2011 Lincoln MKX

2011 Lincoln MKX

Lincoln will be taking a new approach to the types of vehicles it produces in the future, with plans to downsize its lineup in the wake of flailing sales of the once-popular Navigator SUV and other large cars. While there were reports of Lincoln producing a new crossover based on the second-generation of the European designed Ford Kuga, the latest indication is that there will be a new crossover from Lincoln but this one will be derived from the next-generation Ford Escape.

Both vehicles are scheduled to enter production late next year following the completion of renovation and retooling at Ford’s Louisville assembly plant in Kentucky.  The information was revealed by Ford insiders who said the new Lincoln crossover will smaller than the current MKX and primed to compete with the Lexus RX, one of the leaders in the mid-size luxury crossover segment.

Underpinning the new Lincoln crossover and next-generation Ford Escape will be the Blue Oval’s global C-platform, which currently underpins the 2012 Ford Focus. This means that the new duo will likely share engines and transmissions across the C-platform, which means you can expect a range of efficient four-cylinder engines. Inside, there should be seating for five.

The plant's renovation is expected to cost upwards of $500 million and should be completed towards the end of next year. A formal announcement of Ford’s plans for the Louisville plant is expected next month.

[Detroit Free Press via The Car Connection]