Concept cars have long been a staple of auto shows, where manufacturers showcase their most audacious designs, innovative technology and visions for the future of transportation. In that vein, Lincoln has reinvented its two flagship vehicles – Navigator and Continental – as showroom-ready concepts. While the Navigator is still in the development phase, the production version of the Continental will hit dealerships, including Sanderson Lincoln locally, this fall.
Lincoln Navigator Concept – Luxury Reimagined
Lincoln Navigator was the original luxury SUV, introduced in 1997, when gas prices were low, bling was the thing, and bigger meant better. Fuel economy was the last thing on buyers’ minds when a $20 bill could fill the entire tank, and competitors like Cadillac soon capitalized on the success of Lincoln’s first-ever four-wheel drive model.
Ah, but the mighty they do fall hard. As gas prices rose an astronomical 243 percent over the course of the next decade-plus, sales of gas-guzzling SUVs plummeted, and hybrids became the new aspirational vehicles of choice. As 2016 rounds the bend, and the financial outlook becomes more positive, SUVs are slowly coming back into favor, and with that optimism comes the new Navigator Concept.
With the Navigator Concept, Lincoln reimagines the large luxury SUV for modern drivers interested in performance, refinement and capacity. Much is new, but what made Navigator popular in the first place — off-road capability, towing capacity, comfortable seating for up to eight passengers, wrapped in an elegant package — remains. The design team drew inspiration from luxury yachts and sailboats, which influenced the clean lines, Storm Blue exterior color, teak interior finishes and custom gear-storage systems.
Many SUVs boast three rows of seats, but the Navigator actually seats adult-sized occupants comfortably in its most spacious interior ever. Six Perfect Position Seats adjust 30 ways, and are accessed through power gullwing doors and deployable steps. It will feature a twin-turbo V-6 engine, and several drive modes for drivers to choose from — customizing steering, suspension and noise level, accompanied by matching digital animation on the instrument cluster — to find the experience that best suits their mood. Of course, it will be loaded with the latest technology, both in terms of safety and entertainment systems, including head-restraint monitors with wifi connectivity to share music and content from personal devices.
Continental Concept Becomes Reality
The Continental Concept was revealed last year at the New York International Auto Show, heralding the Lincoln flagship’s metamorphosis from airport livery service staple to legitimate contender in the luxury market. As is to be expected, it has changed some from concept to completion, but the contemporary design, luxury accouterments, cutting-edge technology and iconic elegance remain.
The Perfect Position Seats, also planned for the Navigator Concept, are inspired by private jets and high-end office furniture. Rear-seat passengers travel in first-class style as well, with available reclining, heated, cooled and massaging seats. Those seeking the highest expression of luxury can look to the three Black Label designer themes: Chalet, Thoroughbred, and Rhapsody. Orders for the new Continental are being taken now. To be among first to own a the new, reinvented Continental, contact Sanderson Lincoln, the Valley’s exclusive Black Label dealer, and voted Best of Our Valley for 2016.