Lincoln Corsair's Plug-in Variant Brings Up the Rear; EV to Follow?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
lincoln corsairs plug in variant brings up the rear ev to follow

By now, you’ve all had a chance to digest Lincoln’s new take on a compact CUV. Underpinned by a platform shared with the equally new 2020 Ford Escape and boasting a model-specific rear multi-link type setup (“integral bush suspension” in Lincoln parlance), the 2020 Corsair is the brand’s latest attempt to restore Lincoln’s faded lustre.

“We are American luxury,” said brand boss Joy Falotico during the model’s New York Auto Show debut. Surely, the Corsair embodies this mantra better than its MKC predecessor, with a stronger commitment to interior trappings and exterior style. But what of the plug-in variant that wasn’t a part of today’s debut?

It’s a fact that the Corsair will be offered with a gas-electric powertrain, but the only two powerplants mentioned on Wednesday were the familiar 2.0-liter and 2.3-liter turbo fours carried over from the MKC. Power figures are slightly altered for 2020.

According to Automotive News, the PHEV model will not be present at the model’s launch this fall, with Lincoln representatives staying mum on specific details of that powertrain option. We know from VIN decoder documents that the Corsair PHEV, offered only in all-wheel drive form, will borrow Ford’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder for the gasoline half of the equation, but just how far the variant can travel on electric power alone, as well as the system’s combined output, remains a mystery.

The Corsair’s bigger Aviator brother positions its plug-in variant as something of a hot rod, with horsepower and torque figures well in excess of the stock model (and a price range reaching into the stratosphere). All-electric driving is simply a bonus with that model.

After speaking with Falotico, The Detroit Bureau reports that the PHEV version will appear “about a year” after the Corsair’s introduction, though the model’s chief engineer, John Jraiche, claims the introduction will be “very soon.” This could mean a mid-year 2020 launch rather than a 2021MY debut.

On the heels of the PHEV, Falotico said Lincoln hopes to offer an all-electric version of the Corsair, with Jraische’s team reportedly hard at work on it.

While a Corsair EV would allow Lincoln to go head to head with compact electric CUV offerings from Germany, the biggest appeal for such a model would be in Chinese sales. The Corsair stands to become the first Lincoln model produced in that country when assembly kicks off late this year. Falotico’s introductory speech may have conjured up traditional images of Americana — businessmen making it big and settling into a more relaxed pace of life, new Lincoln as a reward — but the brand remains very bullish on China.

Having both a plug-in and electric Corsair would help sweeten the pot in a highly polluted country that, in general, places American luxury brands on a higher pedestal than Americans.

Despite an auto slump that began in the middle of 2018, the Lincoln brand managed to improve its annual sales tally in the Chinese market last year. It’s easy to see how a small, domestically produced CUV that ups the luxury quotient and offers electrified powertrains could be the vehicle Lincoln needs to retain momentum in a faltering economy.

[Images: Tim Healey/TTAC, Lincoln Motor Company]

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  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Apr 17, 2019

    Nice looking wagon, I really like interior. Would be very tempting if they lowered it a bit - I have no intention going offroad anytime soon.

    • See 1 previous
    • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Apr 18, 2019

      @stuki Well in California it is non-issue. I even have AWD Fusion. I do not know why.

  • Zackman Zackman on Apr 18, 2019

    Lincoln "Corsair". Hmm... I suppose gull-wing doors are optional? Other than that, I like the looks. Kind of resembles a Range Rover Evoque with larger glass.

  • Jeff S In the EV market Tesla is not a niche player it is the major player. According to the latest data of the California-based vehicle valuation and automotive research company  Kelley Blue Book, Tesla has the lion’s share with 75 percent market share in  the electric vehicle market in the first three months of 2022.Tesla has dominated the electric vehicle market for years in the United States. The electric vehicles manufactured by Tesla accounted for 79 percent of the new electric vehicles registered in the United States in 2020 and 69,95 percent in 2021. The decrease in the market share in 2021 might be explained by backlogs and the global chip shortage, but the company is ramping up its sales and has already increased its market share to 75 percent in the first quarter of the year. According to Kelley Blue Book, the top 10 EVs sold in the US in the first quarter of 2022 are;[list=1][*]Tesla Model Y[/*][*]Tesla Model 3[/*][*]Ford Mustang Mach-E[/*][*]Tesla Model X[/*][*]Hyundai Ioniq 5[/*][*]Kia EV6[/*][*]Tesla Model S[/*][*]Nissan Leaf[/*][*]Kia Niro[/*][*]Audi e-Tron[/*][/list=1]Tesla has delivered 310,048 vehicles in the first quarter of 2022, another first-quarter record. The success of Tesla is proven once again as the company has three electric cars in the top 10 most selling electric vehicles in the United States, while no other manufacturer has even two different models on the list.Tesla leads all others, selling slightly over 936,000 units in 2021. This gave the company a market share of nearly 14%.Mar 30, 2022
  • Jeff S I did not know Plymouth had a full size van prior to the mini vans. I did know about the Plymouth pickups and the Trail Duster.
  • Arthur Dailey When I grew tired of the T-Bird trying to kill me by refusing to start at the most inconvenient times/places, I replaced it with a '79 fullsized Dodge (Sportsman) van. Similar to this but with a different grille and rectangular headlights. The 4 'captains' chairs in my van were pretty much identical to the ones in this van. Mine certainly was not as nicely finished inside. And it was a handful to drive in snow/ice. One thing that strikes me about this van is that although a conversion it does not seem to have the requisite dark tint on the windows.
  • Jeff S I am not a fan of Tesla and they were niche vehicles but it seems that they have become more common. I doubt if I get an EV that it would be a Tesla. The electrical grid will have to be expanded because people over the long run are not going to accept the excuse of the grid can't handle people charging their EVs.
  • AMcA The '70 Continentals and Town Cars may have been cousins to the standard body Fords and Mercurys, they didn't have to be disguised, because they had unique, unbelievably huge bodies of their own. Looking at the new 1970 interior, I'd say it was also a cost savings in sewing the seat. Button tufted panels like the 1969 interior had require a lot of sewing and tufting work. The 1970 interior is mostly surface sewing on a single sheet of upholstery instead of laboriously assembled smaller pieces. FINALLY: do I remember correctly that the shag carpet shown under these cars was a Photoshop? They didn't really go so peak '70s as to photograph cars on shag carpets, did they?