Auto China 2014: Lincoln MKX Concept previews a global SUV [w/video]

Article by Christian A., on April 21, 2014

Lincoln Motor Company officially revealed the MKX Concept during the Auto China 2014 held in Beijing. Designed to get the attention of many customers around the world, this concept model acts as a preview to a global SUV that is slated to be the third of four models released by the brand by 2016. By unveiling such a model in Beijing, this marks the first time that the brand will be presenting a concept model outside of the U.S.

Having a design that is inspired by motorbikes and airplanes, this concept model is able to show feelings of agility and power. As such, it allows a peek into the future of this American luxury brand especially as it enters the Chinese market, a rapidly growing one. The main goal set for the Lincoln MKX Concept was to have a final execution that would be able to satisfy the world's luxury customers and also delight them at the same time.

To make this happen, the brand conducted various customer research clinics in the U.S. and China in order to get the needed feedback on the model's design. Indeed, an intensive study of luxury customers in China over the last few years has shown that the preference was for a premium medium utility vehicle to have sportiness and off-road capability.

It is because of this that the MKX Concept contains various elements like the separated skid plate on the front, reinforced wheel arches, and the increased ground clearance. There is even the floating aluminum body-side rocker molding that comes with the Lincoln logo engraved to it. Due to this execution, the MKX Concept is able to adapt easily to various road conditions. This is then combined with that extra attention to detail and the exceptionally crafted execution.

Lincoln MKX Concept Exterior Design Manager Andrea Di Buduo said that under the concept vehicle, extra attention was placed on the proportions. The design, she added, is both athletic and highly emotional. Its defined undercuts and the horizontal lines have been integrated gracefully and are clearly sophisticated. Even then, it manages to reveal a dynamic and powerful presence.

The silhouette of this new concept car is more contemporary and defined by the sloping teardrop and aerodynamic roofline. This gives it that sporty quality and is highlighted by the wide shoulders on both sides of the recessed windows resulting in heightening the design. Helping enhance the well-proportioned design even more is the combination of the high beltline, dynamic side undercuts, and aluminum machined 21-inch wheels.

In order to give this model that sleeker form, the roof above the rear section was lowered. The use of a panoramic glass surface allows natural light to enter the cabin. Combining this with the integrated roof racks and it puts focus on the floating spoiler in the rear. This spoiler houses the high-mounted center stop light and it even able to hide the antenna.

Though the MKX Concept does have the brand's signature full-width taillamps, it brings with it a new interpretation. Lincoln Design Director David Woodhouse shared that in general concept models are usually defined by each design detail. The MKX Concept is a good example of how the thoughtful design principle of the brand can still be evolved, he added. Lincoln has always been about vehicles that show stunning designs, he continued, and the MKX Concept is but the latest example.

Press Release

Lincoln MKX Concept

The Lincoln Motor Company 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."

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