LOS ANGELES — Lincoln Motor Co. spent the better part of the past decade reinventing itself around the idea of a sanctuarylike driving experience it calls "quiet flight."
But with electric vehicles popularizing the idea of quiet cabins even on mass-market models, Ford's luxury arm is looking to differentiate itself even further. The Lincoln Star concept, unveiled here last week, signals the brand plans to do so by engaging nearly all of the driver's senses.
Key to the concept's interior are what the brand calls "rejuvenation moods" that include audio, ambient lighting, video animations and even scents pumped through the cabin and tailored around specific themes. Executives hope those moods, along with interior design flourishes such as the curved, full-width display and new exterior lighting cues, will help Lincoln's first wave of EVs stand apart and appeal to a different type of buyer looking to go electric.
"We get the opportunity to start over again," Lincoln President Joy Falotico told Automotive News. "Our ICE lineup's beautiful, but this signals a whole other era."
That era can't arrive soon enough for some dealers, who have watched the brand lag premium rivals in transitioning to battery power.
"Lincoln's not the first luxury brand to get into the electric space, so if they're going to do it, they need to stand out and be distinctive," Joe Hay, president of Jim Burke Ford-Lincoln in Bakersfield, Calif., said in an interview.
Hay, who attended the Star's unveiling, said the concept features the type of fresh ideas the brand needs to remain relevant.
"For anyone who has a luxury car franchise these days, what's happened with Tesla and how they've changed the market has people wondering about their own brands and their future," he said. "This gives me a little more confidence in the way Lincoln wants to go."
The Star concept is built on Ford's new rear-wheel-drive/all-wheel-drive EV platform and is roughly the size of the Aviator large crossover, but it is designed with two rows instead of three to give occupants more space.