Lincoln have decided to resurrect the ‘Navigator’ nameplate some 20 years after it first revolutionized the luxury segment, claiming that a new generation of the iconic sport-utility vehicle will again point the way forward for the brand. Lincon say the new Navigator will hit showrooms next year, and that the concept vehicle they’re showing at the New York motor show should give us a “very strong” hint of what the production model will look like. Well, except for one big part of it.
Lincoln’s Navigator concept car features two massive gullwing doors, which open both both pairs of side doors together. As impressive as they look, you probably already guessed that they won’t make it into the production version of the car. Lincoln president Kumar Galhotra says that the special doors were fitted to help demonstrate how spacious the cabin is. “The nature of the vehicle is very important … and it’s a great way to showcase that interior,” he said. The production vehicle, however, will run a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine which will be good for 298kW (400hp), and will ride on a brand new chassis.
Inside and out, the Navigator carries a nautical vibe. It’s covered in a soft shade of blue paint, while the interior has blue leather and teak accents. A multi-level running board cascades forward when the gullwing doors open, and the six seats are adjustable 30 ways. There are also wifi-equipped touchscreen monitors mounted in the seat backs. The Navigator concept also features some of Ford’s semi-autonomous technology, including pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection. The radar-and-camera-based system will look for obstacles in the vehicle’s path, warn the driver, and then brake if needed. It also has a 360-degree camera and lane-keeping assist. Look for all of this on the production model.
The Navigator received a refresh for the 2015 model year, but has largely languished as Lincoln refreshed and expanded the rest of its lineup. Lincoln sales are up 19 percent this year, but the Navigator has slipped 6.8 percent. Now Lincoln has decided it’s time to remake one of its icons. “It is our most-recognized nameplate,” Galhotra said. With gullwing doors, dramatic styling, and an elegant interior, the Navigator will also likely be one of the most talked-about vehicles at the New York show.