Luxury brand Lincoln's near future: electric vehicles, hybrids and plug-in hybrids

Dave Kunz Image
Thursday, April 27, 2023
Luxury brand Lincoln's near future: EVs, hybrids and plug-in hybrids
Like most every auto brand, Lincoln has an eye on the future.

Like almost every auto brand, Lincoln has an eye on the future.

The wild concept vehicle called L100 is probably a little too "out there" to become a real car, but another one called Star Concept is essentially the hot combination for the years ahead: an SUV with full electric power. Lincoln is promising three fully-electric vehicles by 2025.

In the meantime, conventional SUVs rule the Lincoln lineup, and the newest will be a redesigned Nautilus mid-size model. It features a futuristic interior that includes a wrap-around screen with high-definition graphics. Hybrid power will be optional, but you'll have to wait until early 2024 for the new Nautilus to arrive.

Hitting showrooms right now, and in the sweet spot of vehicles these days, is the compact Lincoln Corsair, updated for 2023. A few styling tweaks, a plush interior with very comfortable seats, and the big news is Lincoln BlueCruise, which allows you to take your hands off the wheel in certain conditions.

It doesn't always work as designed, as the system has to be able to clearly see road markings. It'll also flash a warning if you don't keep your eyes on the road. (A motion camera monitors the driver's head position. Looking down - such as at your phone - will be noticed as not watching the road.) Still, it can be a very relaxing way to soak up highway miles, or deal with stop-and-go traffic.

Like a lot of brands, Lincoln has big plans for electric models in the future. But they've already got a bit of a head start here in 2023. Two of their models are available as plug-in hybrids (PHEV): Corsair and Aviator. And there may be more on the way.

With a plug-in hybrid, you may be able to do all your local driving on battery power alone. An appealing trait for those who aren't quite ready for a full EV just yet, but would like to experience gas-free driving to some degree. The Corsair Grand Touring with PHEV powertrain starts at $53,885, and can travel about 28 miles on a full charge before the gasoline engine has to kick in.

What about the big gun in the Lincoln arsenal, the iconic Navigator? It's more efficient than before, having ditched its V8 engine years ago for a twin-turbo V6. But could it turn into a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid or a full EV? Ford certainly has the technology to do so with a big truck, as the F-150 is already available as both a hybrid, and a full electric called the Lightning.

Lincoln isn't tipping its hand just yet, as many customers may prefer to stay with conventional power for a long time. Or, they may see other new luxury EVs on the road and want Lincoln's take on the idea.

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