Lincoln is taking its pursuit to win over the luxury market seriously, launching a new product every year for the last seven years. The newest to join the lineup is the small Corsair SUV, which joins the recently redesigned Navigator, Nautilus and the forthcoming Aviator.
The Lincoln Corsair is a more compact expression of what Lincoln dubs “quiet flight,” the brand’s philosophy of creating a serene, effortless driving experience reminiscent of gliding. “We wanted to create a youthful, dynamic Lincoln,” says Lincoln design director David Woodhouse. “It’s the most dramatic expression yet of quiet flight.”
Woodhouse is proud of the Corsair’s proportions and notes that it’s one of the lowest and widest SUVs on the market. While the small crossover shares the same signature front grille and tail lights with its larger siblings, it’s set apart by a fast-falling roofline and dropping tail. Inside, the interior employs broad, horizontal lines, with a unique cantilever console that appears to float beneath wide center air vents and a swath of open-pore matte wood that stretches from the instrument cluster to the passenger door. “Horizontality is the key element of the interior design language,” Woodhouse tells us. “We want to draw the eye out as far as possible to create a feeling of calm and equilibrium.”
Despite its low-slung look, the Corsair offers enough headroom for passengers over six feet tall to fit comfortably, even in the rear seats. There is no cheating on quality in the second row, either. “We were thinking about the entire interior space, not just the front seats,” Woodhouse says. In the trunk, four large suitcases can fit with all seats in place; rear seats fold down for more space.
The Corsair will be powered by one of two turbocharged, four-cylinder engines: a 2.0-liter good for 250 hp, or a 2.3 liter that makes 280 hp. Both come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and different drive modes that include “Excite” for a sportier feel and “Slippery” for inclement weather. Intelligent all-wheel drive varies torque to each wheel as well as to each axle to provide optimum traction. Enhanced acoustics such as a dual-wall dash, active noise canceling, and acoustic glass reduce noise and help to keep the cabin serene.
A suite of safety features comes standard, including lane-keeping assist, blind spot detection, and reverse object sensing. An optional enhanced system, called Co-Pilot 360 Plus, includes adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist and a fully automated parking system, which steers, accelerates, and brakes into a parking space with just the touch of a button; no hands or feet needed.
The 2020 Lincoln Corsair will be built in Louisville, Ky., and is expected to arrive in dealerships this fall.