Electric Lincoln: 2020 Corsair PHEV Appears in Arizona

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Lincoln continues to ramp up its SUV and crossover offerings, mirroring the mother ship that recently announced it’s ditching anything with four doors and a trunk.

Spy photogs have captured what certainly appears to be the Lincoln Corsair PHEV while testing in northern Arizona. The giveaway that this Lincoln can be plugged into the mains? A suspicious looking flap, located in the traditional FoMoCo location for recharging: just ahead of the driver’s door.

According to folks in the know, the launch of this MKC replacement has been pushed forward thanks to the extinction-level event for sedans at The Glass House. Naturally, this has led to a push for crossovers and SUVs. Originally, the MKC replacement was scheduled for 2021, but sources say it’s now on track for 2020 with money freed up from other programs.

Someone call a hearse for the Continental and MKZ, then.

In terms of styling, the MKC replacement seems to borrow some cues from the Aviator Concept. The mirrors appear to be lifted directly from the show floor, along with similar front fenders. Around back, the Corsair appears to get Aviator inspired taillights and rear bumper.

The current clamshell, Audi-esque tailgate remains, a unit that reaches skyward while taking the Lincoln’s taillights along with it. The resultant void looks like one of those terrifying Dr. Who monsters with no facial features. At least it is only present while loading groceries. Protruding exhaust trumpets are there for comic relief and will surely be better integrated on production models.

Currently, there’s no official word on powertrain, but there’s little reason expect anything different than the powertrain found in its soon-to-be electrified cousin, the Escape. In that market space, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV can travel 22 miles on battery power while the Kia Niro PHEV can stretch its electric reserves to 26 miles of silent motoring. Expect Ford to best both of these numbers for marketing and bragging rights.

Stuck low on the back bumper are two CAUTION placards in an angry yellow, displaying the words “fuel drain.” This further points to a PHEV drivetrain, as Lincoln engineers are likely keen to see just how far their crossover can travel on battery power alone.

While it makes perfect sense to give the people what they want (crossovers and SUVs), your author experiences wide swaths of disappointment and sadness at the possibility of Lincoln sedans vacating our nation. Suffering from Stockholm Syndrome with the Lincoln brand is nothing new for me, however. I do sincerely hope reports of the Continental’s demise are greatly exaggerated. If not, expect to hear a mournful wail from Eastern Canada on the day the last Lincoln sedan rolls off an assembly line.

MKC sales have climbed steadily. In 2017, the brand moved 27,048 of the crossovers. That’s about 5,000 more units sold than the Volvo XC60 during the same timeframe, but less than half the number of the Audi Q5 crossovers that departed showrooms last year.

[Images: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • Carroll Prescott Carroll Prescott on Jul 18, 2018

    I'll never understand the appeal of CUV's or SUV's. I love cars - even my sedan is functional enough though I'd buy a hatchback in a minute if I needed - and I'd darn sure buy a nice station wagon there too. To me this is a spoiled generation - buying too much product for their needs - and there is no way 90% of drivers need an SUV - I'm exempting those who do business and let em have all the SUV's they want. I believe in the ability to buy what you WANT - but I'm also recognizing that need is few and far between with these - and to make matters worse, the utility of these is often pointless since these same fools will strap their garbage on top of an SUV without even putting jack in the hatch area. Go figure.

    • See 4 previous
    • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Jul 19, 2018

      @Lie2me 2 DOORS, bah! An Isetta bubble car would be an amusing thing to drive... for 5 minutes. Maybe a Peal P40 (just don't get fat).

  • Akear Akear on Jul 18, 2018

    This will be yet another poor handling Lincoln SUV. No wonder Cadillac and Acura outsell Lincoln by more than a 2 to 1 margin. Lincoln should be ashamed of themselves when Cadillac is engineering and designing world class cars like the CT6-V and upcoming Escala.

  • Ajla There's a melancholy to me about an EV with external speaker-generated "engine" noise and fake transmissions. It feels like an admission from the manufacturer that you're giving something up and they are trying to give back some facsimile of it. Like giving a cupcake scented candle to someone on a diet. If I was shopping for an EV I'd rather go to a company enthusiastic about it rather than apologetic.
  • EBFlex More proof of how much EVs suck. If you have to do this, that means you are trying to substitute what people want...and that's ICE.
  • Akear The only CEO who can save Boeing, GM, and Ford is Alan Mulally. Mulally is largely credited with saving both Boeing and Ford. The other alternative is to follow a failed Jack Welch business model. We have all witnessed what Jack Welch did to GE, and what happened to Boeing when it was taken over by GE-trained businessmen. Below is an interesting article on how Jack Welch indirectly ruined Boeing.https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-boeing-was-set-on-the-path-to-disaster-by-the-cult-of-jack-welch
  • ChristianWimmer The interior might be well-made, but the design is just hideous in my opinion. It’s to busy and there’s no simplistic harmony visible in it. In fact I feel that the nicest Lexus interior ever could be found in the original LS400 - because it was rather minimalistic, had pleasing lines and didn’t try to hard. It looked just right. All Lexus interiors which came after it just had bizarre styling cues and “tried to hard” if you know what I mean.
  • THX1136 As a couple of folks have mentioned wasn't this an issue with the DeLorean? I seem to recall that it was claimed you could do a 'minor' buff of the surface and it would be good as new. Guess I don't see why it's a big deal if it can be so easily rectified. Won't be any different than getting out and waxing the car every so often - part of ownership, eh.