The production version of the Lincoln Navigator rolled onto the stage in New York this week, two years after the Navigator Concept saw its unveiling at this show.
The gullwing doors from the concept are missing, of course, as are the triple-step running boards and the built-in rear closet, but Lincoln promises a boatload of luxury, along with 75 new technologies. As with many new models, there was less emphasis on performance and more on connectivity and lifestyle in this full-size sport-ute.
The Navigator is built with an aluminum body that cuts its weight by nearly 90 kilograms over the outgoing model, which Lincoln said has been “reinvested” in features such as towing capacity and sound insulation, including extensive use of laminated glass to cut down on noise.
It’s powered by a twin-turbo V6 that’s expected to produce 450 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque, mated to a ten-speed automatic transmission. A drive-mode dial allows the driver to select for conditions, including snow and an “Excite” sport mode.
A new feature, speed-dependent adaptive lighting, will provide a wider spread of light at lower speeds, helping to improve visibility when driving through residential areas. On acceleration, the light beam narrows, which the company said will help eliminate glare reflecting from signs or other distractions.
Inside, the second-row seats can be tumbled forward even when a child seat is installed. There are six USB ports, four power outlets, and a 110-volt plug, along with wireless charging and standard WiFi. An available rear-seat entertainment system can stream content to an Android device from one of the seat-mounted screens.
Focusing on the luxury experience, the Navigator includes a central star logo on the grille that lights up when the owner approaches, followed by front and rear lighting, while a puddle lamp illuminates a “welcome mat” with the logo on the ground alongside the door.
Inside, ambient lighting starts up sequentially in each of the three rows. Available “Perfect Position” front seats offer 30-way adjustment, along with massage and cooling features, while the third-row seats have power recline. In keeping with the “utility” part of SUV, there’s an adjustable shelf behind the rear seats, and a feature that prevents groceries from rolling out while the liftgate is opened when the Navigator is parked on an incline.
In his presentation, Ford Motor Company president and CEO Mark Fields said Lincoln had fallen down in sales and brand perception over the years, but a new focus – and popularity with buyers in China – is bringing it back, with sales up 10 per cent in the U.S. last year.
It’s obvious the company is now focusing on service, and to that end, buyers in the U.S. will be able to order the Navigator from sales agents who come to their home or office. Service appointments can be made from a phone app, with a Lincoln representative picking up the car, leaving a loaner, and then returning it after it’s done.
The company is even launching a new service in the U.S. called Lincoln Chauffeur. When requested, a professional chauffeur will show up and drive the owner in his or her vehicle, including helping run errands. It certainly sounds like a great idea – designated driver, anyone? – but there’s no word if it will ever be offered in Canada.