As expected, Lincoln has just unveiled the 2015 Navigator — a refreshed (not all-new) model that updates an already-capable product in the face of increasing competition. The updated full-sizer delivers nearly two dozen upgrades compared to the current model, including a freshened exterior, a more inviting interior, and a new engine for improved power and hauling capabilities.
One of the more immediately-noticeable changes to the freshened Navi is the introduction of Lincoln’s split-wing grille, which replaces the current models’ single-piece unit. The sleeker front end includes a newly-designed hood and high-intensity discharge (HID) adaptive headlamps with LED accents, while the rear sports a new design, a power up/down tailgate, and LED taillamps. As with the current Navigator, the 2015 model continues to be available in standard-length (207.4 inches) and extended-length (222.3 inches) versions.
Inside, the 2015 Navigator delivers the new Lincoln steering wheel first introduced on the compact 2015 MKC crossover. The wheel features a thicker grip and is softer to the touch, while being wrapped in Wollsdorf leather and accented with wood. The latest SYNC with MyLincoln Touch infotainment system is standard, with two LCD displays — a 4.2-inch unit in the instrument cluster and an 8-inch touch screen in the center stack. “Traditional” knobs are included fo “easy operation”, according to Lincoln. A new optional Reserve Package raises the level of luxury even in the cabin to the level of high-end yachts.
But perhaps the biggest change involves the engine: Lincoln is replacing the Navigator’s aging (yet trustworthy) 5.4-liter V8 with FoMoCo’s highly-acclaimed, powerful, and fuel-efficient 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine. The twin turbo-charged, direct-injected engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with SelectShift, with the powertrain combo projected to deliver at least 370 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque, according to preliminary test data, with final numbers expected to be available closer to production. In addition, the new 3.5-liter EcoBoost is also projected to deliver best-in-class towing.
Ford will first show the 2015 Navigator to the public at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show starting February 6th, with production scheduled to begin late this summer at the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky. Vehicles are due to arrive in Lincoln showrooms in early fall.
We expect the 2015 Expedition to receive similar changes.