Aviator Concept/MKX
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]