Future Cars: Lincoln's 2018 Navigator Of Continental Proportions

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Arguably one of the most senior members in its segment, Lincoln's Navigator full-size SUV has undergone its fair share of updates over time. And by time, we’re talking many years here, as aspects like the door-frames and roofline date back to the first generation model launched in 1998.

Nevertheless, with Ford's renewed investment in its luxury division, there is fresh hope for the Navigator. So we’ve taken an illustrated look at how Lincoln’s next luxo-barge may shape up.

Stately Styling:

We've seen the all-new Continental and refreshed MKZ wearing Lincoln's new corporate face; and chances are that the Navigator will follow suit with a muscular twist. The frontal area in this study mimics that of the Continental - albeit with a stout SUV appearance. The circular fog lamps and headlamp fixtures give it a modern touch, while the side surfacing is a layered mix of sculptured panel and chrome-work.

Under The Skin:

As with most carmakers, platform-sharing across a wide range of vehicles and sub-brands is fairly common practice. The Navigator will be based on the upcoming 2017 Ford Expedition and the new F-150 benefitting from an aluminum-intensive body structure. Now, some may snub their noses at this, but utilizing a high-strength steel frame with a lightweight aluminum body is a blessing in disguise. Such a move could yield up to 700 lbs in weight savings.

Boosted Powertrains:

As with the current version, a forced-induction lineup is on the cards. Cue a 400hp, 3.0L direct-injection, twin-turbo V6 from the Continental sitting as a base option. Ford’s second generation 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6; will serve as a top-tier offering, bringing at least 450hp via a 10-speed auto and AWD.

Other powertrain options could include a hybrid, with a gasoline-electric unit offering gobs of torque. Alternatively, there’s a V6 diesel unit currently being tested in the F-150 that may find its way under the hood - but would it suit Lincoln’s image?

Big Bodied Rivals:

Cadillac's Escalade, offering standard and ESV long-wheelbase variants, is Lincoln’s biggest thorn in the side. The Navigator will be looking to trump GM’s adversary, by offering more space, more luxury (including the Continental’s 30-way power seats) and a lighter package. In theory, other competitors include BMW's upcoming X7, Mercedes-Benz GLS, Lexus LX 570, Audi Q7, Land-Rover Range Rover and Infinity QX80.

Expect Lincoln’s aluminum-bodied full-size SUV to appear later this year or early 2017. In the meantime, share your thoughts on this larger-than-life Navigator study in the comments below.

By Josh Byrnes

Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes

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