The New Lincoln Navigator
To complete the reinvention of their image, Lincoln have completely redesigned their most iconic product.
The Lincoln Navigator Concept
According to Lincoln, those gull-wing doors you can see were designed to show off the teak wood accents and six perfect position seats – part of the most spacious interior in the Navigator’s history. The doors reveal touch displays on the back of each seat, with 30 points of adjustments. However, it probably doesn’t hurt that the gull-wings are muscular SUV is arresting. Those doors and the “Concertina Steps open the vehicle to welcome you, while a wide stance makes you feel secure inside. This is a deft balancing act that yields quiet elegance on a grand scale.” At least that’s what Lincoln says. Personally, I don’t think the Navigator Concept looks particularly quiet. I mean, its wheels are styled after jet turbines and it’s packing a 3.5L engine with a twin turbocharger capable of pushing out 400 horsepower.
Then again, there is a certain elegance about the Navigator. Lincoln president Kumar Galhotra says, “The design language is all about elegant beauty. To take a vehicle that has that much volume and to make it elegant is a fun challenge.” Its predecessors are majestic in their own way, but none of their design elements could be called fluid. As a result, older Navigators are overwhelmingly boxy. But the Navigator Concept rejects this tradition entirely. The pillars to the rear of the SUV have been darkened to give the roof an illusion of floating. Elsewhere, the hood is curved and the split-wing grille has been removed. In its place, Lincoln have used the same one-piece, mesh grille present in the new Continental. Ultimately, the Navigator Concept’s design is stunning.
The Concept, and presumably the production model feature the latest safety technology suite. A 360o camera provides a bird’s-eye view to make parking easy (easy relative to its size). Lane keeping assistance provides warnings and light input when drivers stray out of their lane. Finally, pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection can warn the driver, and apply the brakes, when an obstacle is impending. But more surprising technological flourishes are present as well.
Using the touch displays and dynamic Revel audio system, the Concept boasts an intercom system with video chat. Now, that seems gratuitous at first (although the idea of buzzing a passenger for a cold drink is amusing). However, anything that can prevent a driver from directing their focus back to the third row, and away from the road, is a worthwhile safety feature. This is especially valuable in a vehicle the size of the Navigator.
By this point you may be wondering how much of the Concept’s specifications will make it to Lincoln’s production model later this year. The answer is more than you’d expect. When the Lincoln Continental Concept debuted at the New York Auto Show in 2015, it came with some outstanding features. A 360-degree chrome body trim, whorl shark wheels, and Lincoln crest headlights cut a sharp image. While these adornments didn’t make it to the production model the next year, mostly everything else did. Therefore, we can expect the 2018 Lincoln Navigator to keep most of its astonishing equipment when it debuts later this year.