Lincoln MKX

ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
I'm starting off this forum for the Lincoln MKX, formally known as "Aviator" internally. The vehicle is based on Ford's CD3 architecture which underpins the Ford Fusion, Milan, Zephyr derived from the Mazda6 platform.

The Lincoln MKX will feature a 3.5L DOHC V6 Duratec engine with a joint venture Ford/GM 6 speed automatic powering this FWD/AWD vehicle.

The previous Aviator was based on the previous generation Explorer and has been discontinued to introduce this unibody crossover which is essentially based on the corporate twin Ford "Edge".
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Comments

  • navigator89navigator89 Posts: 1,080
    Why not just call this forum Aviator? Isn't that the name under which it will be sold?
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    Maybe the phrase "formerly known as Aviator" was a clue?

    They're changing the name to MKX for production. There are no more Aviators.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Since the vehicle is different (in every way) to the outgoing Aviator, Ford believes it should use a total different name/nomeclature since it's the industry trend.
  • flasvtflasvt Posts: 64
    So, the name change is because the new vehicle is different than the outgoing one or because Lincoln wants to follow a trend? Is this going to permeate throught the whole Lincoln line. Are they going to get rid of the Navigator name by year end. What about the Town Car? What about the recently launched Zephyr? :confuse:
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Lincoln wants to emphansize, LINCOLN. Just as Mazda, had to add the MAZDA name to Mazda3, Mazda5, Mazda6, Mazdaspeed6, etc So essentially your saying "I have a Mazda Mazda6".

    For Lincoln, they are hoping for the "It's a Lincoln". My concern is...

    ME: "It's a Lincoln." (thats what Ford is aiming for).
    BOB: "Hmm, which one?"
    ME: "The MDX"
    BOB: "Hmm, what is that?" (here's were my concern is).
    ME: "It's the new SUV"
    BOB: "Hmmm, which one is that, the bigger or smaller one?"
    ME: "It's the smaller one"
    BOB: "Oh ok...."

    Then it dies off... Whereas I personally preferred the.

    ME: "It's the new 2007 Continental"
    BOB: "Oh yeah my father had one a long time ago, it was sooo luxurious, I really loved the V8 in it, pulled right off the line".
    ME: "Where here let me show you, they took a Volvo derived platform, increased the wheelbase, put this engine on it, did this and that, etc"...

    Lincoln is also trying to follow the trend as well, since people have mixed reviews about Zephyr and MarkLT.

    Yes other vehicles will switch, the new Navi debuting at the end of this year, will follow suit, hmmm "NAV" maybe?..."NKX" ?

    The Zephyr will get it when the mid-life update is done. Not sure what the Town Car goes to, TCS? (Town Car Sedan?) Not to be confused with "Traction Control System?" hehe...
  • navigator89navigator89 Posts: 1,080
    IMO what Lincoln is doing is stupid. They have some good names already and I dont see the point of trying to be Japanese/German by giving their vehicles three letter names.

    Lincoln took a lot of heat for calling their truck Mark LT instead of "Blackwood" or "Navigator LT". Who knows this maybe one of the reasons that no one is buying the truck.

    Americans cars are probably the only ones in the industry to use actual words as nomenclature for their car. IMO it makes it easier to remember a car.

    I sure hope they dont ruin the Navigator/Town Car names as they actually have some history behind them and it would be a shame to kill them.

    If Ford wants to distinguish this vehicle from the poorly selling Explorer based Aviator, then the internal and exterior improvements is what will count, not the name of all things.
  • navigator89navigator89 Posts: 1,080
    Ok, I found an article that partly explains why Lincoln may have made the switch, although I still say the best way to earn recognition and respect for the brand is to deliver exciting, quality products, not by giving new names.

    http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060102/SUB/51229028/1011/AM- - ERICAS&refsect=AMERICAS
  • So, the Lincoln truck was the Blackwood and now it's the Mark LT.
    Does that mean the new one will be called the Lincoln BLT?
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Good one!

    I still cannot imagine why Lincoln employs product planning morons. The Blackwood actually looked like a Lincoln (Navigator, Aviator), but no one wanted it because it did not offer 4WD, and the covered bed could not be used as a regular truck bed. Rather than fixing those things, Lincoln let it die, then belatedly took an F150 and rather artlessly stuck a waterfall grill in the actual F150 grill opening. I know some people are fooled into thinking that it looks like a Lincoln or a Navigator, but it doesn't. It's an F150 with some custom add-ons. Yes, it is now less expensive, but I can replace the grill on my F150 and slap a couple fake tail light additions on the tailgate for a lot less money. No wonder it is a hard sell outside of Texas.

    Switching to letter names will not hurt Lincoln at all if they ever get around to delivering innovative and competitive products. I cannot fathom how the they made the leap from the Lincoln Aviator concept styling to using Ford Edge body panels (with different interior, grill and tail lights). That formula (Mercury's blueprint), used too many times already, only leads to mediocre sales.
  • navigator89navigator89 Posts: 1,080
    Not sure if you all have seen this, but anyway...

    image
  • Very cool.
    I like the grille texture and the fender line - Very 1961 Continental.

    If they could only come up with decent looking headlights for the Mark LT.
    I mean BLT.
  • flasvtflasvt Posts: 64
    or this . . .
    image
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Although that center stack is not unattractive, it looks nothing like the interior of the Aviator (now MKX) concept--and it breaks no new ground. Looking at it, I wonder if the Ford Edge interior will be similar (with less satin trim). It looks as though they are abandoning the "double hooded dash" look used in the Navigator, Zephyr and Aviator.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    Why does everything have to "break new ground"? Isn't it enough that the dash is attractive and functional and uses high quality materials?
  • navigator89navigator89 Posts: 1,080
    Thanks for the pic flasvt.

    kirby As Editor Karl recently stated, the cars that break new ground are the ones that sell themselves. Building high quality but ordinary products doesn't cut it anymore. Breaking new ground is how you get yourself noticed, which leads to sales. Look at the Mustang/300, two big sellers just because of the styling.

    Of course that is the reason people buy Toyotas/Hondas but I believe a lot of them are influenced by road tests and magazines that hype up Toyotas for reliability, ease of use, etc. For example a Camry doesnt break new ground anywhere, just does everything well and has a good reputation.

    Dont get me wrong, I like American cars and Lincoln especially. I also like the MKX dash. It looks very similar to that of the Zephyr, not that that's a bad thing. I hope this MKX and the Edge sell well because Ford/Lincoln need all the help they can get.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    Cars the "break new ground" are the ones that get noticed and they may sell well initially but not always long term. Case in point: The Chevy SSR. You can't get more ground breaking that that. And initially they were being auctioned off at $20K over sticker. Last year that had a 300 day supply and couldn't give them away.

    Sustained sales comes from good, quality attractive products that are constantly improved. I predict that within 3 years the 500/Montego will be easily outselling the Chrysler 300 once everyone tires of the gangster look.
  • navigator89navigator89 Posts: 1,080
    The gangster look is only part of what is selling the 300C. You're forgetting the powerful engine options, the luxury car ambience, the chance to buy American, the interior room. A winning combination of all that sells the 300, not just the styling.

    The Montego/500 will probably never "easily outsell" the 300 in terms of sales, despite AWD and a 3.5L V6. Now that the Lucerne and Azera have been introduced, expect them to eat into potential customers for Ford. The Azera comes for 30K with a better engine and other features that the 500/Montego dont have. The Lucerne is very quiet, has 275hp and is also American. Then there is the dominating Avalon....

    Basically what I'm saying is that breaking new ground helps a car launch itself initally, provided it is somewhat practical and properly priced. About the 300, after some time people will tire of the look but the company has made money. By 2010 no one would care about the 300C, but the 300C rage will continue until 2008 I bet, as long as Chrysler keeps improving it.

    The SSR could never have been a hit because it was heavy, impractical and expensive. You could get a new Corvette for the same price. The 300 is practical and inexpensive and the Mustang is cheap and slightly less practical.

    Same story with the Thunderbird. Looked nice, but expensive and didnt offer the handling like it should have. The engine wasnt that powerful either.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    Even with 3 hemi versions and an extra year of marketing the 300/Magnum/Charger only sold about 240K units last year. The 500/Montego/Freestyle with only one small V6 engine option and one less year of marketing sold 211K units. Won't take much to flip that around, especially once the 3.5L V6 and facelift arrive for the 500.

    Fads are great while they last but then they're gone and you have to come up with a new one (remember the PT Cruiser?).
  • flasvtflasvt Posts: 64
    Regardless of what sells 300 and Mustangs I think that the center stack for the MXK doesn't tell the whole story about the dashboard. I do not think they have abandoned the "double hooded dash". Actually, the spy pics that were published about three months ago by Autoweek are proof of the contrary. What they did abandon is the covered radio. Which BTW I liked.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Here's the official debut of the Edge, which is what the MKX is based off from...

    Ford Media
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    The best way to elevate your brand image is to introduce new products.

    Maybe Lincoln wants to dump the names for a different reason. Maybe Town Car is too old sounding for younger consumers so something like MKX sounds more like an imported car. (MDX, RX330, ML350, XC90, etc)

    But they had some names that were good though, Town Car being one of them. If you said "I own a Town Car" people know what you're referring to, but if you say "I own an MKX" people may not know right away what you're referring to.

    MKX sounds incredibly close to MDX. I think Aviator sounds better.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    WOW! Now that's impressive! Can't wait to see the MKX. I think I just found a replacement for the Aviator in a couple of years.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    akirby, the SSR was plain silly. And I disagree with you about the 500 v. the 300. As you say, the gangster look may lose its attraction (and by then Chrysler may have altered it anyway), but the 500/Montego, unless it changes, will still be a plain vanilla, somewhat dumpily-styled sedan unless Ford juices it up a bit. Right now it is derivative of the 98-05 Passat and previous Audi A6, while not having any of the gracefulness of those designs.

    Ford should have taken the 427 concept and applied some of that look (a Ford look) to the 500. They tried in a small way to do that with the Fusion, and the car is selling well.

    The more Lincoln does to differentiate its products from the Fords on which they are based, the better Lincoln will do. And I hope they do well.

    BTW, if you are going to compare 300 sales to 500/Montego/Freestyle sales, I hope you are including Magnum and Charger sales too.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    "Ford should have taken the 427 concept and applied some of that look (a Ford look) to the 500"

    They are, thats' in the 2007 revision.
  • And it should be more angular, just like concept.
  • driverdmdriverdm Posts: 505
    We all already know what the MKX's dashboard looks like. It was published in November. I am sure it hasn't changed that much since then. It look okay. Depending on the pricing. At $30K, I would want one. At $35K we may have a real problem. ">
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
  • Great article!

    The car looks great, I really like the stance, but what an ugly dashboard!
    Look at that ridiculous little tacked on visor over the gauges. What could they have possibly been thinking?
  • I sell Lincoln/Mercury vehicles. My overall opinion of the the new MKX is very undecided. All of my loyal customers have expressed nothing but dislike for the style change. In fact, the most frequent comment is "Who would spend $50,000 on a minivan?". I understand the need for Lincoln to enter the "crossover" market. Looking at the past years sales, the crossover market is very good. However, I see many people looking at the new MKX and seeing a Lexus RX330 or Acura MDX. The Aviator was designed off of the Explorer. The Explorer is the #1 selling SUV. I know that the Aviator did not do well. But is the problem really the vehicle itself or is it the marketing strategy Lincoln uses? I mean, the LS was voted as one of the top ten cars ever built. In the 5 years of selling cars I have yet to see a commercial or advertisement. I believe that by changing the whole platform we are looking to have not only more obstacles to overcome, but more competitors to deal with. I guess we will just have to wait and see.
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    I don't see how anyone could think the MKX looks like a minivan. I think Lincoln has made a fairly credible effort to come up with an RX330/RX350 competitor. What is amazing to me is that GM still has not come up with an RX competitor. The new Enclave and its sisters are much larger vehicles than the MKX or RX. Therefore, Lincoln will have a window of opportunity here, I think. Unfortunately, it appears like the MKX will offer few, if any, advantages over the RX except for, perhaps, price. Since it weighs a lot more than the RX, perhaps it has more noise dampening materials and, therefore, will be quieter than an RX. This would be an advantage that could be exploited.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Lincoln MKX is Lincoln’s best example yet of effortless driving performance thanks to its wide stance, four-wheel independent suspension and the brand’s well-honed driving dynamics DNA.
    Boy, the PR flacks must be drinking gallons of their own Kool-Aid. The soon-to-be-orphaned LS is the ONLY vehicle in Lincoln's recent history that has had a(richly deserved) reputation for being a true driver's car, so how does that translate into claiming that Lincoln has a "well-honed driving dynamics DNA"?
    Another FWD-based (somewhat) affluent mommy-van.
    Come on Lincoln, build some real CARS. Like it or not, a true RWD platform is the price of admission to play with the big boys. Quit making excuses and get to work.
  • driverdmdriverdm Posts: 505
    I disagree. Look at Audi and Acura. Remember that the A8, A6, and A4 are adored buy the automotive press and owners. Also remember that the Acura TL is the best selling luxury sedan in America. I think AWD will do Lincoln just fine. I don't know if the styling of the MKX will be a hit but we'll see. I think it will sell more than the Aviator though. I hope the MZX is feature for feature the same as an RX330. I mean the 330 has all types of neat features. It has ambient lighting for everything. When you put it in reverse the side mirrors turn downwards. The liftgate is power operated from the driver's seat. I pray Lincoln provides all the creature features. Creature features are what make luxury... luxury. An engine only gives performance. If you had a 50 hp big sedan that had four reclining seats covered in ultra soft leather, that had back massagers, keyless start, plush carpets, umbrella holders, etc., etc. it would be luxury. I think Lincoln needs to keep its eye on that while it moves forward. The MKS is an example of pure luxury on wheels, I love it.
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    The specs available on media.ford.com state that the turning circle for the MKX is 41 feet. Surely this is in error. The turning circle is stated as 37.7 feet for the Edge. This is a huge difference for essentially the same vehicle.
  • The turning circle would be be compromised by jamming big wheels under a chassis not really designed for them.
  • As it says on Ford's Lincolnlounge.com website:
    "By the 1970s, Lincoln was the premier luxury car to be seen in. It was all about the Mark V, VII and VIII. These cars had a shape that was pure 70s, with a swagger in the back that was all attitude.
    Back in the day, there were three hot cars for the African American community: the Mark, the Town Car and the T-Bird.
    Up until that time, Ford had been generally perceived as a middle-class White car company. But Lincoln changed all that
    ."

    Does that mean they might introduce a MKX-MLK Edition?
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    "Even with 3 hemi versions and an extra year of marketing the 300/Magnum/Charger only sold about 240K units last year. The 500/Montego/Freestyle with only one small V6 engine option and one less year of marketing sold 211K units."

    I'm not doubting you but I find this really hard to believe. Out here in the Bay Area in California, I see Chrysler 300s everywhere. And quite a few Magnums as well, they started appearing as soon as they went on sale a couple years ago. The 500/Montego? I think I've seen a total of 1/2 dozen on the road with plates on em. Seriously. If they sold 211,000 of those things where the heck are they?

    More: The Charger? Only places I see them are on TV (Vic Mackie is driving one this year on "The Shield" maybe the best TV show out there right now IMHO but I digress - and on the car lots. Far as I can tell NO ONE is buying the Charger.

    That goes for the Fusion/Milan/Zephyr as well. I have not seen a single one of these triplets on the road. NONE. I have seen a few Lucernes and I see a Toyota Prius every 10 seconds.

    YMMV.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    "Unfortunately, it appears like the MKX will offer few, if any, advantages over the RX except for, perhaps, price. "

    As I look at it, what advantages does it offer over the Ford 'Edge'? They are identical except for the grilles and the Emm Kay Exxes' full-width tail lights. The engines/drivetrain? - Identical. The big deal glass roof? They both have it. Come on Ford, build a GD Lincoln will ya instead of a bunch of Fords with fancier interiors and $6000-10000 more on the sticker. Homey ain't buyin that stuff no more. Even GM is doing a better job differentiating now. LM dealers must be scratching their heads trying to figure out how to sell the Milan and the Zephyr. They so much the same except for $6000 more for the Lincoln. I think these people who are running Lincoln now and for the past couple of years are going to kill it. I was on my Sport-Trac forum yesterday and some folks were surprised to hear that Ford still made Lincolns.
    Zephyr? - Get a Fusion instead and pay for a year of Jrs college. And it's quicker and more economical to boot.
    Emm Kay Exx? - Get an Edge and pay for his sophomore year.
    Emm Kay Ess? - Get an Acura TL. Looks almost identical (yeah, I see it now) and costs less.
    Ell Ess? - Best Lincoln ever and these people killed it.

    And which is the real Emm Kay Exx grille? I've seen at least 2. (Look on autoextremist for the one they showed in Detroit last week. Yuck.

    Oh, and BTW, now that Ford has 'The Edge', when will they introduce 'The Flea' and 'The Bono'?
  • What about 'The Larry Mullen Jr' instead? That way, Lincoln can complete its line of mediocrity. Honestly, other than the very nice full-width tail lights on the MKX, what the hell is Lincoln doing? And what's with getting rid of cool names like 'Aviator' in favor of nondescript acronyms, yet keeping names like 'Zephyr'?
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Yes, I agree, the MKX is a poor effort, given Lincoln is once again taking a Ford, modifying the grill, tail lights and interior, and calling it a new, more expensive model. No wonder Lincoln residual values are in the toilet. If you don't respect your own brand enough to give it real distinction, it is going to have to languish.

    I suppose we are "lucky" to see this MKX thing at all. According to akirby, the way Lincoln's budget has been hamstrung by the brass, it is no wonder that the Town Car has gone completely to seed, and the Navigator is heading that way. I just don't get why the Aviator concept styling could not have been used instead of the Edge outer panels. For a long time, even if you didn't like them, Lincolns were distinctive cars. Sad.

    Meanwhile, Buick will soon introduce the Enclave, which looks like nothing else in the GM stable. I know, I know, people are pointing out they are different-sized vehicles, but it doesn't matter. They are both aimed at the RX330 and MDX, so they will compete with one another regardless. On price, looks, and re-sale, the Buick will likely win in most people's minds.

    As someone at Ford said the other day, they lost their way. FMC has lost more sales since 2000 in real numbers than GM and Chrysler combined. In the mid-1990s while riding high, they actually thought overtaking GM might be in the cards. Now Chrysler is poised to overtake Ford in sales. Yikes, what a company-wide screw-up. (End of rant.)
  • In every press release and Ford video, Lincoln keeps touting the MKX's halogen headlights. Ford, where are the HIDs all your competitors offer?
  • au94au94 Posts: 171
    Saw the MKX on TV yesterday at the auto show and love it! Are there any preliminary prices? Please tell me they will make it attainable for the majority and not slap a ridiculous price like 60k on it. If they did, maybe I'd have to learn to love the Ford Edge.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    OK, this last post once again proves that there are a certain number of folks who will still pay a premium for the Lincoln name on an almost identical Ford product. Not that there is anything wrong with that. It is just that Lincoln is unlikely to make significant conquest sales this way.

    Heck, I'n not even in the market for a crossover, but I would have bought the MKS if it was issued looking like the Aviator concept (which is still available for viewing on the Lincoln lounge web site).
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    I assume the swivel lighting feature wasn't compatible with HIDs. They're certainly available. They are obviously touting the swivel lights right now as that is a distinguishing feature - HIDs might be optional by the time it hits production.
  • Car companies can’t afford to build many stand alone vehicles. Look at the Trailblazer; it has 6 clones. You don’t think the Buick Enclave will have at least 4 clones? Look at the MDX – the Pilot is the same vehicle with a little different grill and sheet metal. The mirrors, doors, glass, and even the dash are the same. At least the MKX gets a different dash and seats than the Edge.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Your point is well-taken that other companies also do the badge engineering thing. However, to my eye, the MDX and Pilot do not share door skins and fenders. The MDX has much more "content" to go along with its more expensive look and higher price (but whether that price differential is truly justified is another matter). In the case of your Trailblazer example, it has been par for most companies to badge engineer their truck-based SUVs (although GM at least varies the fenders and rear doors, in addition to grills, tail lights, interior, etc.).

    Be that as it may, most companies are moving toward greater differentiation among their platform sharing sedans and crossovers. Take GM for instance: The Saturn Vue and Chevy Equinox are the same underneath, but all body panels differ (as well as the wheelbase). Look at the Buick La Crosse, Chevy Impala and Pontiac Grand Prix. Not a body panel shared. The Malibu and the Pontiac G6. Chrysler: The Jeep Compass and the Dodge Calibur. Even the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger share no panels, even if the windshields and front door glass are the same.

    I could go on, but the point is other companies are moving toward greater differentiation, while Lincoln and Ford issue new cars that in my humble opinion share too much of everything for the price differential they want. Some people of course don't care, but this is not the way to give a brand like Lincoln a distinctive image in the world of the automobilly astute.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    I don't understand your obsession with doors and fenders. You can line up a 2005 Explorer and Aviator and poll 100 people and 98 will think they are totally different vehicles. The general public doesn't know and doesn't care.

    If Ford can save a few bucks by not changing the doors I say "great!" as long as they look good to start with.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Akirby, I respect your opinions because you are knowledgable...and also because you are so self-assured. In this instance we have to agree to disagree.

    I do agree with you that the general public often doesn't know and care. I also think that the more discriminating buyer like I fancy myself (granted, that may be like a fishwife putting on airs) does look for further distinction in the better cars we can afford.

    Moreover, there must be a reason manufacturers are going to new lengths to differentiate their shared platforms--or else they truly are wasting limited financial resources on unnecessary designs. I want Lincoln to succeed, and even more, I want them to soon build a vehicle that I would like to buy over the competition. The Edge is a competitive enough vehicle, but the auto press hardly finds anything exciting or new about it. I don't either. But I grant you it will sell ok.
  • au94au94 Posts: 171
    I think the Edge will sell ok, as will the MKX so long as it is priced competitively. The cross over market is just beginning to be tapped so each manufacturer will put out a few hits and misses. Except maybe the Japanese, they tend to wait for the first round carnage, then come out with a model that takes lessons learned from others failures.

    As for the auto press not jumping up and down about the Edge, I take it with a grain of salt. Some writers love to jump on the American bashing bandwagon and there are alot piling on to Ford and GM right now. The kick 'em when there down mentality runs rampant at some publications. I don't care either way. I've owned American, owned foreign. I'll shop what my eye takes me to and what is the best value for my $$ whether thats American, German, Swedish, Japanese, Czech, Polish, Bolivian....

    One other thing about the auto press, those astute writers at Motor Trend once named the Renault Alliance the Car of the Year!!
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    I think the difference is that the competitors have more cash to play with than Ford does right now. Losing one or two discriminating buyers here and there is probably more than offset by the savings from using some shared components on all the vehicles that are sold. As long as its kept to a minimum and doesn't turn into simple re-badging I think they'll be ok.

    I also think making more options available on the Ford products (like the vista roof and navigation on the Edge) will actually help Ford sales more than it will hurt Lincoln sales. And right now a sale is a sale and profit is profit. And Ford needs a lot of both.

    As for the Edge getting lukewarm reviews - you really have to wait until it's available for test drives. Auto show reporters tend to go for the WOW factor but that rarely translates into long term sales winners.

    I think these are very good first entries in the crossover market that will be competitive and bring in much needed sales and profits if for no other reason than to offset the drop in SUV sales.
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