Just a year after the MKT Concept debuted at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, Lincoln will be unveiling the production version of its new three-row CUV next month at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. Fortunately, our spy photographers have snapped the most revealing views yet of this new Lincoln being driven out on the snowy streets of Dearborn. As you can see, the production MKT holds true to the design direction set by the concept with the largest version yet of Lincoln's signature split-wing grille and that conspicuous kink at the base of the C-pillar. In profile, the MKT seems to share a roofline with the Audi Q7 that creates a soft arch from front to back, and the rear gate is also tilted far forward to avoid the upright, boxy look of a traditional SUV or CUV.
Though the MKT is based on the same platform and shares many components with the Ford Flex, you could never tell by looking at it. There's no badge engineering going on here, and one could argue whereas the Flex design focuses on slab sides and accentuates the horizontal, the MKT is soft and organic with a focus on being sinewy rather than blocky.
Our spy photographers also snapped the dash, which continues a trend at Lincoln of upgrading the materials and incorporating the latest technology. That's real wood stretching across the instrument panel, and you'd be hard pressed to find a larger navigation screen in any other production vehicle (other than another Ford or Lincoln).
Finally, we also noticed that this particular prototype is wearing all of its badging, including an EcoBoost badge that confirms at least one engine choice will be an EcoBoost V6 that features turbocharging and direct injection. Keep your eyes on Autoblog in early January for our coverage of the 2009 Detroit Auto Show where we'll finally see Lincoln's future in person.
[Photos: KGP Photography]