There’s been a genuine effort to move the brand forward into the luxury segment. The all-new 2018 Lincoln Navigator has kept its promise in this respect
It was a grand affair for Lincoln at the 2016 edition of New York Motor Show where the brand introduced its full-sized luxury bound Navigator SUV concept. The concept presented had all the bells and whistles — size, business class interior, lavish trims, gullwing doors et al which the outgoing model lacked and hence this was spot on as far as the packaging specifications for the segment. The question was would this concept make it to production?
Well, a year later the answer is in the affirmative as Lincoln has decided to produce it befitting its mission statement. The production version had its first public outing at last month’s New York motor show and at first glance stays mostly faithful to the concept barring a few detail changes.
To build the body-on-frame SUV, Lincoln has employed several efficient technologies including choice of platform. The aluminium intensive platform comes from the new Ford Expedition and has allowed Lincoln to bespoke its design and avoid it becoming a Ford clone with a different badge. Dimensionally, it is slightly larger than the model it replaces and is roughly 90kg lighter.
As expected, there are subtle changes in the production version wherein the most visible cue is the absence of the gullwing doors. In profile it is same as the concept and some detailing has been changed like the lower grille in the front valance is different and the rear taillamps appear thicker. Conventional doors come with chromed handles and then you have the signature tall, regal grille with a mesh construction and side vents on the mudguards which are distinguishing design hallmarks according to Lincoln.
Befitting the model’s aspiration level, it is feature loaded and gets modern technology applications like adaptive headlamps which offer illumination according to speed and road conditions. Puddle lights greet the driver as they approach the car and retractable electrically operated side board aid in getting in and out.
The cabin of the new Navigator is where a lot of attention has been paid in terms of detailing of comfort and convenience features besides state-of-the-art connectivity packaging. As for comfort and convenience, the Navigator also features not just memory settings for seats, but for the mirror, pedals, climate control, and entertainment with a feature called Personal Profile. Lincoln’s signature 30-way seats grace front occupants. The second row of seats can be either captain’s chairs or a standard three seat bench. Third row seats are offered with power reclining feature. A panoramic roof and ambient lighting assures a comfortable amount of light in the cabin at all times.
Drivers face a full digital dashboard which is low and wide and Lincoln have been generous in using genuine wood and leather in the trims. In addition to the seats, the steering wheel and even the grab handles are all wrapped in stitched leather. The push-button shifter moves below the infotainment touchscreen and is designed to look like the keys of a piano and finished in high-gloss. The dashboard layout is interrupted by a horizontally placed multifunction tab-styled 12in touchscreen.
On the practical side, occupants will get plenty of access to power thanks to an array of USB and 12V and 110V outlets. Access to data comes courtesy of the same 4G LTE hotspot found in the older Expedition. As before, it will allow up to 10 devices to connect. The interior should be quiet as well, thanks to laminated front and side glass. Audiophiles get 20-speaker Revel II sound system.
The powertrain set-up is interesting and no V8 will be offered. Instead, a twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 mated to ten-speed automatic transmission will transfer 450hp and 500lb-ft of torque to either a two- or four-wheel drive system.
Since it is a large vehicle, on the road, a standard 360° all-around camera system and parking sensors assist drivers with tight manoeuvres, and the optional trailer assist system can be operated using a controller on the central console. The car rides on 22in turbine style wheels like the concept. Other mechanical details will be released close to sale dates.