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Lincoln Navicross concept
by Nick Hull

Following on from the Lincoln MK9 and Continental show cars, 2003 sees another step in the Lincoln design 'DNA' journey which began in 2001.

The Navicross has a similar size and shape to that of a sport sedan combined with a sport wagon, yet with the ground clearance and breakover angles of an SUV. As a new twist, the 3-box silhouette makes it hard to categorise and, according to Lincoln, could lead to a new segment of niche luxury car.

The sheer bodysides are framed by the now-familiar chrome strips, but show a new fluidity in the way the wheelarches are gently pulled, giving a lighter feel to the sides than the 2 previous concepts. The full-length chrome strip not only frames the car's side profile it also has some subtle detail treatment. The glasshouse is now slightly inboard of the brightwork and the chrome has an interesting peaked section which also acts as the door pull.

The Navicross further evolves Lincoln’s signature front-end identity with its horizontal accent and the one-piece grille, incorporating a complex headlamp array using fiber optic ribbon and a remote “light engine.” This innovation allows the front end overhang to be minimized, giving a tough stance and keeping down the overall vehicle length to 4741mm. The Navicross is based on a modified Lincoln LS platform and employs a full-time all-wheel-drive system with an adaptive traction control system. Large 20 inch wheels with all-terrain tires provide increased ride height and underscore the SUV capability.

As in previous Lincoln concepts, Navicross features pillarless barn-type doors, which open to reveal a ring frame of composite material hinting at the integral strength of the body structure. The dash is symmetrical and features twin LED screens with neat jewelled bezels and needles. Other Lincoln cues are the floating hard-shelled seats and flat-sided door linings.

At the rear, the trunk has an unusual split lid, which opens on a parallelogram action and allows long objects to be easily stowed.

“Navicross demonstrates that the Lincoln vision can be both restrained and dramatic, providing an emotional and compelling outlook on the future of Lincoln’s product range,” says Gerry McGovern, design director, Lincoln Mercury. “We’ve shown how our interior designs translate into production. Through our concepts, our design DNA will continue to redefine the Lincoln brand inside and out.”

While Lincoln is interested in determining whether or not a market exists for a crossover luxury sedan, the true value of this concept may be in previewing the look of the upcoming 2005 Lincoln LS.

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Copyright © 2003 Car Design News, Inc.
Last updated: Fri, Jan 10, 2003