Pterodactyls and Range Rover-esque: What people think of Lincoln Navigator concept

Photo credit: REUTERS

Lincoln is hatching major changes for the Navigator as previewed with a concept introduced at the New York Auto Show on Wednesday. Some features of the concept -- the gull-wing doors, notably -- are purely for show to spotlight the interior. Here’s what people are saying about the Navigator, Lincoln’s alternative to the Cadillac Escalade.

“Everybody. Everybody! Calm down. Let’s try and take this seriously. This is Lincoln’s big surprise for the New York auto show ... this Navigator concept with gull-wing doors large enough to make a pterodactyl jealous. What have they done? Oh my, oh my; what have they done?” -- Justin Westbrook, Jalopnik

“As with the Continental concept, this Navigator already has critics calling its originality into question, particularly with respect to its slab-sided Range Rover-esque proportions and blackout C- and D-pillars, as well as its Aston Martin-like fender garnishes. Accusations of copycat design work have never seemed to cause Ford or Lincoln much concern before, though. Based on how closely the production Continental hews to the lines of its concept forebear, we don’t expect Lincoln to make substantial changes to the production Navigator that will appear in 2017. Adding B-pillars and using four forward-hinged doors seem obvious necessities, of course, but the look should survive. And we have confirmed that the production model will indeed be called ‘Navigator’ and not something like ‘MKN.’ Whew.” -- Steve Siler, Car and Driver

“Although I am intrigued, surprised and mildly delighted by this truck, I can't help but feel like it's missing something. ... it definitely screams Model X. However, it's not quite as stylish or sexy as the Tesla. The rest of the Navigator Concept is pretty pedestrian. Really, it feels like someone had a big, shoot-for-the-moon idea but was squashed and overruled by conservative higher-ups. And if Lincoln wants to rediscover its mojo, including design elements popularized by another brand isn't going to do it.” -- Nick Jaynes, Mashable

“The tall concept ... is confident, creased, and a bit reminiscent of a Range Rover. There are huge wheels, lots of chrome, and 'Navigator' spelled out in blocked capital letters over the fender vents.” -- Greg Migliore, Autoblog

“Looking half-the-time like a Ford Flex that had at last made peace with its boxiness and the other half like a European masterpiece, the new Lincoln Navigator Concept vehicle throws some hints at what's next for Lincoln's big SUV. ... The Navigator Concept had a lot going for it, not the least of which was that it was an imaginative concept car rather a warmed-over mid-cycle refresh of a production model -- a popular, low-cost way to generate extra press by car companies these days.” -- Richard Homan, Kelley Blue Book

“Toss your cashmere cardigan gently around your neck, slip on some boat shoes and drive down to the yacht club in the all-new Lincoln Navigator concept. The vehicle should feel right at home there.” -- David Muller, MLive.com

“Lincoln’s hope is to reinforce their notion of quiet luxury by making the cabin something of a personal sanctuary. Those doors do a fine job of showing it off, too. Is this Navigator Concept a little loony? Absolutely. Does it also give a strong hint as to what Lincoln has in store for the next Navigator? You bet! We say rock on Lincoln. By reaching into its history and looking forward into the future, Lincoln is presently thrusting itself back onto the radar screens of luxury car buyers." -- Kate McLeod, New York Daily News

“Lincoln’s Navigator concept opens the mind to all sorts of hitherto unimaginable possibilities -- banisters? A circular staircase option? Maybe a fire pole for especially hasty exits?”  -- Frank Markus, technical director, Motor Trend, via Facebook

“Luxury automakers striving to be thought of as another BMW or Mercedes-Benz go out of their way to avoid the word 'boat,' and really the idea of 'boat.' But Lincoln seems more than content with associating at least the Navigator with life on the high seas. Interior and exterior styling are said to be influenced by luxury yachts, which means some teak interior trim in the inside and a welcome eagerness to embrace mass on the outside. The Concept has the same presence of the new GM full-size SUVs, but with a Continental grille up front and some Range Rover from the rear wheel arches back. It's also got a weird, lighted closet that looks like an armory in an early-aughts action movie. I'm guessing that was done for the ‘consumer product blog’ folks on hand at the preview.” -- Rory Carroll, Autoweek

You can reach Jack Walsworth at jwalsworth@crain.com -- Follow Jack on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jackwalsworth

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