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Lincoln Navigator Concept: First Look

Lincoln_Navigator_Concept_04-16nyas-oem.jpg Lincoln Navigator Concept | Manufacturer image

CARS.COM

Looks like: An extraordinarily large Range Rover

Defining characteristics: Twin-turbo V-6 power, 30-way adjustable power seats, multitiered retractable side steps, push-button gearshift

Ridiculous features: Gull-wing doors and a closet organizer for the trunk

Chance of being mass-produced: Count on it (minus the impossible doors)

Lincoln has taken the wraps off the Navigator Concept at the 2016 New York International Auto Show. The concept SUV is the next step in the company’s plan to rebuild Lincoln as a “quiet luxury” brand, an effort to tap into the ethos that drives brands like Bentley and Rolls-Royce but at much lower prices.

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Seeing as how Lincoln bills this as a concept, details about the actual truck underneath are scant. There’s no word as to whether the Navigator will follow the Ford F-150 pickup truck into all-aluminum construction, but it’s a good bet that it will.

Exterior

Exterior styling is a predictable extension of what we’ve seen for the new 2017 Lincoln Continental¬†and updated Lincoln MKZ¬†sedans. Like the Continental, the Navigator Concept’s styling isn’t terribly adventurous, but it is quietly attractive, which is what Lincoln is apparently aiming for. It provides an elegant alternative to the edgy, aggressive Cadillac Escalade.

Big LED headlights flank a rounded grille made of Lincoln shield badges, all of it stretching in sleek lines back to a full-width LED taillight assembly. The most obvious concept-car feature are the two massive gull-wing doors on each side, which combine front and rear doors into one large pillarless panel. Even Lincoln boss Kumar Galhotra says not to expect these for production, which judging from this concept won’t be too far off.

Another unusual exterior feature, but one we think has a better shot at production, is three-tiered hideaway side steps built into the sills. It looks like a prototype rather than a concept feature, and it works as advertised with the driver using it to descend from the Navigator Concept onto the stage during the SUV’s reveal.

Interior

Inside, Lincoln has taken the Navigator’s nautical theme to heart, with teak wood throughout and aluminum trim. There’s seating for six, and each seat has Lincoln’s patented 30-way adjustability, including individually adjustable thigh support.

Lincoln’s push-button gearshift adorns the digital dash, meant to resemble piano keys. There are some conceptlike features inside as well, such as the cargo area’s closet organizer that blocks the driver’s rearward view but provides a handy place to store your shoes individually; this is what makes concept cars fun.

Under the Hood

Details are slim, but we know the Navigator Concept has a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 making in excess of 400 horsepower. And it has several selectable drive modes for “go-anywhere” ability.

Safety

The Navigator Concept has many new safety features such as forward collision warning and avoidance with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking. A 360-degree camera is included as is parking assistance for parallel and perpendicular parking, both getting into and out of the space. Lane departure warning also is included, vibrating the steering wheel if the driver strays from the lane.

It took less than a year between the Lincoln Continental Concept’s unveiling at the 2015 New York International Auto Show and the production car’s debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and the styling differences between the two were negligible. Take out the gull-wing doors and it’s a good bet that the Navigator Concept you see here is 90 percent of the production vehicle we’ll see sometime soon.

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