In its ongoing effort to reinvent itself and attract younger buyers, Lincoln Motor Company unveiled its new Navigator SUV concept at the New York International Auto Show. It is massive and yacht-like.
The seven-passenger sport utility’s main attractions are dramatic gullwing doors and unfolding concertina steps bathed in crimson light to create a “red carpet” welcome. The rear storage area is fitted with California Closet compartments fit for Colin Firth’s “Kingsman” with dedicated cubbyholes for essentials like flasks, binoculars and cigars.
Design boss David Woodhouse says that the Navigator’s new looks are inspired by the yachting world, with lots of shiny paint and teakwood. But the luxury SUV also comes with intercom-inspired voice amplifiers in the headrests to allow the front passengers to speak with rear riders without shouting. Cameras are aimed on each person’s face, allowing the driver to speak with passengers “face to face.” Wi-Fi and seven touch screens also aid connectivity.
“We did a lot of consumer research and know that Navigator owners travel often with family and friends, so we wanted to improve how they interact while on on the road,” Lincoln CEO Kumar Galhotra told FORTUNE.
The next-gen Navigator will be powered by a version of the 3.5-liter twin-burbo V6 in the new Continental (which is due to go on sale in the fall). Other highlights are a Revel audio system, 30-way adjustable seats, a new pre-collision assist system with pedestrian detection, a 360-degree camera, and enhanced park assist and lane-keeping systems.
Galhotra says that the current Navigator’s buyers are already younger and more affluent than Lincoln’s core consumers, and the company hopes that this grand new take on its large SUV will attract even more. The production version of the Navigator will be shown in the coming months and will be due to go on sale later next year. Sadly, the roof-hinged doors, which are not feasible for production due to their sheer size and weight, will not be a part of the road-going version.