Lincoln's revival is shifting into high gear. Sales have been rising and the redesigned Navigator arriving shortly bodes well for that trend. The brand continues to add more expensive trim levels and offer special experiences, including Lincoln Chauffeur and at-home test drives, to set itself apart from other luxury makes. It hopes to add momentum in the next few years with two new nameplates and updates to some of the staples that helped launch its transformation this decade.
MKZ: The midsize sedan was the first vehicle Lincoln redesigned as part of its brand overhaul in 2013. It received a new mesh grille with some additional updates last year for the 2017 model, and will undergo a redesign in 2021.
Coupe: Lincoln has promised two new vehicles by the end of the decade. One may be a sport coupe, perhaps in 2020, about the same time the next-generation Mustang debuts.
Continental: The brand's flagship large sedan, introduced less than a year ago, will get an exterior freshening in 2020, with a redesign likely a couple of years later.
MKC: The compact crossover, which shares a platform with the Ford Escape, will mirror the Escape with a redesign in 2019 that will include a plug-in hybrid version. At that time, it will be the last Lincoln to lose the split-wing grille in favor of the new mesh design.
MKX: The midsize crossover was last updated in 2015, and Lincoln has a re-engineering planned in late 2018 that will include the new mesh grille, an eight-speed transmission and other changes.
MKT: Lincoln will end production of the MKT next year as it prepares to replace it with another large crossover.
Aviator: The second new vehicle promised by the end of the decade is expected to be a large crossover to replace the lowly MKT. Lincoln is likely to resurrect the Aviator name last used in 2005. The vehicle will debut in the first half of 2019.
Navigator: The Navigator has been redesigned for the 2018 model year. The outside is little changed, aside from Lincoln's new grille, but the interior has been overhauled substantially, with massaging front seats, a piano-key shifter in which gear selections are arranged in a horizontal row and a wireless smartphone charging pad on the center console. The Navigator, last redesigned in 2006, gets a 12-inch configurable instrument cluster and what Lincoln calls the industry's largest and brightest head-up display, which shows time, weather, speed and a gasoline gauge. Its aluminum body helps make it 200 pounds lighter than the outgoing version, and a new 3.5-liter V-6 engine, paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, gets 70 more horsepower.
The $73,250 base price, including shipping, is more than $8,800 higher than that of the outgoing version. The Navigator will stay on the same timetable as its Ford Expedition counterpart, getting a hybrid variant in 2019 and a freshening in 2021.
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