If the Lincoln Nautilus doesn’t sound familiar to you, that’s because it’s a brand-new name. This is going to replace the MKX in the Lincoln lineup. Lincoln says it’s not going to use the alphabet soup method for naming its vehicles anymore; now its vehicles are going to get what it calls “exploration” names, so the Nautilus joins the Navigator, Continental and forthcoming Aviator as the latest Lincolns to fall into this motif. This isn’t just a name change for 2019, however — there’s plenty of new content to back it up.
We’re talking new exterior and interior styling, big updates to the powertrains, new standard safety features and general interior updates that are worth calling out. We’ll start under the hood with a new base engine: The base 3.7-liter V-6 engine is gone, replaced by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 250 horsepower, while the optional engine is a carryover 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 making 335 hp. Also new for 2018 are two eight-speed automatic transmissions. Lincoln says each engine has its own behavior and it wasn’t able to optimize one transmission for both models, so both engines get separate eight-speed automatics with different gear ratios and other mechanical tweaks.
Also new for 2019 are changes to the all-wheel-drive system. Lincoln added an all-wheel-drive disconnect. In situations where you don’t need a lot of power, such as cruising on the highway, the rear wheels will decouple to reduce mechanical loss and help the system run more efficiently, which helps fuel economy.
I had a chance to drive both engines, and you can see more in the above video first drive of the 2019 Lincoln Nautilus.
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