NYIAS 2016: Lincoln Navigator Concept Takes Wing

Lincoln got a jump on NYIAS 2016 to introduce their new Navigator Concept to the assembled automotive media here in New York. Unlike many of the concept vehicles appearing on the Javits Center floor, this one looks to be only a year away from production.

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Starting with the recent reintroduction of its iconic livery machine, the Lincoln Continental, Ford’s sister automaker is working on re-inventing itself with modernized styling and sophisticated marketing that targets its major competitors at BMW, Audi, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz.

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The new preview version of this Navigator fits that evolution with smoother lines, turbine wheels and a continuation of the new grill design Lincoln perpetuated with the returning Continental. That grill is just slightly wider than the iconic vertical Lincoln badge, drawing eyes to that symbol as it rises from the metal on a small plinth.

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The color of the concept gets away from the brooding black often associated with Lincolns, and that’s no accident. Automakers give countless hours of thought into how they want their concepts to look, and Lincoln opted for a lighter, modern, metallic blue for NYIAS 2016.

Obviously, the most eye-catching feature are those majestic gull wing doors. When I felt out the room, the sentiment amongst journalists was mixed as to whether they were just a fancy gimmick for the concept or were really destined to see production. Lincoln executives were ever so coquettish about that little secret. We’ll have to wait and see.

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While they look great, and those wings would fit with the price point of a Navigator, they’re a potential modern safety problem if the SUV rolls in an accident. It’s hard to get out if your doors can’t get past a roof stuck in the ground. 

Be-winged or not, a production model for a new Navigator based on this concept is a year away and might be big news at next year’s NYIAS.