Lincoln continues to innovate with and improve its product, and today’s debut of the all-new 2018 Navigator—along with several marketing programs—is worthy of notice. Presented as a concept at last year’s New York International Auto Show, the production model unveiled today showed a similar exterior, with the expected four doors instead of the two large gullwing doors and a fresh interior that continues to demonstrate the brand’s more sophisticated design aesthetic and the factory’s ability to deliver it. If you aren’t impressed with the style, fit and finish in the Navigator, especially in the Black Label editions, you aren’t giving Lincoln the credit it merits.
“It’s a rebirth. It’s about doing the right thing for the nameplate,” says David Woodehouse, Lincoln’s design director, while explaining the car’s American design sensibility, which is inspired by “big city scale and vast landscapes that helped inform the car’s design,” especially the interior, with its “linear, horizontal emphasis.” There are large gestures, like the panoramic roof, which was designed because the typical Navigator customer loves the outdoors, and the largest and brightest heads up display which is visible even with polarized lenses; small ones, like fast-charging USB outlets at every seat, lighting that engages when you approach the car; and thoughtful ones, like a shelf under the dash and console that fits most handbags, a new Personal Profile system that allows three different drivers to save not only their seat preferences but their entertainment, nav, climate, pedal and mirror settings too, and a new adjustable shelf for the rear.
The Perfect Position seats that we fell in love with in the Continental are thankfully available here as well, allowing endless adjustments. The seats, even the back sides of them, are the best looking and most comfortable you’ll find. All four rear seats are easily folded and raised by the flick of a switch, allowing for maximum utility with minimum hassle. Part of Lincoln’s pursuit of “quiet luxury” is literal, with the Continental, MKZ and MKX offering some of the quietest rides around. Andrew Kernahan, the Navigator’s Chief Engineer, says “It’s the quietest in its class, and it’s all about being able to enjoy the journey in a luxurious environment.” The new Navigator also adds common sense drive modes, and is packed with all the latest tech, including the very handy Trailer Backup Assist and enhanced parking assistance (it is a big car). The Revel II audio system is also world class, and rear seat passengers can listen to or watch their own selections.
In addition to the new Navigator, Lincoln also announced several new marketing and ownership programs of note. They already offer scheduled pick up and drop off for service, but are now extending that to test drives. Simply request the car you want, when you want it and a sales associate will deliver one to you. Lincoln Chauffeur allows owners to schedule a vetted driver to drive you in your car when needed—they can run errands for you, too. A new partnership with The Surf Lodge in Montauk, NY will include a preview of the Navigator during the summer season, a Black Label “Yacht Club” themed room, and sponsorship of a summer concert series.
The 2018 Lincoln Navigator will be available in late 2017.
Images courtesy of The Lincoln Motor Company