We've now seen the Lincoln MKX Concept in the metal, and we've shot it with the lenses of our own DSLR cameras. And we have to say, our opinion of the concept's design language has improved over our initial reaction. Yes, it's clear that this MKX shares its underpinnings with those of the Ford Edge Concept that we saw in LA, but the changes made by Lincoln stylists are a welcome departure from the angular lines of its corporate cousin from The Blue Oval.

We like the subtlety of the MKX Concept's front fascia, and the lighting elements both front and rear lend a luxurious quality to the crossover's typical two-box proportions. When combined with the smaller MKC that was shown in production form late last year, it's clear to see that Lincoln has a specific design direction that at least seems visually capable of setting it apart from the Ford models with which the brand shares its platforms. Here's hoping there are some Lincoln-specific upgrades underhood...

Have a look at our image gallery of live photos from Beijing above, reread the press release below, and feel free to let us know what you think.
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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

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      That Gold matte paint makes this look like something from MTVs pimp my ride.
      • 8 Months Ago
      How do ppl think this looks good but the Lexus NX looks bad?!?!?! The whole lincoln line is fugly!!
        Randolph Rosamie-Tev
        • 8 Months Ago
        This is tastefully understated compared to the overwrought Lexus... as my design professor always emphasized on us KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid
      • 8 Months Ago
      Very clean window treatment, side profile is quite handsome, rear is iffy. But Lincoln just doesn't seem to realize that the cruise liner grill is completely unattractive. And let's face it; for folks getting into a vehicle like this, style is a factor.
      • 8 Months Ago
      epic fail. still looks EXACTLY like the upcoming EDGE. Lincoln just doesnt get it....THAT FROMT END IS HORRIBLE. MY hopes are all but lost for this brand. R.I P
        • 8 Months Ago
        you have no clue what you're talking about. where does this look like the edge?
          • 8 Months Ago
          You don't see it? Four wheels, headlights, a big piece of glass to look outside from. It's exactly like the Edge! /s
      • 8 Months Ago
      the problem with this current design language from Lincoln is that it is just not exciting enough to make the brand survive. That front end design will never be exciting enough. And this still looks exactly like the upcoming Edge. Unless Lincoln can pull off a new modern 1961 continental for its 100 year anniversary in 2017...than this brand is dead
        • 8 Months Ago
        Disagree. Enthusiasts don't sell cars, and this is the understated but different look that will make Lincoln important again. Granted, it won't blow up the sales charts in the USA, but China is a whole other story. Just read any article about the dealer strategy and tell me that wouldn't at least make you consider a Lincoln, even with your so-called "not exciting" design. The design will at least bring people to the dealer, the service and atmosphere will keep people coming back. If Lincoln brings their China strategy to the US (if the dealers here agree to it) then I guarantee they will sell more cars. The US has too many crappy dealers with people that don't appreciate their customers. Bring an experience of a dealer with nice amenities and first-class service and you'll have trouble keeping up with the customer load.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Surprisingly, I like it. They should biild in the exact same way as the concept. They need to take the risk, RR did it with the succesful EVOQUE.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Best interpretation of the split wing grille yet. I expect the production version will see the mirrors toned down, but hope they keep the front lights integrated with the grille. Very slick. The only overlap I see with the Edge concept was they had similar taillight treatments. The rest of the design elements are unique to Lincoln and very attractive. Hopefully they put some unique engines in it and maybe a hybrid.
        • 8 Months Ago
        I think we will find the Edge will lose the horizontal light bar in the back.. It has become a Lincoln thing with the MKZ and should remain a Lincoln thing, IMO. The edge might even look better with the stand alone tail lamps.
      • 8 Months Ago
      This looks like it will be another winner for Lincoln !!
      • 8 Months Ago
      Thank God no cheap black plastic for rocker panels. Hope that makes production. Front looks fine. Rear looks like an angry Asian man. Not flattering.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Nice...nothing much to complain about the design, it actually looks good... better than Q5, x3 and glk... might not drive as sporty and it's fwd based but considering most buy into this class for comfort that is not a bad thing. Note if Ford could only convince some people to drive to a Lincoln dealership
      • 8 Months Ago
      Beautiful throughout. I'm glad Lincoln's bringing back the full-length taillights. That was one of the best features of the Gen 1 MKX. Ford is really showing Lincoln can make good cars again. Hopefully the market notices and picks up on them.
      • 8 Months Ago
      "Yes, it's clear that this MKX shares its underpinnings with those of the Ford Edge Concept that we saw in LA" Clear???? I don't think so skippy... There is no evidence this shares anything with the Ford Edge. Even the roofline is different.
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