Although the Lincoln brand has been around for more than 90 years, it's a newcomer to China. To help introduce the brand to that market, the company staged the world debut of its MKX concept – which is expected to closely resemble the next-generation MKX production vehicle – at this month's Auto China show in Beijing.
The MKX is Lincoln's entry in the premium mid-size SUV segment. It shares its core architecture with the Ford Edge and it's currently built alongside the Edge at Ford's Oakville, Ontario assembly complex in Canada.
Ford has confirmed that the next-generation Edge, unveiled in concept form at the 2013 Los Angeles auto show, will continue to be built at Oakville for worldwide sale in 60 countries, so although there has been no formal announcement, it's logical to conclude that the MKX will be produced there as well.
Several customer research clinics were held in China, as well as in the U.S., to gather feedback on the design. 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, the company said.
Based on that feedback, the MKX Concept includes such elements as a separate front skid plate, heightened ground clearance and reinforced wheel arches.
"Great emphasis was put on the proportions of this concept vehicle," said Andrea Di Buduo, exterior design manager for the MKX Concept. "It’s a very emotional, athletic design."
Lincoln will enter the Chinese market later this year when the MKZ and MKC go on sale there. They are expected to be joined worldwide by the MKC and a fourth new model, as yet unspecified, by 2016.