radical.

The novel influence of futuristic design is prevalent here. For this reason, it’s interesting the Lincoln went with a classic gear shifter with a spherical, solid black knob.

Production and Public Awareness

The Lincoln Quicksilver concept car was purely for show. It displayed the versatility and big thinking of Lincoln’s designers, as well as their ability to competently take risks.

It never made the production stage. That being said, if Ford could learn design implementations that are still in effect today, from a less refined and similar design, it’s certainly provided benefit to Lincoln’s craftsmanship, as well as their brand awareness.

Still an appreciable asset, it was sold in an auction in 2014 and remains part of a private collection.