This morning in New York Lincoln rolled out the Navigator Concept to preview the next-generation version of the full-size SUV. The brand even brought out the big guns of actor and spokesman Matthew McConaughey to assist in the Navigator’s reveal at the Lincoln press conference. The bold introduction is only fitting for the the rolling land yacht that is the Navigator Concept, which Lincoln calls their attempt to bring “quiet luxury” to the full-size SUV segment.
In person the Navigator Concept is certainly a dramatic sight to see and not exactly that we’d call “quiet” by any stretch. The design language follows the recently-introduced Continental with a new square grille treatment and large, all-LED headlights. The body of the Navigator reminds of a Range Rover, which may not be that big of a surprise given the fact there was a time when Ford owned the Land Rover brand as well.
Adding to the dramatic effect of this concept are gull-wing doors and power-deplorable stairs (not running boards) that are entirely over-the-top. Lincoln admits that the likelihood of the gull-wing doors making it to production are minimal at best, despite the fact the production Tesla Model X does have such. Instead, the overall exterior design is said to follow closely with the next-generation Navigator, about like the Continental Concept closely previewed the real deal a year prior to its reveal.
Inside, the Navigator interior also follows a similar theme to that of the Continental. The dash design is simple with a focus on details, such as gear-selector buttons that are inspired by piano keys. The simple elegance of the interior is a continuance of Lincoln’s new mission of being the anti-luxury luxury brand. Basically Lincoln wants to be the quiet, humble luxury brand.
The Navigator Concept is powered by a 400 horsepower version of Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, which will probably also make its way to the production version. Lincoln has been scarce with other technical details about the Navigator, but we’d hedge our bets the real one will have a 10-speed automatic transmission at launch too.
While it is up for debate if any full-size luxury SUV can be described as “quiet” and “humble,” there’s no question the Navigator is stealing a lot of attention here in New York. The key for Lincoln now will be for the brand to translate this into a production vehicle without killing the concept’s vibe. We hear the production version will be truck-based (like all Navigators) and have an all-aluminum body like the 2015 Ford F-150 launched.