• Jan 14th 2007 at 3:27PM
  • 30
Click image for high-res comparison gallery

Attending a show always gets us thinking about concept cars and how they'll wind up translating into real in-the-showroom and on-the-road vehicles. This week, all the talk was about cars like Ford's Interceptor, Lincoln's MKR, Chevy's Volt, Mazda's Ryuga and Nissan's Bevel, for example. The extent to which any or all of those will influence future production vehicles remains to be seen.

It's when new models are on the stands that we can look back and compare. This year, Lincoln's MKX is in showrooms, and we're now able to look back at the concept car that clearly showed the world what was coming. That would be the 2005 Lincoln Aviator (which shared its name with the Explorer-based production vehicle), and aside from some detail changes, it's pretty much the MKX we all see today.

The concept's leaner-looking -- something that didn't carry over as well to the production car. The MKX's more sedate interior trim is much more appealing than the blinged-out chrome look the cabin of the Aviator concept sported. Our feeling is that the Aviator's big wheels and hood-ornament look better than the smaller rollers and integrated grille badge on the production car. We also prefer the thicker c-pillar and rear-end treatment of the concept, but we know as well as anyone that you're going to lose something when you go to production, and that rear looked like it didn't have much of a chance.

Given the trade-offs that were made, the transformation from Aviator Concept to MKX worked out okay. Yes, we're aware that it's an alternately-styled Ford Edge, but the style it has works well. Check out the comparison gallery we put together and let us know what you think. We just wish they'd have kept the old name.

[Photos: Ford]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      "MKX looks like a Ford Edge in high drag. It's a sensible vehicle, but I doubt that it'll bring the Lincoln brand back from the dead."

      It isn't dead yet--but it's getting there.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Pointless. I've never understood how SUV 'style' has ever been a topic of debate or even conversation,,,, for Kia, Ford, Lincoln, Cadillac or Porsche models. The U in SUV stands for Utility, and whether their edges are rounded or squared, they'll never look like anything but a gussied up truck - grilles, c-pillars, chrome and oversized chrome rims notwithstanding. When it comes right down to it, any and all of 'em might as well all be minivans. Or panel vans.

      If a driver wants a cool (for them) head-turner that looks like something other than a big box, perhaps they should look at a Car.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Alex -- I think you forget that a black Lincoln station wagon with a closed in C-pillar is a HEARSE, lol.
      No doubt, the concept was sexier with the big wheels and the "Pedestrian Puncturer" Lincoln star. (unlike the Mercedes star, Lincoln's has a point, so I dont think we will be seeing it standing again)
      You missed the character line through the doors, which added to sleekness, but is much lower now, to use the Ford doorskins. Also, the need to tint the front door windows lighter cuts sleekness, especially on the white car that they stupidly photographed.
      The production interior is gorgeous, but they de-blinged just a bit too much --too safe!
      The big problems:
      1- they turned the edgy rear end design into a facsimile of previous Taurus-based Continenttals. Again, too safe, I think.
      2--what the HELL is an EM KAY EX???
      If they had kept with the Lincoln-identified sound of "Mark X" "Mark Z" etc -- better! I am sure those names turned off the people in the clinics who compared the car to a Lexus.

      When are these guys gonna learn that "too American for a Honda or Mercedes buyer, but well done" is the way to go?
      PS -- photo comparisons are a good idea, but, next time, pls reduce the jpegs by half and twin the concept and production car shots, so we can see them together.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #19. True for the landcruiser/LX clones but at least the Lexus version had an excellent interior and beautiful fit and finish. That really can't be said about the US products. Our car industry just can't quite "get" how to create interiors that are beautiful and functional.

      GM interiors = cheap feeling and looking plastic.

      The new Saturn Aura which is basically a Opel clone is an exception. Wait the Opel interior was designed in Europe hence the beauty of the Aura. Drats! GM can take no credit.
      • 8 Years Ago
      That One Person #34...sorry, Mazda has even said that the CX-7 is made of different Mazda car bits.

      "While styling echoes the CX-7, CX-9 is not a lengthened three-row CX-7, and CX-7 is not a shorter-wheelbase CX-9."

      If you read the Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazda_CX-7) a little closer, it says:
      "The CX-7 rides on an all-new platform instead of sharing the Ford/Mazda CD3 platform used by the larger Mazda CX-9/Ford Edge/Lincoln MKX crossovers as well as the Mazda6. It uses the front suspension of the Mazda MPV minivan, with the rear suspension from the Mazda5. Many of the all wheel drive components come from the Mazdaspeed 6. It shares its turbocharged engine with the Mazdaspeed6. The only available transmission will be a 6-speed automatic. The CX-7 currently slots between the Tribute and CX-9."

      You put that link in yourself. And, the CD3 platform Wikipedia article says nothing about the CX-7 at all. There was an article almost a year ago on Autoblog about the unrelation of the CX-7 and CD3, but I couldn't find it. The Autoweek article is incorrect. This one: http://autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060105/FREE/60105001&SearchID=73269265133338 lists the suspension components of the CX-7.
      • 8 Years Ago
      ............like it, but don't love it. And the direction that Lincoln is going, they need to make cars that people love. U know those times when one of your friends shows you their okay-looking girlfriend and you kinda look around to see everybody else's reaction before you make a comment? ... yeah that's how i feel about the Edge/ MKX
      • 8 Years Ago
      Let's see... Badge enginerring at it's blandest. The subconcious message Ford is putting out is "We have no creativity" and that's just what everyone wants from a car company these days. NOT!

      Isn't the Ford Edge actually a Mazda CX-7 underneath? So talk about taking Badge Engineering to a new level! Way to go Ford!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Typical......they should have kept the outside styling of the concept and used the inside oo the production model, would have impressed me, but current model looks typical Ford.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is really really ugly.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Very interesting comparison. I totally forgot about the concept. And I like the interior a lot more on the concept...even though it's very "retro". It's classy.

      Also, I like the hearse style c-pillars...
      • 8 Years Ago
      looks like a early 80s AMC
      • 8 Years Ago
      NOW, I really started thinking about the AMC thing.

      The Javelin and Hornet were some of the best styling of the late 20th century, although not great cars. The Hornet became the Eagle Sportabout later (see link)

      The EMM KAY EXX (or should it be PAR KAY EXX, since it is margarine, not butter?) could do worse than to resemble the AMC cars.
      The Ford version,which dictates the Lincoln, actually looks much fresher and bolder -- or I could call it the HEDGE. (sorry)
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