A great many buyers fled from full-size body-on-frame SUVs to car-based crossovers in large measure to save fuel. But that doesn't mean there's still not a buying audience for more traditional truck-based utility vehicles, and those consumers doubtlessly wouldn't mind saving some dollars at the pump, too. According to Motor Trend, those shoppers might be in luck.

That's because the magazine has confirmed that Ford isn't walking away from the full-size SUV segment, and it's poised to do something about its offerings' economy ratings, too. According to MT, global Lincoln director Matt VanDyke has hinted that the next Navigator may drop two cylinders and go with a V6 model – the current model gets just 14 miles per gallon in the city and 20 on the highway from its 5.4-liter V8. The obvious fitment would be Ford's 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, an engine that has spread like kudzu throughout the rest of the Blue Oval's large vehicle lineup.

Downsized turbocharged engines like Ford's EcoBoost franchise have come under fire as of late for not delivering their EPA fuel economy ratings, but their benefits extend beyond consumption – the 3.5L offers superior power and a better torque curve than the naturally aspirated V8. MT also suggests that Ford's 3.7-liter V6 could form the base engine for the next Navi – it has similar horsepower but a lot less torque than the current 5.4L. That may be less of a problem with the next generation tipped to go on a diet, which could level the playing field somewhat.

Interestingly, Ford will reportedly keep a V8 option in the Navigator's Blue-Oval-badged sibling, the Expedition. That may be a strategy partially borne out of cost, and partially out of concern that the Expedition's more traditional buying audience still maintains a strong affinity for simple and robust V8 engines. That said, MT says the Expedition could also get the 3.7L and the EcoBoost 3.5 V6s


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  • 105 Comments
      Sgt Beavis
      • 1 Year Ago
      In other news, the Navigator still exists..
      Farmboy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Speaking of Lincoln SUVs, I still wish they made the Aviator, or at least kept the name around (insert Lincoln naming cliche). It may have been a rebadged Explorer, but those things looked good with the Navi grille.
        Chris
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Farmboy
        I agree! . . I loved the Navigator - Aviator Names . .it just fit them well . . the original Aviator(explorer based) was, I Think., one of the best looking SUVs ever made . . the interior was beautiful as well . . It was worth the price premium IMO . . I would own one today if I could find one..they seem to be rare. . .
        merlot066
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Farmboy
        +1 The only way I'm ever getting rid of mine (2005 AWD Elite. Vivid Red with the Dove Grey interior) is if they make a new one worth buying (Aviator name and preferably RWD).
          Autoholics Anonymous
          @merlot066
          @Farmboy @Chirs I think the Aviator was/is a fantastic name for the SUV. Although it may have been based on the Explorer it was actually far from just a re-badge i.e. The standard engine being a more powerful DOHC 4v 4.6l V8 @ 302hp 300tq vs SOHC 2v 4.0l V6 @ 210hp 254tq or optional SOHC 2v 4.6l V8 @ 239hp & 282tq. Also the Aviator's suspension was upgraded with a stiffened and braced chassis. Bigger brakes and larger 17" wheels to accommodate the said brakes. Dimensionally the Aviator comes out with 3.8" extra length in the front end 1.8" in extra body cladding on the sides. Better head and tail lamps with extra lighting all around. I believe this one one of the best jobs Lincoln has done at making a superb product compared to it's Ford relative and it really is a crying shame Ford didn't go further with this SUV considering how good of a competitive vehicle it was and what potential it had to hold market share. I have owned one for a full year now and I believe it is excellent. @merlot066 I know right! I am hoping they do truly bring back a competent successor to the Aviator, not like what they did with the Aviator concept being the MKX (Hello Ford! Not the same thing!). Right now the closest thing they have into the lineup is what I believe they could do with the current Explorer Sport which seems like a good start but although being closer to the Aviator than the MKX was it is still not quite the same but until that day I will gleefully drive mine (2003 RWD Premium. Medium Wedgewood Blue Metallic with the Light Parchment interior)
          Autoholics Anonymous
          @merlot066
          I forgot the links. These will get you a decent amount of information between the Explorer and the Aviator. http://www.edmunds.com/ford/explorer/2003/ http://www.edmunds.com/lincoln/aviator/2003/
      Daniel
      • 1 Year Ago
      Uhmm 3.5 EcoBoost anyone ?
      Paul P.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I was kinda hoping the new 3.2L diesel would be an option, at least in the Expedition. Either way, if they're planning on putting an Ecoboost in the Navigator, I'm guessing it's going to be the next generation Ecoboost with 400+ hp. I mean, all the engines offered by the competition are at least 400hp. Then you have GM bringing out a new Escalade that will surely be 425+ hp with the new 6.2L V8.
      Farmboy
      • 1 Year Ago
      I thought I remember hearing a year or two ago that they were going to put the EcoBoost 3.5L in the Navi for sure. I'm just excited to see new full-size SUVs from Ford.
        Chris
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Farmboy
        Me too! lol theres this special place in muh heart for the big lugs lol . . im actually very interested in the design they take . .i hope they dont take a Traverse/Enclave direction . .
      The Wasp
      • 1 Year Ago
      It would be strange for Lincoln not to offer a V8. I wonder if there was a misunderstanding and maybe they're dropping the 5.4L in favor of the newer 5.0. I do think using a V6 is a good decision, though, as most SUV buyers are not really very demanding in terms of a specific engine type or power output.
      Mike
      • 1 Year Ago
      While I am really pulling for Lincoln and love the new MKC concept, as long as the MKZ is taking to finally go from concept to production. Its going to be years and years still to see a all new line up at this rate :/
      imoore
      • 1 Year Ago
      At this point it doesn\'t matter what\'s under the hood. Lincoln, make it dramatic, make it different, make it desirable, or just make Lincoln disappear.
      CarCrazy24
      • 1 Year Ago
      A diesel would be nice, plenty of torque and decent mileage would be great.
      Roger
      • 1 Year Ago
      Please no more turbos! Small V-8s get the job done with durability and low operating costs. Here comes the blue smokers from the 1980s again.
        carguy1701
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Roger
        These aren't the turbos from the 80s. The tech has advanced.
      ferps
      • 1 Year Ago
      The fact that they are going to even build another Navigator is everything that is wrong with Lincoln.
        hgeorgech
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ferps
        exactly .......... and 20 years too late to the party
        carguy1701
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ferps
        Like it or not, it makes money.
          NightFlight
          • 1 Year Ago
          @carguy1701
          @ hgeorgech You have no clue what FoMoCo's break even point is, and it definitely wouldn't be 10,000 units.
          hgeorgech
          • 1 Year Ago
          @carguy1701
          are you sure? They sold 8300 Navis in all of 2012 .. normally, 10,000 is break-even
          carguy1701
          • 1 Year Ago
          @carguy1701
          Profit margins. Most every one sells full pop.
      Mr. BaderĀ®
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ford should kill Lincoln right NOW
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