Is Ford's Rivian Investment About to Bear Fruit?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
is fords rivian investment about to bear fruit

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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5 of 24 comments
  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Nov 27, 2019

    Lot of drama around Lincoln (and possibly bad Karma):

  • TMA1 TMA1 on Nov 27, 2019

    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.

    • See 2 previous
    • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Nov 27, 2019

      "I hope it was an aftermarket addition, and they’re not going down the same tacky road as Mercedes." Glowing logo says that you arrived. You did not arrive and that explains your envy towards owners of Lincoln and Mercedes with glowing logos;

  • Kwik_Shift Once 15 Minute Cities start to be rolled out, you won't be far enough away from home to worry about range anxiety.
  • Bobbysirhan I'd like to look at all of the numbers. The eager sheep don't seem too upset about the $1,800 delta over home charging, suggesting that the total cost is truly obscene. Even spending Biden bucks, I don't need $1,800 of them to buy enough gasoline to cover 15,000 miles a year. Aren't expensive EVs supposed to make up for their initial expense, planet raping resource requirements, and the child slaves in the cobalt mines by saving money on energy? Stupid is as stupid does.
  • Slavuta Civic EX - very competent car. I hate the fact of CVT and small turbo+DI. But it is a good car. Good rear seat. Fix the steering and keep goingBut WRX is just a different planet.
  • SPPPP This rings oh so very hollow. To me, it sounds like the powers that be at Ford don't know which end is up, and therefore had to invent a new corporate position to serve as "bad guy" for layoffs and eventual scapegoat if (when) the quality problems continue.
  • Art Vandelay Tasos eats $#!t and puffs peters