By on March 27, 2019

Image: Lincoln

Eager to generate buzz ahead of the model’s New York Auto Show debut, Lincoln Motor Company has offered up the first official image of its upcoming Corsair — a compact crossover that kicks the brand’s former alphanumeric naming convention to the curb.

Compared to its MKC predecessor, the Corsair should attain higher levels of luxury (and margins), while throwing a new powertrain option into the mix.

We’ve lightened that image for your viewing pleasure. It’s clear Lincoln is going for a baby Aviator vibe with this new vehicle, even though its front-drive origins can’t be fully erased by a designer’s pen. The blunt nose and rearward-sloping roofline are pure Aviator, however.

Lincoln’s midsize volume and profit generator goes on sale this summer, with the Corsair likely following in the fall. Corsair is a name applied to three FoMoCo models in various markets over the years, though Americans will recall it as an Edsel model offered in 1958 and 1959. It’s unlikely that the provocative, ill-fated Edsel is the image Lincoln wants to conjure up with the name’s resurrection — “corsair” is also a type of sailing dinghy and the name applied to old-timey privateer and pirate ships. The latter vessels’ romantic allure might be worth mining for menace, even if your random car shopper has little knowledge of 18th Century naval tactics.

As we told you earlier this year, the Corsair will launch with three powerplants in tow. Returning to the baby Lincoln are Ford’s 2.0-liter and 2.3-liter Ecoboost four-cylinders, joined by a plug-in hybrid Corsair donning the automaker’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder and an electric motor. The VIN decoder docs we saw did not list the hybrid Corsair’s combined horsepower. Front- and all-wheel drive will be on the menu, along with base and Signature trims, but the hybrid is an AWD-only proposition.

Much like the “new”-for-2019 Nautilus (formerly the MKX), Lincoln is expected to offer Black Label packages for Corsair buyers eager to personalize their ride. As buyers seem willing to shell out more for added lux, Lincoln would be a fool to leave this off the options roster.

[Image: Lincoln]

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21 Comments on “2020 Lincoln Corsair Prepares to Take the Bottom End Upscale...”

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    That silhouette looks promising. No one will care if it’s transverse-engined if it looks and feels good. I think it’ll take a couple more product cycles, but Lincoln is on its way up. They have soon-to-be-four highly-competitive SUV/crossover models, great styling, and attractive pricing.

    • 0 avatar


      Agreed. Lincoln going up. Caddy (still) going down. Badly. Sadly. For the last 20 years. Jeez.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Indeed. I think Cadillac is asleep at the wheel.

        Or, more accurately, GM seems more committed to turning quick profit than trying to develop class-leading or even particularly compelling projects. The cars are competitive on paper, but don’t do anything to stand out or impress you.

  • avatar

    Whoa! Another generic mid-sized SUV! And the rear end looks like a Honda! Tease me!

  • avatar

    Hopefully a bigger success than the Edsel Corsair.

  • avatar

    Other former Edsel model names include Pacer, Citation, Villager, and Ranger. Except for Ranger, I would say the success rate for reusing Edsel names is decidedly mixed.

  • avatar

    Except for the articles and videos reminding people that Edsel once was a thing, how many people will actually remember that there was an Edsel Corsair? I think more people will recall the gull-winged Pappy Boyington-flown airplane of the same name. That was the first thing that came to my mind.

    • 0 avatar

      Corsair makes me think of Corvair, or then maybe after a bit, Corsica. I didn’t know there was an Edsel or a plane, but I guess that might be a reference that will work for people of the age to buy a Lincoln.

    • 0 avatar

      I doubt many outside the car-nut culture will even remotely make the connection. There were far worse names it could have been. One look at the list of competitors posted by davekaybsc below has plenty of examples.

      It’s bad when you look at a jumble of letters and numbers and are forced to think about who makes it. “Is it BMW? No, Audi? Wrong again! It’s a Volvo! I think…”

      Nobody has to think that hard when they hear “Continental “, “Escalade” or “Charger”.

  • avatar

    Thank God somebody has wised up about gibberish code as luxury car names.

  • avatar

    “Much like the “new”-for-2019 Nautilus”…

    So this is a name change and a nip/tuck of the front and rear fascias then?

  • avatar

    It all good that Lincoln is using real names for their cars again, and pretty snazzy ones at that. I suppose Lincoln will bring back the Zephyr name for the MKZ if it survives to the next generation by some sort of miracle.

    I’m just afraid Ford’s going to slice the CUV segmentation pie too thin and introduce a Lincoln version of the Ecosport.

  • avatar

    Really curious how this will turn out on the inside. Lincoln’s shown they can be class competitive with the Navigator and Aviator, but this is a much lower cost vehicle, and it’s going up against the GLC, Q5, X3, and XC60, all of which make the MKC look like an Escape Platinum that has no business wearing a luxury badge, even in Black Label guise.

    They’re going to have to step it WAY up.

  • avatar

    The Corsair is also the name of a fighter used in World War II and Korea. I’ve actually met two guys who flew them. One hated it because the cockpit was set back too far and you couldn’t see the runway when landing nose-up, the reason it was rejected as the carrier aircraft is was designed to be, and the other loved it because it was perfect for close ground support in Korea.

    If Ford worked out the critical dimensions – wheelbase and track – that define its utility, performance, and stability, then that shouldn’t be a problem for Lincoln. If they screwed up by not meeting the needs of their intended customers the way Vought did with the Corsair…

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