► Lincoln Navigator Concept revealed in New York
► Foreshadows the styling of the next-gen Navigator
► Shades of Range Rover and Tesla Model X
The Lincoln Navigator has never been the subtlest choice in the SUV market. It was always, like the Cadillac Escalade, a brash and bulbous option – packed full of reputedly ‘high-end’ leather trim and utilising a design language, both inside and out, that was hard to pin to one particular decade.
Recent efforts from many American brands have been far more modern and noteworthy, however; now Lincoln’s taking another shot at proving it has what it takes to remain competitive in today’s hotly contested markets with its new Navigator Concept.
It was unveiled at the New York motor show and, in parts thanks to its sheer size, it at least demonstrates that the Navigator will likely continue to be as subtle as being hit in the face with a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick.
The new Lincoln Navigator Concept also offers the latest look at what’s next in line for the brand’s full-size luxury SUV, including its styling, technical features and trim finishes.
The prominent feature that can’t be missed is its powered gullwing doors and concertina steps, which drop down to ease access. Inside you’ll find six seats that adjust 30 ways for maximum comfort, as well as a ‘custom wardrobe management system’ for storing your required clothing for the day.
On the more production-viable front is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 that’s claimed to produce upwards of 400bhp, while a range of drive modes aim to improve the SUV’s road holding in poor conditions. Tech highlights include the obligatory 360-degree parking camera, a lane-keeping assistance system and pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection.
Kumar Galhotra, president of Lincoln, said: ‘The all-new Navigator Concept reinforces our commitment to give every Lincoln client what we call quiet luxury – vehicles and experiences that are elegant, effortlessly powerful and serene.
‘This kind of quiet luxury sets Lincoln apart. Now, we're showing fans of large SUVs how we can exceed their expectations, without being the loudest statement on the road.’ We can only presume he hadn’t seen the concept before it was revealed.
Lincoln’s Range Rover-aping, Tesla Model X-evoking new concept, however, did serve to generate considerable interest at the New York show, providing the brand some much-needed uplift. Lincoln has long been struggling, having rapidly been overtaken by mainstream European alternatives and the likes of Cadillac.
It’s not the first Lincoln concept that’s reminded everyone of something else, either. Last year the company unveiled the Continental Concept, which appeared to have taken a remarkable amount of ‘inspiration’ from the Bentley Continental Flying Spur.
Read more of CAR’s 2016 New York motor show coverage here
Click here for CAR’s A-Z guide to the 2016 New York motor show