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Gracing the stately ground of The Quail amid a sea of classics and supercars is a curious concept car wearing a prominent Lincoln badge. It's called the Anniversary, and it's not an SUV. Rather, it's a long, sleek passenger car that envisions what a new Lincoln vehicle might be like 20 years from now. There's just one thing – Lincoln didn't create it.

Lincoln is most definitely involved, however. The Anniversary was created through a design challenge involving Lincoln and the ArtCenter College of Design, based in Southern California. Lincoln has a close relationship with the prestigious school, and four teams of transportation design students were given a challenge to imagine Lincoln vehicles of the future, specifically 2040 and beyond. The challenge was also fused with film students, illustrators, entertainment designers, and animators to create a general story that evolves beyond the cars to paint a future world in which they operate. 

Gallery: Lincoln And ArtCenter Anniversary Concept

"ArtCenter is known for great vehicle design, and it's in the heart of Hollywood," said Jordan Meadows, global strategic design specialist for Lincoln and assistant professor at ArtCenter. "More than just the vehicles themselves, we were looking for that great narrative development, that rich storytelling. It's so important to understand the future ecosystem in which a concept vehicle will live."

Obviously, the Anniversary team has progressed beyond sketches and renderings with a life-size mock-up, and it's quite elegant at that. The Anniversary concept is described as a four-passenger vehicle filled with digital technology that allows passengers to connect with the present and the past. Spinning the idea into a story, the car is portrayed as a special vehicle used by a future couple celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. As the car takes them to memorable locations from their past, photos of their life together are shown on screens in the car. Presumably, this low-and-lean Lincoln has full self-driving tech.

Though Lincoln is involved, don't expect to see anything like the Anniversary in future Lincoln showrooms. However, we wouldn't be surprised to see the up-and-coming automotive designers behind this creation gainfully employed with brands around the world. Perhaps one day, elements of the Anniversary will creep into some production vehicles. We'd be okay with that.

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