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.