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LA LIVE: Lincoln MKX becomes Nautilus for 2019

by Ronan Glon

Lincoln is retiring the MK-based naming system.

Lincoln is retiring the MKX nameplate -- and, indeed, the entire MK-based naming system -- as it moves back towards traditional names. Now called Nautilus, the crossover benefits from comprehensive updates inside, outside, and under the hood.

The visual tweaks bring the Nautilus in line with other recent additions to the Lincoln line-up, like the refreshed MKC (which, confusingly, retains its three-letter name), the Continental, and the Navigator. The biggest changes are found up front, where the crossover adopts swept-back headlights, a re-designed lower bumper, and the company's signature grille. The back end gets new-look tail lights.

Is the Nautilus all-new? No, it's still fundamentally the same vehicle as the second-generation MKX that debuted at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. The updates go beyond the average mid-cycle update, though.

Acoustic side glass and available 22-way power-adjustable seats turn the cabin into a sanctuary, according to Lincoln. The dashboard's basic layout is carried over from the MKX.

Buyers seeking a more upscale experience can choose one of three Black Label themes named Chalet, Thoroughbred, and Gala, respectively. Each adds theme-specific colors and materials to the cabin.

On the powertrain front, the Nautilus goes turbo-only. The base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 245 horsepower. The optional engine is a 3.7-liter V6 rated at 335 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. Both units shift through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Lincoln upped the Nautilus' tech quotient. It's available with adaptive cruise control, evasive steer assist, pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, active park assist, and a lane-centering feature.

The 2019 Lincoln Nautilus will arrive in showrooms in next summer. Pricing information will be released in the weeks leading up to its on-sale date.

Live photos by Brian Williams.

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