We now have hard evidence that a new Focus-based Lincoln sedan is under development.

Our spy photographers have just sent us the first ever pictures of Lincoln's long-rumored Ford Focus-based compact luxury sedan.

The yet un-named Focus-based Lincoln is clearly still in the early development phase, with the car sporting a collection of Focus and prototype parts. However, a closer look at the car's camouflaged front ends reveals this isn't just an update for the current Focus.

Peaking out from beneath the camo is a set of decidedly up-scale looking projector headlights, not unlike the ones used on the new Lincoln MKZ. Another telltale sign that this is a Lincoln in testing is the car's front grille - whereas Ford products are moving to an Aston Martin-like grille treatment, the car spotted today was sporting an MKZ-like "winged" unit.

Out back there appear to be more changes, as evidenced by the heavy use of camouflage, but it is difficult to make out any specific styling tweaks. However, just as the MKZ is slightly longer than its Ford Fusion counterpart, we suspect the Focus-based Lincoln could grow by a few inches to accommodate Lincoln's new design language.

The Focus-based Lincoln isn't expected to bow until the 2016 model year, but we could get an inside glimpse at the project through Lincoln's upcoming MKC concept, which is scheduled to debut at next week's Detroit auto show.