Unveiled yesterday at the New York International Auto Show, the 2018 Lincoln Navigator SUV is the latest milestone in the revitalization of the marque’s product lineup. Many of the design elements carry over from the concept version we saw at the same show last year (except, alas, the audacious gullwing side door), including sleeker lines and a new front grille.
“We wanted the exterior to be about elegance,” says Lincoln design director David Woodhouse, who points out design elements inspired by yachting.
A new 450 hp, 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 will power the Navigator, paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. “It’s about bringing the quiet luxury experience to the large utility segment,” says Andrew Kernahan, the Navigator’s chief program engineer. “What we’ve achieved is effortless power in a luxurious vehicle that has first-class space in all three rows.”
Six new drive modes, a first for the Navigator, are designed to handle everything from ice to slow climbing. Kernahan also notes subtle touches, such as ambient lighting on the running boards and rear seat belts, as well as noise reduction technology in the cabin.
“The interior is all about sanctuary … it is a new design vision going forward,” explains Woodhouse. He notes wide lines reminiscent of a horizon, as well as a center console that’s disconnected from the main instrument panel as examples. Beneath that sits a shelf for a purse or messenger bag. The display is a new, 10.1-inch center touchscreen—the largest Lincoln has produced. A “piano key” shifter, which arranges gear selections in a horizontal (rather than a vertical) row, is placed high on the center console and makes gear changes quick and easy.
Kernahan says that when it goes on sale this fall, the Navigator will achieve improved fuel economy and offer best-in-class towing capability. As with the Continental sedan, the Navigator will be offered in a line-topping Black Label edition, which includes a choice of three color-coordinated interior designs, unique wheels, and access to a range of personalized services such as remote service pickup and delivery. (lincoln.com)