Quick, what do you do when your luxury brand can’t really compete with the Germans or Lexus, when its only real shot at relevance is Chinese sales, and when even management seems deeply ambivalent about it? You go for something really bold, like a name change as part of a mid-cycle refresh. The Lincoln MKX is now the 2019 Lincoln Nautilus, and we are all very excited.
Ahead of the LA Auto Show this week, Ford announced this evening that is luxury brand Lincoln—which is apparently still a thing—will update the MKX with a new eight-speed automatic gearbox, a new front end and a new name.
Automotive News says it marks a return to real names for Lincoln instead of the alphanumerics that dominate the luxury segment—XT5, QX50 and so on. We’ve already seen this on the Continental sedan and Navigator SUV. That story says the alphanumerics never caught on with the buying public, who were often confused as to whether they were called Mark X or M-K-X, so now they’re going away.
Which, great? I’m for this, but I wish it was on a car I cared about. As far as I’m concerned this thing is the enemy. It’s another boring luxury crossover from a meh brand with a base 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine. And it’s a “vital vehicle for China,” which is probably the only reason Lincoln still exists, because this vehicle doesn’t seem especially innovative in an already meh segment.
Anyway, enjoy the Nautilus.