NEW YORK -- After spending four years overhauling the core of its lineup, Lincoln is reimagining its biggest vehicle, the Navigator, as an understated, serene alternative to the high-flying Cadillac Escalade.
Lincoln last week unveiled its yacht-inspired Navigator Concept, which executives described as a "very strong" indication of the SUV that will go into production in late 2017. However, the 2018 Navigator won't come with the concept's most prominent feature: a single, upward-opening door stretching almost from wheel to wheel on each side.
"The doors won't make it. We're being quite clear about that," David Woodhouse, Lincoln's chief designer, told Automotive News. "We did it to really show off the interior."
That interior, with three rows of wide, squared-off captain's chairs that complement the Storm Blue exterior paint, is a vast departure from today's Navigator.
The instrument panel has long, horizontal lines and is free of the button clutter that pervades many vehicles today. Instead, audio and climate controls are located on floating consoles between the first two rows of seats.
The shifter buttons, stacked vertically in current Lincolns, are arranged like large piano keys below a central touch screen.