If there's one brand that could really use some fresh, all-new product, it's Lincoln. The MKC crossover is on the way and looks promising, but the just-revealed 2015 model year update of its fullsize Navigator would appear to stop somewhere short of being "all-new." This, despite replacing a product that's been on the market since 2007. Oh sure, there's a brash new face, complete with the company's love or hate split-wing grille, and the revised rear-end treatment does look better to our eyes (if overly familiar). But in the era of the bold new all-aluminum Ford F-150, the Navigator is still based on the outgoing model's all-steel bones, so it's more of an extensive mid-cycle refresh than a completely new piece.

Unlike the F-150, there's no aluminum suit on this black-tie bruiser

That's a shame, really, because the class the Navigator is playing in features a host of really modern, stylish, luxurious crossovers and sport utilities like the Cadillac Escalade, Land Rover Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class and more. Unlike the F-150, there's no aluminum suit on this black-tie bruiser, but that's not to say it isn't bringing some new tech to the table in 2015. Under the hood, for example, is Ford's well-received 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, putting out "at least" 370 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. That's a solid engine, and should be a whole lot more spunky and efficient than the archaic 5.4-liter Triton V8 currently being employed in the outgoing model.

Driving-wise, Lincoln has fitted its Drive Control system to the Navigator, with continuously controlled dampers that monitor road conditions and adjust the ride accordingly. There are Comfort, Normal and Sport modes for the adaptive dampers.

Inside, the interior looks much the same, with the dash, doors and seats not really having been reshaped. But a number of updates are found within, including a new center stack with MyLincoln Touch, and a revised instrument panel that looks like what you'll find in the MKX. Three rows of seats are available, as are two wheelbases – there's the standard Navigator, and the longer L.

Have a gander at our fresh set of Navigator shots live from the Chicago Auto Show, above, and then check out a short b-roll video and the official press release below. Be sure to tell us what you think in Comments, as well.


Show full PR text
LINCOLN MOTOR COMPANY INTRODUCES NEW LEVEL OF POWER AND BEAUTY ON LUXURIOUS NAVIGATOR

- A redesigned exterior, updated interior, more powerful engine, additional customer-focused technologies and new luxurious appointments elevate Lincoln Navigator in the full-size luxury SUV market

- A new 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged EcoBoost® engine delivers more power; available Lincoln Drive Control with Continuously Controlled Damping provides a smoother ride; electric power-assisted steering improves handling; and puddle lamps that create a "welcome mat" below both front doors offer a new level of elegance

- An available Reserve Package includes 22-inch wheels and ultra-luxurious leather with premium Ziricote wood trim

- The Lincoln Motor Company introduces the new 2015 Navigator, offering a fresh interpretation of a classic vehicle that has long defined the full-size luxury sport utility segment.

At the Chicago Auto Show on Feb. 6, the public will get its first look at a new Navigator that takes on a changed presence for the 2015 model year. Exterior design changes are accentuated by the reintroduction of Lincoln's iconic split-wing grille. Interior enhancements include luxurious leather and additional customer-focused technologies. The more refined appearance complements enhanced power and hauling capabilities that Navigator customers demand.

The sleeker front end includes a newly designed hood, and the reimagined back end features a power up/down tailgate. On both ends, the vehicle wears jewel-like light-emitting diode (LED) lights, as well as high-intensity discharge (HID) adaptive headlamps with LED accents.

"We knew what our customers wanted," said Elaine Bannon, chief engineer of the 2015 Navigator. "Navigator has always had great features, and we were able to keep those things. I'm proud that we were able to give our customers so much more."

Navigator comes standard with 20-inch, machined aluminum wheels, while Reserve Package vehicles are equipped with 22-inch, polished aluminum wheels. Reserve Package Navigators also offer optional chrome-accented running boards.

As with current-generation models, the 2015 Navigator will be available in standard-length (207.4 inches) and extended-length (222.3 inches) versions.

Luxuriously appointed interior

Navigator has long been synonymous with large-scale luxury. On the 2015 Navigator, the Reserve Package introduces a new level of luxury to the vehicle's interior, providing customers with:

- An updated cabin that extends ultra-luxurious leather to all three rows of seats, as well as to the armrests, center console and transmission shifter

- A hand-wrapped, leather instrument panel with contrast stitching and leather glove box door

- Premium Ziricote wood trim, a luxurious natural-grain wood new to the automotive industry, most commonly used as an accent in yachts

- The Wollsdorf leather-wrapped, wood-trimmed steering wheel features a thicker grip and softer touch for a more dynamic driving experience.

Designed to seat up to eight people, Navigator offers buyers second-row options that include two captain's chairs, with or without a center console, or a fold-flat bench. Due in part to Navigator's patented independent rear suspension, which allows for true fold-flat, PowerFold® third-row seats, extended-length and standard wheelbase models are projected to deliver segment-leading cargo volume.

"We have this iconic vehicle with untapped potential," Bannon said. "Now it's got more of what our customers want. It's got the new Lincoln design DNA on the exterior, a redesigned instrument panel, a leather Reserve Package, 22-inch wheels. Once we were able to include all of those elements, I knew we had a winner."

A smoother, more powerful ride

Replacing the 5.4-liter V8 that has powered Navigator for years is a more powerful and fuel-efficient 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine.

The twin turbocharged, direct injection engine is projected to deliver at least 370 horsepower and 430 lb.-ft. of torque, according to preliminary test data. Final numbers will be available closer to production. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost is also projected to deliver best-in-class towing.

Helping make this the best-handling Navigator ever is the addition of standard electric power-assisted steering. This allows for more consistent and precise control of the vehicle through a range of speeds while simultaneously making it easier to maneuver at low speeds, and in particular making it easier to park.

The Lincoln Drive Control option adds Lincoln's Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD), a suspension system that monitors multiple vehicle sensors and road conditions every two milliseconds and adjusts the suspension needs accordingly. CCD also provides a smoother and improved ride – best-ever for Navigator – and allows the driver to customize the ride of the vehicle by selecting one of three different control modes: Normal, Sport and Comfort.

Navigator also offers driver-friendly Hill Start/Descent Assist. When parked on a hill with a grade of five degrees or more, the vehicle remains stationary for up to two seconds after the driver releases the brake pedal.

Standard-equipped Navigators will continue to offer Nivomat®, a load-leveling system that automatically raises a loaded rear end to optimum ride height for improved handling. The mechanical leveling system helps reduce uneven wear on front and rear tires and helps maintain better vehicle aerodynamics.

Technology-based luxury

Illuminated "welcome mats" beneath both front doors greet Navigator owners when they press the "unlock" button on the key fob.

A passive entry system allows owners to enter without using a key. The system senses when the key fob is in range of the door and allows for keyless access via a door-mounted button. Inside, a push-button start allows for keyless engine ignition.

The latest SYNC® with MyLincoln Touch™ driver connectivity system is standard. The system allows drivers to use voice-activated or touch screen controls to make phone calls, play music, use the navigation system or set cabin temperature controls. The system includes 4.2-inch LCD displays in the instrument cluster, an 8-inch touch screen in the center stack and traditional knob controls for easy operation.

Rebirth of an icon

Navigator was wildly popular the moment it hit the streets in the late 1990s, and spent more than a decade as one of the top-selling vehicles in the segment. Featuring seating for up to eight passengers, luxury cues typically reserved for sedans and cargo space and towing capacity to haul virtually anything, Navigator set the full-size luxury SUV standard.

It was an immediate success, accounting for 41 percent of in-segment sales by the 2000 model year. Aiming to recapture that glory, the 2015 Navigator offers nearly two dozen upgrades from the current generation.

"Navigator has retained some of the most loyal following in the segment for more than a decade," said Jim Farley, executive vice president, Ford global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln. "Among Lincoln owners, more than 70 percent have been return customers – purchasing the vehicle for its power, for its beauty and for its capability, and this new Navigator gives them more on all three fronts."

Production of the 2015 Navigator is scheduled to begin late this summer at the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Ky., and vehicles are due in Lincoln showrooms in early fall.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 173 Comments
      bK
      • 10 Months Ago
      Good example of cutting corners and calling it a day.
      evilleo22
      • 10 Months Ago
      OMFG! Really? This crap is how youre going to save The Lincoln Motor company? Hey look its more Badge engineering. I guess we will digging that hole next to Mercury.. The door panels (same as the F150s) = Fail. Instrument cluster (same as EVERYTHING else Ford has)= Fail. The completely square back end complete with the Expedition's taillamps (the light or chrome strip at the bottom just stops)= FAIL.. Snaps on the up powered Eco boost but um, hey guys ALL OF YOUR COMPETITORS ARE USING V8's! and some Diesels. Im so greatly disappointed. I mean the Navigator created this segment in the American market place... and Btw LMC, the MKZ is nice but drives exactly like the Fusion and has a blind spot in the D pillar big enough to hide a cross town bus plus the push buttons for the tranny feel cheap. MKC/MKX double yawners.. at least the MKC is new. Dump your stuuupid split wing grill. Nobody likes it! I own a 2013 MKS and I dont even like it, and lets not start on the My Lincoln Touchless. Its been in 3 times with less than 20k on it.. Not happy. What the hell are you people in Dearborn doing? Oh paying attention... I cant believe Im actually liking some GM products... thanx a lot guys for letting me down. AGAIN
      kg363
      • 10 Months Ago
      What really disappoints me is that the new Expedition will likely also just be a refresh. It's been the same vehicle since 2003, just with a handful of updates. It needs more than a new face and center stack to compete with the new Tahoe, suburban, escalade, and Yukons. Not to mention the new infinity BOF SUV. I love these vehicles, that's why I'm so sad to see this happen.
        imoore
        • 10 Months Ago
        @kg363
        " It's been the same vehicle since 2003, just with a handful of updates." Actually, the Expedition's been around since 1997. The Navigator followed in 1998.
          churchmotor
          • 3 Months Ago
          @imoore

          ALL NEW.

          LOL

          carguy1701
          • 10 Months Ago
          @imoore
          True, but it was all new for 2003. Frame, styling, everything. Only thing that carried over was the engine, and it was changed for 2005.
        mapoftazifosho
        • 10 Months Ago
        @kg363
        It's a dying segment...I think GM overspent on their Big SUVs in a big way...
      scion_tc
      • 10 Months Ago
      CARGUY1701 CLAIMS THE 2003 NAVIGATOR WAS A "FULL MODEL CHANGE"
      scion_tc
      • 10 Months Ago
      Would be cool to see someone take their 1997 model and put this front sheet metal on it.
        carguy1701
        • 10 Months Ago
        @scion_tc
        Again with this 1997 model BS, Aaron. You and I both know the Navigator received a full model change for the 2003 model year. Just stop.
          CJ_313
          • 10 Months Ago
          @carguy1701
          @ carguy1701: The 2003 does share some body panels with the original Navigator (which debuted for the 1998 model year btw, not '97). The front doors from a 1998 Navigator will bolt right onto a current model, for instance. Not sure about scion_tc's original question regarding the front clip of this 2015 Navi, but it could very well be possible.
          CJ_313
          • 10 Months Ago
          @carguy1701
          @ jasdroe: The rear doors from a '98-'02 Navigator are not interchangeable with 2003+ Navigators, only the front doors. Everything else you mentioned is spot-on... Ford has certainly gotten it's moneys worth with this platform.
          scion_tc
          • 10 Months Ago
          @carguy1701
          WOW CARGUY1701, YOU REALLY ARE ONE UNEDUCATED IGNORANT TROLL. YOU THINK THE 2003 WAS A FULL MODEL CHANGE. LOL
          jasdroe
          • 10 Months Ago
          @carguy1701
          It's not BS. Just open your eyes. The 1998 windshield, front and rear doors will fit the 2015. The 2015 would accept a windshield from a 1997 F150. Full changes usually include all sheet metal. Yes, lots of things were changed in 2003, and probably enough to call it a new generation, but some of the original sheetmetal was retained, and it will still be on the 2015, 2016....maybe 2017. Ford has gotten its money out of those stampings.
          That Guy
          • 10 Months Ago
          @carguy1701
          Oh so over a decade ago carguy? Yeah, that really makes a difference. As a very wise man once said: "...Why even bother to redesign it at all? Seems disingenuous to say "we're the new Lincoln Motor Company" and also "now here's a stopgap model that you shouldn't really take seriously." Ford didn't even try with this redesign. Its horribly outclassed by the Durango....Of which they are stealing styling cues.
          Dean Hammond
          • 10 Months Ago
          @carguy1701
          just how many stage names does Aaron-m have Carguy?....
          carguy1701
          • 10 Months Ago
          @carguy1701
          That Guy: I'm not defending it, just point out that he's wrong, but then again Honda fanboyism does that, it seems.
          carguy1701
          • 10 Months Ago
          @carguy1701
          jasdroe: Okay, I have no problem admitting when I'm wrong.
          carguy1701
          • 10 Months Ago
          @carguy1701
          CJ_313: he's referring to the frame. Body panel re-use doesn't surprise me, there are only so many ways to style a big SUV like this. Dean: a lot. Aaronm_mt Mary Keana (there are 4 variations of that name alone) BTCC Mitchell Wrangler_Unlimited Spies1 zoom_zoom_zoom scion_tc tiguan_2.0 holy_smoke.s invisiblepigeon And a few others I'm sure I'm forgetting.
          Dean Hammond
          • 10 Months Ago
          @carguy1701
          that many stage names.....thats just a sad call out for SOME type of recognition.....
      Carpinions
      • 10 Months Ago
      I personally like how it looks. They styled it so it's very clean on the outside. The interior is still an untouched mess of styling cues from the last decade, but at least the exterior works for me. Never liked the single exhaust sticking out the back at an odd angle, though. Always looked like a cheap afterthought. Will the EB3.5 help sales with its tow capacity? Highly doubtful.
        bullitt2605
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Carpinions
        I don't see anyone towing with these or Caddies either and here in Colorado there are a lot of people towing things.
      cpmanx
      • 10 Months Ago
      This is a placeholder update until a truly new, aluminum-bodied Navigator arrives in 2-3 years. The refresh ain't much, but it's better than nothing. Certainly the Navigator looks better than before, and gets some much-needed tech and drivetrain updates. I'm much more interested in seeing where Lincoln goes with the next MKX and MKS, coming over the next 18 months.
      Rollk
      • 10 Months Ago
      I hate half-assers, and this is the epitome of half-assing.
      Avinash Machado
      • 10 Months Ago
      Looks a bit like a hearse in black.
      Andre Neves
      • 10 Months Ago
      Lincoln, Just as long as you guys either keep all the chrome or add more to it, it should still be popular with the drug dealers and hip-pop industry. Maybe a 24" Chrome wheel option to get their attention.
        imoore
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Andre Neves
        "Hip-pop?" So it's finally happened, huh? Hip-hop, hip-house, hip-hop country (yeah, that Cowboy Troy deal didn't work out so well), hip-hop gospel and now this. Oh, well. If they start blending hip-hop and classical, then music is dead. Talent is a dying art.
      carguy1701
      • 10 Months Ago
      It'll sell. That said, I really think the split wing grille is ugly here.
      FIDTRO
      • 10 Months Ago
      It's so flashy and uninspired. Not impressed.
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