LOS ANGELES — When the new Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair were launched, the Corsair was strangely lacking a hybrid variant like the cheaper Ford. The reason for this is that Lincoln was preparing a slightly more advanced hybrid for the small luxury crossover. The 2021 Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring elevates itself over the Ford by bringing plug-in capability and a different kind of all-wheel drive.
At the front of the Corsair, the powertrain is the same as the Ford Escape. It's a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter inline-4 and an electric motor powering the front wheels. But at the back, Lincoln has added another electric motor with a single-speed transmission to power the rear wheels, just like Toyota has been doing in the all-wheel-drive versions of the Toyota Prius, RAV4 Hybrid and Lexus UX250h. In addition to giving the Corsair four driven wheels, it brings total horsepower up to 266 ponies, an increase of 66 over the Ford. Having this rear motor opens up lots of freedom for how much power is given to the rear wheels, and a Lincoln representative said that the rear can go into a coasting or free-wheeling state when cruising for efficiency.
Supplying electricity to the Corsair Grand Touring is a floor-mounted 14.4-kWh battery pack. Lincoln estimates it will provide enough power for the Corsair to drive about 26 miles on a charge. Neither the battery nor the rear motor take up any interior space, so rear passenger and cargo capacity remain the same as the regular Corsair. Charging can be done at Level 1 or Level 2 chargers, with the former taking 10 to 11 hours and the latter taking 3 to 4 hours. DC fast charging is not available, something that's featured on the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
Hybrid mechanical bits aside, the Corsair Grand Touring is just like any other Corsair. The only indicators that it's a hybrid are the unique grille, 20-inch wheels, blue badging and additional door for the charging plug. The Grand Touring comes standard with Lincoln's cell-phone key system, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist and automatic high-beams. Automatic parking, a head-up display and adaptive cruise control are all options.
Pricing hasn't been announced yet, but will likely revealed closer to the on-sale date in the summer of 2020. Looking at the price structure for the Aviator, which also has a Grand Touring plug-in hybrid variant, the Corsair Grand Touring could be priced above the current range-topping Reserve trim. That means it could have a base price above $43,625.