2017 NYIAS: 2018 Lincoln Navigator debuts old-school American luxury

Auto Shows, News | April 12th, 2017 by 6
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Ask an older American what the most luxurious car brand in the world is and the answer will likely be one of two brands: Cadillac or …

Ask an older American what the most luxurious car brand in the world is and the answer will likely be one of two brands: Cadillac or Lincoln. The reason for this is that, back in the day, those two brands used to be the best, most luxurious cars in America. They were massive, with acres of interior space and had hoods long enough to rival the deck of an aircraft carrier. This is what the American people wanted. Fast forward to the late ’90s and both brands released their versions of SUVs, with the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator, respectively.

The problem with these two cars is that they never resembled the sort of high-class luxury that their old-school predecessors did. Whether or not it was justified, Cadillac and Lincoln were known for their class and elegance in America but the Escalade and the Navigator were just badge-engineered Chevys and Fords. However, it seems as if the people at Lincoln were dead set to bring back the prestige its name used to hold, back ’50s and ’60s, with the new Lincoln Navigator, which just debuted at the 2017 NYAIS.

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There’s no two ways about it, the new Navigator is a massive, behemoth of a vehicle. It has to weigh a million tons, with its ridiculous amount of leather, metal and wood. It’s about as large as a medium-sized Wooly Mammoth and probably has about as much animal hide as one as well. However, that’s sort of the charm of the Navigator. It’s old-school Americana, for better or worse.

Inside the Navigator sits three rows of leather-lined thrones, with cushions that passengers will simply sink into. It’s a sumptuous car, this. With three rows of seating, seven passengers can easily fit comfortably inside the Navigator. Even in the third row, I had ample head, knee and legroom, with some to spare. It’s really impressive just how spacious the new Lincoln is. The car on the floor of the auto show was a light blue with a similar blue interior. While this color scheme isn’t the most attractive, it does harken back to the days of old-school Lincoln and I like that.

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Under the hood lies the same powertrain as the new Ford F150 Raptor. So it gets a twin-turbocharged V6, making 450 hp, which is paired with a 10-speed automatic gearbox. While that would be impressive, it’s still probably not enough to make this massive behemoth fast.

While the Lincoln Navigator won’t be everyone’s cup of tea (or, more accurately, gallon of beer), hell it’s not even my cup of tea, it’s cool to see Lincoln being Lincoln again. It’s luxurious to the point of being brash and big for the sake of being big. If you find that offensive, just think of another certain luxury brand that is similar in those regards. I’ll give you a hint, its initials are “R.R.”

6 responses to “2017 NYIAS: 2018 Lincoln Navigator debuts old-school American luxury”

  1. CDspeed says:

    Definitely old school American luxury, it’s gigantic so it must be a luxury car 🙄

  2. Matt Stokes says:

    Looks more like some kind of Chinese attempt at Old School English Luxury to me.

  3. Giom says:

    I’ve often wondered what exactly happened to the American car giants? Still giants… but purely because of the size of the US market, certainly not in terms of leading the field. Is it possible to sum it up in a few paragraphs? Though I’m sure there are plenty factors involved, why hasn’t it ever recovered enough to be world leaders as are the American aviation and technology industry? Nico?

    • I’m really not it can be summed up in one answer or that there’s one thing to point to but the American auto industry really lost its way in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, when they were chasing high profit margins and nothing else. Ever since, they’ve been pumping out badge-engineered garbage (for example: Google the Cadillac Catera).

      It’s a shame, though, because there are some really great minds and engineers here in America, especially at Cadillac. Caddy is making good cars that have good bones and handle really well, like the CTS-V which is a monster, but GM just penny-pinches everything, so they’re interiors are crap and engines are subpar. Look a the Corvette as well, it’s a great handling car and very fast but they’ve serious engine issues already and it’s only been on sale a couple of years. Ford is starting to come back a bit, though, with the new Shelby GT350 and this Lincoln Navigator seems to be pretty nice actually, but still has a long way to go.

      I’m sure there’s more reasons than just greed but that’s what it seems like to me. Penny-pinching from the top has ruined the American auto industry but it seems to be getting back on track.

      • Giom says:

        Bob Lutz is probably one of the greats you referred to. Still, one man – or even an army of great men, won’t achieve a thing if a countries culture is lacking substance. I wonder what a Boeing car would be like…?

        • Bob Lutz is a clever man but, like you said, can’t do everything. As it may kill BMW fans to hear it, Elon Musk is also one of the brighter minds in the American auto industry. In only a few short years, Tesla has developed cars that have far superior interiors and technology than anything else from America.

          Another man who’s helping the American auto industry isn’t even American. Johan de Nysschen, who’s the head of Cadillac now, is doing a lot for the brand and is the reason for its revival as of late.

          We’ll see, hopefully the American auto industry can really step up and rival BMW and Mercedes-Benz for luxury, technology and innovation. But that doesn’t seem likely at the moment.

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