Future American Luxury: Next-Gen Lincoln MKS, Cadillac XTS Spied

Our spy photographers have snapped two future American luxury sedans in testing: the Lincoln MKS and Cadillac XTS. Both cars are expected to debut within the next six months or so, and will be direct competitors once they go on sale.

As seen here, the Lincoln MKS is an evolution of the current car, rather than an all-new model. The grille and taillights appear to have been mildly tweaked, and it’s possible there are more visual changes lurking beneath this test car’s camouflage. The Cadillac XTS, which is an all-new vehicle, continues the angular, square-edged design theme seen in other Cadillac products like the CTS and SRX. It has a big, bold chrome grille, tall headlights, sloped rear glass, and twin rectangular exhaust tips.

While Ford has yet to make any official announcements, we’re told the next-gen Lincoln MKS may debut by the end of this year. The current car is now four years old, making early 2012 the perfect time for a mid-cycle refresh to hit dealerships. We know it will be restyled, and other reports suggest the new MKS also will score mechanical updates like adaptive suspension and available all-wheel drive.

Much more is known, however, about the Cadillac XTS. It will be a front- or all-wheel-drive sedan built in Ontario and on sale from spring 2012. Reports suggest the XTS will be built on a version of the Epsilon chassis used for the likes of the 2011 Buick LaCrosse and the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu. The so-called large luxury machine will get the new Cadillac User Experience infotainment system, and draws many of its styling cues from the XTS Platinum concept that appeared at the 2010 Detroit auto show.

Based on the spy photos and what we know so far, how do you think these new American luxury machines will fare? Will Cadillac beat out Lincoln, or will Ford’s luxury brand stand its ground? And how will the cars compete with rivals from Asia and Europe? Have your say in the comments section below.

Mlos
The XTS is not a competitor for the 7-series...they aimed for the 5-series if i remember right. Cadillac will still have a flagship model coming out in the next couple of years with the XTS just as an interim flagship. As for Lincoln you're right, biggest change they could make is taking off the baleen-inspired grills and putting something a little more normal looking on.
Annoymous
For whatever reason; American luxury full size cars are focus on the over 65 population that wants comfortable, big cars that do not corner well nor have much pick up in them. I guess the average age of the Lincoln buyer is around 77 years old and for Cadillac it around 70.
JimBob
Except that the V6 will have a twin-turbo option and a V6, not to mention mechanical tech and infotainment tech that no yellow or Ubermach will offer.
Robert
The XTS sounds like a dud. What I read about it so far it's more a replacement for the DTS than a competitor for the BMW 7-series. Which Cadillac would need it to be. I can only imagine the V6 in it as a hybrid. It needs a new V8, maybe also hybrid compatible. As for the front-wheel drive, that's a joke. They should just have all-wheel drive if a rear-wheel drive platform is out of the question. As for Lincoln they need a complete rethink like Buick a few years ago.
JamesM
Unfortunately the XTS sounds like a looser. A large luxury sedan with front wheel drive and a non turbo V6? The 3.6 is a good engine but not enough for a sedan like this. When u pay 60k plus for a car you want more than an adequate V6, you want abundant power. They should make awd standard and save themselves the horrible reviews from edmunds
Todd Bianco
Sadly, a warmed over MKS is not what Lincoln needs. It needs an Aussie transplant with rear drive and it needs it fast. Add some real Lincoln styling from the 60s and make it bigger and better and classier than the Cadillac CTS. It could even be a RWD hybrid flagship if Ford wanted it to be. For a lot less, just lease a Taurus SHO and save yourself the angst of MKS obscurity. As far as the Cadillac XTS goes, I think Cadillac is going to offer only in AWD format so as to not fall into the DTS abyss. The XTS has a chance at some livery/black car business, but it's not going to be enough to combat the Germans let alone the tidal wave from Korea.
Marc
Well, Andre, we can't speak for everyone. Mercedes seriously understands what buyers want, and to be on the safe side, Mercedes is offering either a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, a naturally aspired 6-cylinder engine, or a direct-inject 6-cylinder engine on the C-class, and the only other Mercedes that would probably get the 4-cylinder engine is the SLK-class. I feel like Mercedes is really winning in the luxury segment. Mercedes is always constantly improving their cars.
Andre
Neither car is compelling. Hyundai has Cadillac and Lincoln beaten with the Genesis and Equus sedans. Even with the focus on fuel economy, Hyundai built two rear-drive luxury sedans with V8 engines. Hyundai even had the audacity to give the Genesis more power in the R model. Hyundai understands (perhaps even more than BMW, Mercedes, and Audi) that people do not want a 4-cylinder engine and FWD in their luxury cars. When someone spends $30,000 or more on a car, he or she expects to see a V6 or a V8 under the hood and to be pushed, not pulled, when he or she steps on the gas. Cadillac seemed to understand that with the CTS, but has lost its way with the XTS. Lincoln is just plain lost.
CVega
Cadillac cons- Premium full size Cadillac with Front wheel drive? Boooooo!!! Front under the covers look like the old DTS. Not a compliment.. Even the Hyundai Equus will fare better unless Cadillac makes some real changes. Add some non conservative styling. Make it RWD, don't use the 3.6 V6. Add some balls.. Ford... Make the Lincoln MKS exciting. Keep it luxurious yet add some aggression too the lines. Tweak the suspension, drop the base v6, maybe offer the 5.0 from the Mustang, and lower the price. The price is almost at E class levels without the value. If I was to get to E class price, I would just buy the E class.
GarryM
The new Cadillac will be the big news when it hits the streets. Sadly Lincoln division has a lot of catching up with all its competitors. The facelift on the MKS will do little to draw any attention to it. Hopefully by now Ford knows where it is going with the brand. With the new platforms now available, perhaps they can get back in the game in a couple of years.

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