Reactions to the 2015 Lincoln Navigator design seemed pretty extreme when the face leaked yesterday. But now that the veil's off, it looks about as standard-square-SUVish as it possibly could. With a cattle guard strapped to its face.
Lincoln calls it "a rebirth of an icon," but I reckon if you cover everything from the front-fenders forward you'd have a hard time discerning this from its predecessors. Except maybe for the taillights, which look like a two-dimensional depiction of the outgoing Jeep Grand Cherokee's.
I recognize that it's tough do much with the "big people-mover" shape that has basically never changed, I just don't like being told that a new front grille is going to spearhead a design revolution.
Nice wheels on this, though. They have a sort of aeronautical feel that might be at home on a Spyker SUV, if that ever came to fruition.
For 2015 the 5.4 V8 Navigator is gone, but Lincoln is promising "at least 370 horsepower and 430 lb.-ft. of torque" from the new 3.5 twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 they're porting in. There are also claims like "best in class towing" being thrown around, but let's reserve judgement on that until we see it in action.
Lincoln's load-leveling suspension system called "Nivomat" will still be available, adjusting the ride-height in accordance with how much weight the Nav is carrying. No more embarrassing wheel-scrape when you load this baby full of chicks from the discotech! Or, when you help your grandson move... depending on which of the two Navigator demographics you belong to.
The options list has been lengthened to include a power tailgate, LEDs all over the place, HID lights with LED accents, and "passive entry" that allows the SUV to unlock when it detects the key fob close by. I imagine that will be switchable.
The level of symmetry inside is pretty aggressive— It almost looks like one of those commercial trucks that you can tell is barely changed between right and left-side driven models.
The Ziricote wood used in the interior Lincoln keeps bragging about is special because of the "spider-webbing" or "landscape" appearance of the grain figure. Apparently it's one of the easier high-density woods to work with and affix to things, hence the vehicle application.
Apparently just about every other surface is swathed in Wollsdorf leather, who only skin the finest cows from the "Alpine region and the Central European area" according to their website.
As per the outgoing model, the 2015 Navigator will be available in a 207.4 inch standard-length and 222.3 inch extended-length versions. For reference, a 2015 Tahoe is just a little smaller at 204 inches long and the new Suburban is the biggest of the bunch at 224.4 inches.
Production is slated to begin at the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville late this summer.
We'll have our first real-life look at the new Nav at the Chicago Auto Show, so I'll let you know how it if it's prettier in person in a couple weeks.