By on April 10, 2017

[Image: Lincoln/Twitter]

“We like to think some things are worth the wait,” tweeted Lincoln Motor Company this morning.

Ford’s premium division had a reason to be cheeky when it teased the backlit face of its next-generation full-size SUV, as the Navigator hasn’t seen a full redesign in 11 long years. That’s an eternity in the automotive world.

When the current-generation Navigator began production in August of 2006, Twitter was a month old, the American job scene and housing market seemed sturdy, and Pontiac, Saturn and Hummer were looking forward to long, happy futures. So, this week’s New York International Auto Show should be quite the momentous occasion for the resurgent automaker.

While we can only see a dim view of the Navigator’s face, some cutting-edge computer trickery known only to select Best Buy shoppers allows us a slightly clearer view:

navigator-teaseropen-copy

For 2018, the full-sizer adopts a taller corporate grille to properly position the model alongside the MKZ and Continental, along with a similar lower fascia treatment. Compared to chrome-heavy Navigators of yesteryear, it’s a toned-down affair. The unseen flanks will likely bear a striking resemblance to those of the Navigator concept of 2016, minus the ridiculous gull-wing doors. Don’t expect stepladder-style running boards, either.

The Navigator shares its architecture with the similarly updated 2018 Ford Expedition, and there’s plenty of similarities between last year’s Lincoln concept and next year’s Ford. Providing power for the concept was the Continental’s 400-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6. We’ll have to wait a couple of days to see what heart (or hearts) beat inside the production model.

One thing that does set this Lincoln apart — something the automaker makes sure you’ll notice — is the illuminated badge in the center of the grille. Ford filed a patent for this feature in 2014.

[Image: Lincoln Motor Company/Twitter]

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39 Comments on “NYIAS 2017: Lincoln Teases First All-new Navigator in 11 Years...”


  • avatar
    JimZ

    “While we can only see a dim view of the Navigator’s face, some cutting-edge computer trickery known only to select Best Buy shoppers allows us a slightly clearer view:”

    ENHANCE!

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      Come on JimZ, they obviously did not use the ENHANCE! feature. Do you not see how pixelated that “enhanced” photo is? The ENHANCE! tool would have cleaned that up perfectly.

    • 0 avatar
      phila_DLJ

      In Photoshop, I’d spool up the ol’ “Equalize” tool.

      I’m surprised the creator of this teaser didn’t make their work ‘unequalizable’…I can only assume they were fine with people taking that extra step.

      Also, it’s a box with a Lincoln logo; not that groundbreaking, and we’ve already seen the concept to which this probably hews pretty close.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      You’re thinking too hard. That’s the “brightness hack” which also gives night vision in certian 1PC’s.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    God, please let them bring back the Bill Blass (dark blue/cream), Cartier (dove grey), Givenchy (diamond fire/white), and Pucci (moondust/silver) designer packages. They can cancel the Mustang, Focus ST, And Fiesta ST if they do. Please, please, please!!

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    And if any of you all have real spy shots, put em up :).

  • avatar
    Speed3

    Blackwood! Blackwood! Blackwood!

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Strictly speaking, the Navigator and Expedition 2007 weren’t all-new, since they used the same body-shell and basic exterior panels as the “2nd-gen” 2003-2007 versions. They did, however, get an all-new frame. Leave it to Ford to change the stuff you can’t see. They did the same for the Explorer around that time. But the 2007 Ford full-sizers could really be considered the same as one of Ford’s habitual heavy facelifts, like the changeover from 2009 to 2010 on the Fusion, which also wasn’t a full redesign or even considered a different generation (but was enough to win MT COTY, apparently). Ditto for the recent 2015 reduxes for the Expedition and Navigator.

    I’d say the Navigator and Expedition only got a proper redesign once, in 2003.

    But it is interesting how Ford and particularly Lincoln ceded the market that they created. I remember how Cadillac had to rush to market in response to the Navigator with the first Escalade, literally unchanged from the Yukon Denali other than the badges and some options. Even the headlamps, wheels, running boards and side cladding were the same. For Ford and GM’s early-aughts, GM tried harder and put forth a solid effort. The 2003-2007 Expedition / Navigator and the GMT800 SUVs were about on par, though I’d give the edge to Ford for better design and use of materials. However, it all went downhill from there for Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      komododave

      The best way to determine if a car has truly been 100% redesigned is to look at the doors. Are they the same general shape? Pound for pound, they are the most difficult part of the car to design because so much goes into such a small space. Crash resistance, air bags, windows, locks, electronics, seals. Reusing the body and skinning it in different designs is pretty standard procedure for Fords BoF vehicles. The F-250 and higher stayed the same for an equally long time.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Oooooh, a backlit logo! I’ve seen more than one M-B SUV with a backlit grille logo – is that a factory thing now? Or should I run to AutoZone, to check the bling aisle?

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Yes and no. The Mercedes-Benz Illuminated Star is a dealer-installed option. You can order your Mercedes-Benz with it (I think it costs $600), or probably have it fitted after the fact.

      https://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/accessory/title-Illuminated_Star/id-OEMPartNo:AQ00001110

      • 0 avatar
        Ermel

        On Mercedes trucks in Germany, it is a factory fitted option.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        “Looking for a brilliant accessory for your Mercedes-Benz? Discover the Star!

        The Illuminated Star is the ideal personal touch. This unique option uses LED and light-conductor technology to illuminate the central star in the front grille. It’s subtle, but eye-catching. Bright, but sophisticated. And it’s your opportunity to announce to the world: ‘This is my Mercedes-Benz.\'”

        The page even has a one minute, 15 second video. Good grief.

        • 0 avatar
          MRF 95 T-Bird

          When I first saw the Illuminated Star I thought it belonged hanging behind the bar in some bro-cave. The era of Benz in the 70’s through the early 90’s like Today’s Junkyard Find are just nicely subtile and teutonic.

    • 0 avatar
      Whatnext

      What’s next, a Sprit of Ecstasy that flaps its wings?

  • avatar
    Ermel

    “the illuminated badge in the center of the grille. Ford filed a patent for this feature in 2014.” Hmm. I drive a Mercedes Actros truck for work, with an illuminated Mercedes star in the grille. This has been available since 2008.

    http://www.kurt-herold.de/site/images/aktionen/stern_heller_large.jpg

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    For some reason, an 11 year old car today doesn’t seem as old as an 11 year old car…. 11 years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      That’s because automotive styling and shapes have essentially remained the same since the mid 90s. The only thing that really dates a car anymore is the interior and headlamps. The same basic wedge of cheese, rising beltline, cab forward, v-shaped front end, stumpy trunk, invisible hood design has been used on nearly every car since the early 90s. I hate it. I hate that shape. I want to see the hood when I’m driving, I want to rest my arm on the sill without stretching my arm upwards and I’d like to to lay flat, etc.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Can’t wait for the McConaughey commercials for this thing…

    “It’s so…big…”

  • avatar
    thornmark

    “We need a new Navigator”.

    – said no one, ever.

    • 0 avatar
      USAFMech

      *except people with families, and/or pets, that enjoy outdoor activities, long distance OTR travelling, the million other practical, utilitarian, and pleasurable reasons for owning a large-ish SUV and who don’t need a random TTAC commenter pre-supposing their motivations for actually needing a certain vehicle. Some restrictions apply, see store for details.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      I’m actually warming up to the idea of a used Navigator L as an alternative to a Suburban. A 1-2 year old Navigator L is cheaper than a 1-2 year old Suburban and has less miles on it with more factory warranty remaining.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    How will these be priced compared to Lariat (and up) crew-cab F-150’s?

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Much, much higher. You can option up a SuperCrew Lariat with the 3.5 EB and 4×4 and still be in about the same ballpark as a basic 4×2 Expedition XLT. The base price of a current 4×2 Navigator is about the same as an F-150 Limited with 4×4. Which makes sense, I suppose.

  • avatar
    newenthusiast

    When TTAC posted about the potential of SS-style Tahoe/Yukon twins, I said that it would be hilarious fun and I would consider such a thing.

    But two days ago, I got to ride in a Lincoln MKT because the family owned group of dealerships that owns the Audi place I get service at (they own the sole dealerships around here for every luxury marque except BMW) also owns a Ford/Lincoln shop, and they use the MKT as their shuttle for everyone who doesn’t want/need a loaner from the different dealerships (its marked as a ‘XXXX Auto Group” shuttle).

    I can’t say I like its styling, but it was FAR better put together than I expected. It was dead quiet at highway speeds, remarkably comfortable, had a nice solid heft to the doors, and appeared to have most of the higher end options (I looked at Lincoln’s website. I couldn’t tell you if it was AWD, but it had the DVD players, the multiple zone climate control, Sirius/XM, panoramic sunroof, and the second row captain’s chairs.) It was a beautiful off white metallic color that I think is called Palladium White Gold

    I was impressed and thought it should be on the list come replacement time for my current ride.

    But if this Navigator looks anything like the concept that I read about late last year, (http://www.lincoln.com/navigator-concept/) and is put together reasonably well, I’d take a long, hard look at it. It will likely get worse mpg than the MKT and be too big to fit in my garage, and cost more to insure, but I’d be lying if I said that the light up grill badge, a luxed out interior, and the ability to tow my father in law’s boat (which he has said he will give to my wife upon becoming too old to do the upkeep on it) in one vehicle didn’t make me think happy thoughts.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      If it helps at all, the current MKT and a standard Navigator are about the same length and width, but the car-based MKT is about a foot lower. The MKT, Flex, and Explorer are due to be replaced by a new full-sized Explorer/Aviator CUV; no idea what dimensions it’ll be yet. Hopefully closer in size to the MKT and Flex than the stubby Explorer.

      • 0 avatar
        newenthusiast

        This is good info, thanks. I’m a few years away, I think. But the width is the concern and not being able to open the doors closest to the wall.

        In terms of length, I can currently open my tailgate if needed with the garage door closed. I’d probably need to see the tailgate to measure it to see if that is the case here.

        I was given an Enterprise sourced Dodge Journey once when Audi was all out of loaners (ugh….but they paid for it, so whatever) and despite relatively close exterior dimensions, I could not open the Journey’s tailgate without having the garage open. In heavy rain or wind, this is a thing I want to be able to continue to do.

        That being said, chances are I’m at least 3 years out, and would be looking at the used market for the MKT/Flex at that point.

        But an Aviator that looks like this and otherwise makes sense in terms of ergonomics and options would also be on the list.

        But the light up badge……all the wants.

  • avatar
    STS_Endeavour

    Please let there be gull-wing doors please let there be gull-wing doors please let there be gull-wing doors…..

  • avatar
    turf3

    All right! I want to pay (how much? $75,000? $85,000?) for a Ford pickup with fancy trim and an enclosed bed!

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      Much better than paying the same amount of money to a German brand for a tiny-ass crossover or sedan with less interior room than a $30k Avalon or Impala. And its Ford pickup bones mean it’ll last forever.

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    i think the next to comments says it all.

    People forgot that Navigator still exists (and why should it—it’s a “name” not MK-whatever.

    And lots of people just don’t care.

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