Click above for a gallery of the 2008 Lincoln Navigator

The window sticker on a 2008 Navigator shows a mighty low 12 mpg in the city and only 18 on the highway, so Ford went back to the drawing board to improve on that number for this year. The Blue Oval's blinged-up luxury sled boasts a fuel friendlier average of 14/20 for 2009, a marginal improvement, but an improvement nonetheless. Ford says those numbers are good enough to put the Blue Oval at the head of the luxury SUV space that includes the Cadillac Escalade, Lexus LX570 and Nissan QX56. Ford was able to increase fuel economy by almost 15% on the big SUV by implementing some of the same engineering tricks employed on the 2009 F-150, which itself gets up to 15/21 in SFE trim. Changes were made to the idle speed and the transmission, as well as some fancy software engineering that regulates gas consumption by using aggressive deceleration fuel shut-off.

Ford also made standard several items that were previously only available as options, including a power lift gate, heated and cooled front seats, PowerFold third-row seats, cap-less fuel filler, Rear View Camera, flexible fuel-capable V-8 engine, SYNC and the stunning 14-speaker THX II-Certified audio system. The 2009 Navigator will also be available with Ford's new and improved navigation system with Travel Link. Ford hasn't announced any improvements for the Expedition, but we'd expect Ford's blue collar version of the Navigator will receive similar fuel economy enhancements. Hit the jump to view Ford's press release, which includes the full list of now standard features.

[Source: Ford]


PRESS RELEASE:

NAVIGATOR DELIVERS CLASS-LEADING FUEL ECONOMY


DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 24, 2008 – The 2009 Lincoln Navigator offers more than impressive levels of luxury and functionality – it also boasts a significant improvement in fuel economy that puts it ahead of the other full-size luxury sport utility vehicles in the segment.

The Navigator, thanks to a combination of architectural changes and systems engineering enhancements, has increased its fuel efficiency to an EPA-estimated 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway on 4X2 models.

Combined with overall setup changes that offer lower idling speeds and transmission enhancements, the additional fuel economy makes the Navigator an even more appealing choice in the full-size luxury-utility segment.

"You'll notice the difference," said John Rich, powertrain integration and program manager for Ford Trucks. "We've improved the attributes and performance significantly."

The Navigator is powered by a 5.4 liter, three-valve Triton V-8, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, which generates 300 horsepower and 365 foot-pounds of torque. A wide-ratio, six-speed transmission has smaller steps between gears than a typical four-speed automatic, offering improved shift quality and faster acceleration.

Unique software has been engineered to regulate gas consumption by using aggressive deceleration fuel shut-off delivering considerable fuel savings with no extra effort from the driver. This complex fuel strategy is being added to many Ford products to help improve fuel economy across the board – including the new 2009 Ford F-150, which offers unsurpassed fuel economy and capability in the light duty truck segment.

"Deceleration is when you take your foot off the accelerator and you're coasting and the system very aggressively shuts fuel off," says Rich. "It sounds simple, but it's not at all simple. To make this work, we had to carefully manage the complex and constantly changing air-fuel mixture caused by aggressively shutting off fuel flow."

"It's so sophisticated, it's imperceptible to the customer," Rich added. "There's no bump, no hesitation. The catalyst systems come back to life without taking an emissions hit."

New for 2009
For 2009, Lincoln continues to simplify the packaging of Navigator and Navigator L, making standard many previously-optional features.

Standard items now include: Power lift gate; heated and cooled front seats; heated second-row seats; PowerFold™ third-row seats; front park assist sensors; EasyFuel™ capless fuel filler; rain-sensing wipers; perimeter anti-theft alarm; integrated four-button key fob; Rear View Camera; flexible fuel-capable V-8 engine; Lincoln SYNC™ and a 14-speaker THX® II-Certified audio system with SIRIUS® Satellite Radio.

The standard Rear View Camera System in the rear lift gate handle activates when the vehicle is shifted into reverse, giving the driver a clear view behind the vehicle or for ease of hooking up trailers. The video image is displayed in the self-dimming rearview mirror on the standard Navigator or through the instrument panel next generation navigation system on the Elite package.

The new next generation navigation system is available for the first time ever with SIRIUS Travel Link™, which gives drivers and passengers access to up-to-the-minute information and entertainment through the vehicle's navigation system. Working through the standard feature SIRIUS satellite radio network, Travel Link offers uninterrupted, coast-to-coast coverage of real-time traffic data; weather reports (current and five day forecasts with storm information and even ski resort conditions); fuel options sorted by price or distance from more than 120,000 gas stations; major league pro and college sports as well as movie listings from more than 4,500 theaters. A six-month introductory subscription to SIRIUS is included at no cost.

The Monochrome Limited Edition Package for 2009 features unique badging, along with body-color exterior accents including lower grille, lower bodyside cladding, and power folding heated memory mirrors with puddle lamps. This package is offered in four monochromatic exterior treatments: White Platinum Tri-coat, Black Clearcoat, Vapor Silver Clearcoat Metallic and Stone Green Clearcoat Metallic. Inside, the package includes unique black carpet and floor mats, Ebony wood trim, and unique Stone or Camel seats with black leather inserts and black piping. A stitched Lincoln logo is also placed on each headrest.

The Elite Package includes the moonroof; next generation navigation system; power running boards; rear seat entertainment system and the Rear View Camera display in the navigation system.

Three new exterior colors are available for 2009: Monterey Grey Clearcoat Metallic; Sangria Clearcoat Metallic and White Platinum Tri-Coat.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 229,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit our website at www.ford.com.