2004 Lincoln Mark X Concept
Someone mentioned this car recently and it got me wondering. So, I looked it up and found an exceedingly handsome two-seat convertible. A real cruiser loaded with understated class.
Ford graciously provided photos and information for me to present a look at the Lincoln Mark X concept and see what it was all about.
Lincoln has a long line of Marks to be proud of, reaching back more than half a century. That chapter closed after 1998 with Lincoln’s final Mark, the sleek VIII. While it was hard to see the passage of the storied nameplate from production, a silver lining in that cloud was the births of Mark-labeled concepts, starting in 2001 with the MK 9. (If I had planned this out, I would have posted about the MK 9 concept first.)
By 2004, Lincoln was back in the Roman numeral naming game with this Mark X concept. By the way, if you’re ever looking for dead-air filler in an awkward conversation, you may ignite discussion by mentioning that the “X” in this concept’s name is actually pronounced “ten.” On the topic of Lincoln syntax, the “MK” prefix, recently applied across their line of vehicles, is pronounced “em-kay,” not “mark.”
While the naming conventions could get a little confusing, this styling language is not. Its broad-brush lines are simple yet appear substantial. The front end is modern yet manages a distinct Lincoln familiarity.
In fact, this concept was used to introduce Lincoln’s then-new grille design that would show up on certain future models; quite successfully too, I think. The polished aluminum grille was described at the time by Lincoln as featuring a “rhythmic pattern of solid horizontal and vertical chrome trim.” In non-marketing speak, an egg-crate grille. But what a nice one.
Parenthesizing the ‘rhythmically patterned’ grille are a pair of HID (high intensity discharge) headlights, nestled in sumptuous lighting details.
I wouldn’t want to neglect mention of the hood ornament. I seriously think it works well here as the sole standout element on a hood with the tranquility of a moonlit pond. Really, the whole car looks tranquil but not dainty. I think that is accomplished through the car’s substantial proportions. Being designed on a rear-wheel-drive architecture, that of Ford’s eleventh-generation Thunderbird, no doubt helped.
The most opulent automotive styling often involves a long hood and minimal front overhang. There is a direct correlation between those features and rear-wheel-drive architectures, and Lincoln took full advantage of the available proportions.
Mark X’s chief designer, Marek Reichman, said at the time that the focus was on “pure, integrated design.” He went on to describe the exterior and interior design as being holistic, instantly showing its rewards. Lincoln’s press release described the emphasis that was placed on integrating design into the functional aspects of the car, including features such as flush-mounted door handles that are revealed at the push of a button.
Inside, things are marginally less spectacular but, then again, this concept is nearly a decade old. While the gadgetry might underwhelm, the apparent attention paid to details and the quality of materials will not. The Lime Sorbet interior with White Corian accents, polished aluminum, dark chrome and sheepskin flooring are quite an inviting combination.
The instrument panel is described as integrating a softly illuminated, jewel-like cluster that combines analog with digital technology. The center stack incorporates a multi-function, 7-inch LCD panel that is operated by a mouse located in the center console. The screen displays satellite navigation, climate control status, and vehicle dynamics such as seat memory and tire pressure.
Under the hood of the Mark X is a 3.9-liter V8 that delivers 280 HP and 286 pound-feet of torque through a five-speed automatic transmission. There was no mention of 0-60 MPH or quarter-mile times but the car’s press release did mention it could reach 145 MPH.
To sum this post up, I think a car like this,
even especially today, could serve Lincoln as a foundation for presence in the luxury realm.
The pictures above can be selected to view larger versions. Below are additional pictures of the 2004 Lincoln Mark X concept that can be enlarged by clicking on them.