By on November 27, 2019

Image: Lincoln

Rivian, the Michigan-based EV startup with big plans for its R1S SUV and R1T pickup, isn’t bashful about making its “skateboard” electric vehicle platform available to rivals. At Ford, that skateboard may soon appear below a new Lincoln vehicle, a new report claims.

Ford raised eyebrows earlier this year when it sunk $500 million into the upstart EV maker, with the Blue Oval claiming the investment paves the way for an “all-new, next-generation battery electric vehicle.” That vehicle is apparently now taking shape.

According to sources with knowledge of the program who spoke with Reuters, the Rivian platform will form the basis of a new Lincoln SUV scheduled to land in mid-2022.

Ford wouldn’t confirm the report, but the sources claim the all-wheel drive model carries the program code U787. The second vehicle bound for the flexible platform, Rivian’s R1S, is slated to enter production in early 2021 in Normal, Illinois, where the automaker took over a mothballed Mitsubishi plant.

The Lincoln model’s timing coincides with the appearance of an electric Cadillac crossover riding atop General Motors’ new EV architecture. That vehicle is expected to appear in late 2021 or early 2022.

Besides being a way to avoid lofty development costs, Ford’s Rivian cash dump also expedites the arrival of new EV models. No one wants to be late to the party, though many still wonder just how many buyers will show up at this gas-free kegger. An EV Lincoln would be a valuable product for the Chinese market, at the very least.

Aside from the program code and scant details attached to the project, little else is known about the Rivian-based Lincoln crossover. The R1S is a three-row, midsize vehicle, capable of driving up to 410 miles on a single charge, but this report exists in the context of an earlier report claiming Ford has two midsize EV crossovers bound for production at Flat Rock Assembly for the 2023 model year. Those vehicles will carry a Ford and Lincoln badge.

Reuters‘ sources claim Ford has two Lincoln EVs in the planning stage, one a compact crossover due to debut in late 2021 or early 2022, the other being a midsize unit arriving for 2023. Given the R1S’s dimensions, one can only assume that both midsizers bound for Flat Rock are Rivian-based.

The smaller Lincoln model will ride atop the Mustang Mach-E’s in-house platform.

[Image: Lincoln Motor Company]

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24 Comments on “Is Ford’s Rivian Investment About to Bear Fruit?...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “The smaller Lincoln model will ride atop the Mustang Mach-E’s in-house platform.”

    Lincoln ELR incoming.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      The ELR had two big problems unrelated to being a PHEV:

      – It was wildly overpriced and clearly just a cynical ploy to get some Volt development costs back
      – It was a 2 door, which is lot poison for anything not a sports/sporty car.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Do you think Ford is going to discount this new Lincoln model? True on the second point, however if Ford spins up a near Xerox sedan iteration the common ploy of changing up the drivetrains won’t matter as much. I suspect they’ll put the longer range in it as Tesla as been doing for its upper models but for some buyers that may not matter and they’ll opt for the Ford.

        • 0 avatar
          Snooder

          I dont think they’ll discount it, but i also dont think they’ll need to.

          Price wise, the Mach-E is already basically in Lincoln territory. A change of badges and styling is all thats needed to differentiate the “ooh luxury” Lincoln from the “damn, performance” Mustang. And sales of either will be money in the bank for Ford.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Tesla sold 48,680 Model X units in 2018 and are the market leader. Ford will have to convert people who would buy it but have not and hope for a lot of new customers. Realistic pricing will be beyond 50K my guess is closer to 60K, so are there 48K more new buyers/Tesla converts out there or is the number closer to GM’s Bolt of 18,019 in 2018? I’ll make the popcorn.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Model_X

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            How many “Tesla faithful” Model X owners like the car’s EV drivetrain and performance, but are sick of the silly gullwing doors and flying suppository styling ? Quite a few, I’d wager.

            And then there’s price – a base Model X starts at $72,000, and normally carries a sticker upwards of $100,000. Meanwhile, a fully loaded up Mach E goes for $60,000. The two vehicles are about the same size. Safe to assume, therefore, that the Lincoln version of the Mach E might have a pretty substantial price advantage (skipping the stupid power gullwing doors saves money, after all).

            Give it Aviator styling inside and out, sell it for $80,000 or so, and I bet quite a few Model X owners will take notice.

            In any case, we’re about to find out how “faithful” Tesla owners really are.

          • 0 avatar
            Lokki

            Here’s my question: will people be able to charge these vehicles at Tesla super chargers? If not, Tesla has a huge market advantage that will be very difficult for other makers to overcome.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “ In any case, we’re about to find out how “faithful” Tesla owners really are.”

            Very. The “cyber truck” is proof of that. I’ve seen way too many people on tech oriented sites say stuff like “I’m not really a truck person but I pre-ordered a cyber truck because it’s JUST SO COOL.” These idiots really seem to believe it’s their duty to give Elon money.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Freed

            That’s precisely my point, are their 48K plus buyers who would like to get into a Model X but are 40K short but whom could come up with 60? I’ll let the data tell me as time goes on because I really don’t know.

            Oh btw, the Model X owners are reaping the benefits of being in a cult. MY18 still pulling 80, MY17 about 10K under extra clean, one with 50K otc did 59,0. For what this is, that’s actually kind of impressive. I’m not sure if Tesla is doing CPO, but if they are not they should because they could blow this Mach thing out of the water. Imagine, X year warranty, used MY17 Model X, 50K otc, 75 all in if its pulling 60? Proles all want to be in the Cult of Tesla, Elon created an Iphone for cars.

            MY18 Model X 100D

            10/11/19 $77,500 20,813 4.6 EL/A Black Regular West Coast Nevada
            10/31/19 $81,500 11,300 4.5 EL/A Black Regular West Coast Phoenix
            11/13/19 $80,000 10,432 – – NON/- – White Regular Southwest Denver
            11/11/19 $80,000 8,282 4.1 EL/A Gray Regular Southeast Tampa
            10/4/19 $77,000 6,491 4.3 EL/A Black Lease Southeast Tampa
            10/23/19 $80,200 3,355 – – NON/A Silver Regular Southwest Dallas

            MY17 Tesla Model X 100D

            10/16/19 $74,000 6,591 2.8 EL/A Gray Lease Southwest Denver
            10/18/19 $77,750 9,083 4.2 EL/A White Regular West Coast Nevada
            11/13/19 $61,000* 12,271 – – EL/A Black Lease West Coast San Diego
            10/16/19 $71,500 15,135 – – EL/A Blue Lease West Coast San Diego
            11/21/19 $67,000 24,004 3.1 EL/- – Black Lease Midwest Chicago
            10/25/19 $69,500 24,465 4.0 EL/A Blue Regular Southwest Texas Hobby
            11/14/19 $56,500* 30,688 4.2 EL/A Black Regular West Coast Riverside
            11/13/19 $59,000 51,215 4.1 EL/A Black Lease West Coast San Diego

            “These idiots really seem to believe it’s their duty to give Elon money.”

            So right Jim, just as they thought it was their duty to wait in line to give Jobs (and now Cook) their money… although I don’t think there are lines now.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I’d say the biggest single factor that sank the ELR was Tesla – who the f**k would buy an ELR (an EPIC dog performance-wise) for $70,000 once the Model S hit the market?

        They did improve the performance for the second year, but by then, the market had already laughed off the ELR.

        Shame, because the thing’s a looker, if you ask me.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          That’s an excellent point but I still think it would have failed miserably simply because 1. it sucked 2. coupe only and 3. stain of “GM”. I’ve been reading anecdotally the Gen 1 Volt is actually a very well constructed vehicle and its batteries are supposedly of high quality. If it had been sold as a Toyota, or heck maybe a Geo or even an Opel, it would have sold better.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Agreed, I have no idea what they were doing with the ELR, but if they’d put the more powerful engine it from day one, and priced it more sanely (call it fifty), it’d have been a disappointment, versus being the absolute joke it turned out to be.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I think it was Pch who made the original point that it should have been offered as a convertible (or maybe I made that argument to him I can’t remember). The XLR is still pulling dumb money despite the fact the actual Corvette is superior in almost every way, but it didn’t come as a hardtop ‘vert.

      • 0 avatar
        Snooder

        Not to mention it came out just when non-crossovers were entering their death spiral.

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        The ELR was classic GM product development: wrong body style, wrong powertrain, wrong price.

      • 0 avatar
        amca

        The XLR was one of the best looking cars of the past two decades. Shame it cratered.

    • 0 avatar

      Another meaningless comment. Have no idea what you are trying to convey. There is nothing in common between coupe hybrid and BEV SUV. And BTW Ford hybrids were very popular.

  • avatar
    Mnemic

    It’ll be the aviator IMO

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Lot of drama around Lincoln (and possibly bad Karma):
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_M._Leland

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Off topic, I saw a Lincoln SUV the other night with a light-up star logo.

    I hope it was an aftermarket addition, and they’re not going down the same tacky road as Mercedes.

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