Future Models - Lincoln 2018 Navigator
New York show: Lincoln reinvents the Navigator
Touchpoint: Lincoln’s designers have aimed to emphasise “ultra-luxury touchpoints” on the new Navigator, so that everything people see and touch seems like it is a cut above the rest.
Aussie fingerprints on all-new Lincoln Navigator as Ford ramps up SUV assault in US
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13 April 2017
FORD Motor Company presented its long-anticipated new-generation Lincoln
Navigator at the New York auto show overnight, bearing some Australian
fingerprints with what is the first redesign for the full-size luxury SUV in a
The Navigator was one of the pioneering models in this segment, but market
share and sales have eroded as competition intensified in North America with
models such as the Cadillac Escalade and Infiniti QX80.
It is based on the same platform and shares components and features with Ford’s
new Expedition unveiled in Dallas, Texas, in February, albeit with luxury
fittings and design elements befitting its status as a Lincoln model.
GoAuto understands the new Navigator was primarily developed in North America,
but the Australian-based Asia-Pacific Product Development Centre is likely to
have had input into the program given its status as a key R&D hub for Ford
Motor Company vehicles worldwide.
Asked about the Australian design and engineering team’s level of involvement
in the Navigator program, Ford Australia product communications manager Damion
Smy would only say that “our local team works as part of an integrated global
group, with Australia hosting the Asia-Pacific Product Development Centre that’
s a crucial global development hub”.
As previously reported, Ford’s Australian operations have been recently spotted
testing Range Rovers at its You Yangs proving ground near Lara, south-west of
Melbourne, as Ford moves full-steam ahead with SUV development and prepares to
launch several all-new models before 2020 – including the new Navigator,
another still-secret Lincoln SUV for China, the all-new Ford Bronco and related
Lincoln’s former head of exterior design and one-time overall design chief, Max
Wolff, would have also been involved in the Navigator program before returning
home to Australia from Detroit at the end of 2015 to begin work on new programs
at the Asia-Pacific centre, leaving Earl Lucas in charge of exterior design for
the big new SUV – under the watch of Lincoln design director David Woodhouse.
The team has kept the design of the concept unveiled at the New York show last
year largely intact with the transition to production, although items such as
gullwing doors have disappeared and detail changes to the grille and headlights
Ford engineers saved about 90kg through the use of (high-strength) aluminium
across the body, boosting refinement in the process, while additional weight
savings were “reinvested” in areas such as towing capability (still to be
specified) and additional noise-reduction measures including laminated front
and side glass.
Power comes from a new twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine “projected
to produce 450 horsepower” (335kW), driving through a 10-speed automatic
Fuel economy is said to have improved, but specific details are still to be
The level of advanced technology on-board has gone up a notch with
speed-dependent adaptive front lighting, a 360-degree camera with enhanced park
assist, adaptive cruise control, a trailer backup assist system (which
automatically steers the vehicle to turn a trailer the desired amount), head-up
display, wireless phone charging up front and standard Wi-Fi allowing for up to
10 mobile devices at a time to be connected.
Driver the front passenger seats offer 30-way adjustment and include massage,
heating and cooling functionality, while the “personal profile” linked to the
key fob can recall driver seat, mirror and pedal position preferences, along
with climate control and audio settings.
There are six USB ports, four 12-volt power outlets and a 110-volt plug
on-board the new Navigator, along with individual audio and climate controls
for second-row passengers and a power-recline function for the third-row seats.
An optional rear-seat entertainment system enables content to be streamed
wirelessly with an Android device to one of the 10-inch adjustable screens
mounted on the rear of the front seats, or else accessed via other devices like
an SD card, HDMI cord, USB or AppLink (via the Sync3 infotainment system).
The luggage area includes an “advanced cargo management system” that includes
an adjustable shelf behind the rear seats designed to keep items of various
shapes and sizes well secured.
“When designing the Navigator, we put an emphasis on ultra-luxury touch
points,” Mr Woodhouse said.
“We took everything the client would see and touch, and made sure it would look
and feel a little more exuberant, a little more indulgent and incredibly