Lincoln Motor Company has just announced its launch a full product lineup in China, including five new vehicles. One of those – a midsize luxury SUV – accompanies the news in this teaser video above. Though Lincoln hasn’t given away much info on the new vehicle, the video does reveal some interesting aspects.
From the few glimpses visible, the SUV appears to be a highly sculpted crossover with plenty of LED trickery and accent lighting. Most eye-catching are the massive turn signals that surround the headlight fixtures and continue to the side mirrors. A strong belt line runs just under the windows with a large rear haunch laying above the rear tire. If things stay true to the artist’s drawings seen here, the front will feature some fairly stunning sculpted lines with plenty of drama.
This SUV will join a lineup of four other cars including the MKZ, the MKC, a new full-size luxury sedan , and the refreshed Navigator – all of which will be built inside the United States. What’s more, Lincoln is taking an entirely new approach to selling cars, one based relationships and an inviting dealer environment.
Lincoln’s goal is a network of 60 dealers in 50 cities across China by 2016, with the first eight opening this fall. The dealers will run under the ideology of “The Lincoln Way,” a much more personal, relationship-biased approach to selling cars. “It completely shifts luxury automotive ownership from a sales and service transaction model to an experience model,” says Jim Farley, Ford’s executive vice president of global marketing.
The dealers will feature a more home-like atmosphere with a tea room and other amenities like the Personalization Studio where customers can customize and order their particular vehicle. The new dealership style will concentrate its focus on providing good relationships and quality treatment than having a large, uninviting room packed with products. It’ll be interesting to see how this business model works for China and if it could work within the U.S.
Updated 04/21/2014: Lincoln pulled the covers off its MKX Concept at the Beijing Auto Show and release these detailed images. Sadly, there isn’t much news about the interior or engine options at this time. Click past the jump to see the new shots and read the updated press release.
Click past the jump to read more about the Lincoln MKX Concept Crossover.
Lincoln is certainly headed in the right direction with its exterior styling and design language. It’s just futuristic and modern to compete with Cadillac’s ‘Art and Science’ theme while still looking completely original and distinctly Lincoln . The new MKX is slated to become a world-player, including the U.S., so we should see the new Lincoln here for the 2016 model year.
Overall, the design is elegant and tasteful. The new corporate grille is packed with intricate details and shapes, not to mention headlights comprised of LEDs. The lower front fascia carries the theme, complementing the upper grille and looking like a snarling, angry mouth.
According to Lincoln, the Chinese market is looking for a crossover with sporty handling and off-road ability. To help with the latter, the MKX has decent ground clearance, relatively good approach and departure angles, and outlined fender wells in black trim. It’s pure speculation, but don’t be surprised if the MKX comes powered with an EcoBoost engine and AWD.
Around back, a large taillight fixture adorns the rear finders and trunk lid. It’s reminiscent of Dodge ’s ‘racetrack’ taillights, but its different enough to not be a copy. Integrated tailpipes in the lower fascia are surrounded by chrome rings match the huge, 21-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli rubber.
Keep posted to TopSpeed for any breaking information on the new Lincoln. We’ll be bringing it as it happens.
Gallery Lincoln MKX Concept Crossover
Though it’s due for a major refresh, Cadillac’s SRX crossover is a solid competitor for Lincoln. The two American brands have long been rivals, though with Cadillac’s resurgence in the past few years, Lincoln has been left to struggle. A new luxury crossover from the blue oval would certainly be welcomed by luxury buyers.
The current SRX saw a major interior refresh for 2014. The updated digs more closely resemble those of the classy ATS and CTS sedans and includes Caddy’s CUE infotainment system.
Power comes from the familiar 3.6-liter V-6 making 308 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. Mated to a 6-speed automatic, the SRX will hit 60 mph in just over 7 seconds on its way to a limited 117 mph. Offered in FWD and AWD setups, the SRX is a versatile crossover with plenty of luxurious pizzazz and swank.
Starting price for the SRX begins at $38,225 and grows to over $51,000 with AWD and all the extras.
Gallery Cadillac SRX
Like the Cadillac and Lincoln, the Lexus RX 350 compete for the same customers who look for a small to midsized crossover with plenty of room, technology, and top-notch quality throughout. Lexus might not have Lincoln’s long and storied history, but the American automaker could certainly learn a lesson or two about how to (re)break into the tough luxury market.
Powering the RX 350 is a 3.5-liter V-6 making 270 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. It is underpowered when compared to its rivals, but the Lexus does have a certain smoothness to its power delivery to it. Zero to 60 mph comes in at 7.7 seconds with a limited top speed of 112 mph.
Pricing for the RX 350 begins at $41,705 for the FWD model and $43,105 for the AWD version.
Gallery Lexus RX 350
Lincoln MKX Concept Hints at Sophisticated, Elegant Global Sport Utility Vehicle
> The Lincoln MKX Concept, unveiled at Auto China 2014, previews an elegant update to Lincoln’s midsize premium utility vehicle
> Well-balanced proportions highlighted by wide shoulders, a sloping roofline and 21-inch wheels create a gracefully athletic presence
> Full LED headlamps with strips of dynamic LED signature lighting – which light sequentially as part of Lincoln’s updated approach detection – float within a reimagined Lincoln split-wing grille
> Projections call for continued growth of the premium midsize utility segment worldwide through 2018
BEIJING, April 20, 2014 – The Lincoln Motor Company today unveiled the MKX Concept at Auto China 2014 in Beijing. The Lincoln MKX Concept hints at a global SUV that will become the third of four all-new Lincoln vehicles due by 2016. It is designed to capture the attention of consumers worldwide.
This unveiling in Beijing marks the first time Lincoln has stepped beyond U.S. borders to reveal a concept vehicle.
Drawing design inspiration from airplanes and motorbikes, the Lincoln MKX Concept evokes feelings of power and agility, offering a glimpse of the American luxury brand’s future as it enters the rapidly growing Chinese market.
Several customer research clinics were held in China and the United States to gather feedback on the design to ensure the final execution would satisfy and delight luxury customers around the world.
"Great emphasis was put on the proportions of this concept vehicle," said Andrea Di Buduo, exterior design manager of the Lincoln MKX Concept. "It’s a very emotional, athletic design. Its horizontal lines and defined undercuts are gracefully integrated and very sophisticated, yet convey a powerful and dynamic presence."
Intensive study of the Chinese luxury customer over the past few years revealed that a medium premium utility vehicle should express off-road capability and sportiness.
Based on that, the MKX Concept includes elements such as a separated front skid plate, heightened ground clearance and reinforced wheel arches. The floating aluminum body-side rocker molding is engraved with the Lincoln logo.
This execution communicates adaptability to different road conditions, combined with crafted execution and attention to detail.
Defined by an aerodynamic, sloping teardrop roofline, the Lincoln MKX Concept’s modern silhouette lends to its sporty personality, which is highlighted by wide shoulders flanking its recessed rear windows to heighten the design. Dynamic side undercuts, a high beltline and 21-inch machined aluminum wheels further enhance the well-proportioned design.
The roof over the rear was lowered to give the vehicle a sleeker shape. Highlighted by a panoramic glass surface that lets natural light fill the cabin and integrated roof racks, the floating rear spoiler houses the center high-mounted stop light and hides the antenna.
The Lincoln MKX Concept offers a new interpretation of Lincoln’s signature full-width taillamps.
"Concept vehicles are defined by every design detail," said David Woodhouse, Lincoln design director, "and this MKX Concept shows how Lincoln’s thoughtful design philosophy continues to evolve. The Lincoln brand was built on vehicles with stunning design, and the MKX Concept is the latest example."
Lincoln’s aggressive signature split-wing grille accentuates the front end. The artistic interpretation of the grille features horizontal lines that continue as strips of LED accent lights below each headlamp. These strips of light glow sequentially as part of Lincoln’s updated approach detection feature – one element of the Lincoln Experiences package.
Lincoln Experiences, a technology-driven suite of features introduced on the all-new 2015 Lincoln MKC small utility vehicle, is designed to create a warmer, more personal luxury car-owning experience. Anticipating and responding to a driver’s needs and preferences, Lincoln Experiences offers a warm embrace that begins as a driver approaches the vehicle and continues upon entry and vehicle start-up.
"The transformation of The Lincoln Motor Company is under way, with sales up 27 percent in the United States over the last six months, due largely to the all-new MKZ sedan, and excitement is building for the soon-to-arrive MKC," said Jim Farley, executive vice president, global Ford marketing, sales and service and Lincoln.
"That momentum continues with this MKX Concept. It demonstrates the design direction for the third all-new vehicle from Lincoln, one that will capture the true essence of the brand – warm and inviting, beautifully styled, and with the promise of engaging technologies that appeal to a younger luxury consumer in a global market."
Lincoln will enter the Chinese market later this year when MKZ and MKC go on sale. An MKX production model would compete in the fast-growing midsize premium utility segment there. With 245,000 sales in 2013, the segment has grown 9,650 percent in the past five years. Premium midsize utility vehicles – which represent 17 percent of the luxury market and 45 percent of the luxury utility market in China – are projected to grow an additional 84 percent, to more than 450,000 units by 2018.*
In the United States, the segment grew 13 percent from 2008 to 2013, to 441,000 units. That growth is expected to continue through 2018, when projections call for almost 550,000 vehicle sales. Globally, the midsize premium utility segment accounted for 839,000 sales in 2013, and is projected to eclipse 1.2 million sales by 2018.**
*Sales and segmentation data provided by IHS; **sales and segmentation data provided by manufacturer