Lincoln is quickly pivoting away from its confusing “MK” naming scheme, with one more biting the dust for 2020. Debuting at the New York Auto Show this week is the all-new 2020 Lincoln Corsair, the luxury brand’s replacement for the MKC compact SUV.
Much like the MKX’s pivot to Nautilus, the name-change is yielding a dramatic styling departure from today’s MKC. The new look is very much a mini-me version of the Aviator and Navigator SUV’s, with a Range Rover like greenhouse design and grille design first started by the returned Continental sedan. Overall, the new look is a radical departure from the first-generation MKC outside of the short distance between the A-pillar and the front wheels, with this one looking ready to compete with some of the best compact luxury SUVs.
The influence from the Aviator and Navigator is not reserved solely to the exterior. The interior of the Corsair is also a scaled down version of its larger siblings. The dash design is the same horizontal theme found in the other Lincoln SUVs with an intense focus on detail and material quality that give all three of these Lincoln innards a “wow” factor.
Despite the design similarities inside, the Corsair does get some unique attributes. There’s a full-length HVAC vent running in front of the passenger seat; the center stack also sticks out from the dash panel, inverse of the larger Aviator and Navigator center stacks.
The Corsair still shares its roots with the Ford Escape, meaning there are some similarities. The base engine on the Corsair is the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 250 horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque found on the high-end Escape. Corsair is also gaining a unique high-end engine option in the form of the EcoBoost 2.3-liter four-cylinder that will crank out 280 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The base engine will be offered in front and all-wheel-drive format, while the higher end engine will be exclusive to all-wheel-drive.
Lincoln says the all-wheel-drive system is capable of sending up to 100 percent of the engine’s torque to the front or rear wheels, depending on conditions and needs.
Lincoln says a hybrid variant of the Corsair is also in the works, but the brand is not yet ready to talk about it. A plug-in variant seems like the most likely option, given that is the path the brand has taken with the larger Aviator.
The 2020 Lincoln Corsair will be produced at Ford’s Louisville, Kentucky assembly plant when it goes on sale this fall. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.