Taking things in steps, Lincoln will debut its first fully electric vehicle next year. It is the automaker's first step toward an electric future for its portfolio of vehicles by 2030. The new electric will debut as the brand celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2022 and as the marque accelerates growth in North America and China.
Lincoln To Grow Its Zero-Emissions Vehicles
By mid-decade, the automaker expects that half of its global volume will be zero-emissions vehicles with plans to electrify all of its offerings by 2030. This is part of the automaker's Ford+ plan and part of Ford's planned investment of more than $30 billion in electrification by 2025.
"As we accelerate Lincoln's transformation in North America and China, there is no better time to propel the Lincoln brand forward with electrification," according to John Falotico, Lincoln president. "Electrification will take Quiet Flight to a new level with the smooth, exhilarating take-off feel and" quiet that Lincoln buyers expect.
This year there has been speculation that the linkup between Lincoln and Rivian might result in a new platform. It is still a rumor.
The automaker's new rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive battery-electric flexible architecture will enable Lincoln to deliver four new and distinct fully electric vehicles. The first fully-electric Lincoln will join the plug-in hybrid Aviator and Corsair SUVs as the brand shifts toward electrification.
Lincoln plans to use the Lincoln Way to expand its portfolio of effortless and personalized experiences, using the Lincoln Way app to deliver an enhanced suite of connected services as it prepares for an electrified future.
Lincoln Clients Expect World-Class Vehicles
"Our clients deserve the very best from Lincoln," said Falotico. "Our world-class vehicles, effortless services, and advanced connected technology will allow us to create an always-on relationship with them and help transform the Lincoln brand for the future."
While this key work goes on, there is some exciting news awards front, as reported by my colleague and senior Ford Reporter Jimmy Dinsmore, as three new models are up for North American Car of the Year.
Evolving the brand's signature design and drive experience with maximized comfort for all, Lincoln's unique electrified vision is an accurate representation of its Quiet Flight DNA. In addition, the debut of the Lincoln Zephyr Reflection concept at Auto Shanghai earlier this year hints at the brand's future design philosophy and signature features it will offer.
Evolving Lincoln's design, the fully electric Lincoln will deliver a more spacious interior that creates the ultimate expression of the Lincoln sanctuary. On approach, the exterior presents a striking, modern aesthetic, while the iconic Lincoln star evolves to meet an electrified future. Thoughtful details inside create space for all with clever storage solutions and minimalist panels, while a more prominent panoramic vista sunroof enhances natural light and provides a more airy feel.
With a coast-to-coast display that offers a sweeping view of the horizon, Lincoln's new digital design language – Constellation – includes exclusive themes showcasing the night sky. Clients can choose the theme that best reflects their current mood.
Lincoln vehicles will introduce next-generation technology that helps the brand create always-on relationships with clients, offering more connected vehicle experiences through a new tech stack. The Lincoln Intelligence System, a cloud-based platform for integrating electrical, power distribution, computing systems in connected vehicles, enables a software-first approach to update performance without changing hardware – ultimately allowing a Lincoln vehicle to get better over time.
Continuous quality improvements, plus new features and capability updates for Sync® 4-enabled vehicles, will roll out through the Lincoln Enhance platform via over-the-air software updates. This summer, 2021, Lincoln Nautilus clients will receive their first software updates, including enhancements to their navigation system, Apple CarPlay, and Digital owner's manual. In addition, a powerful new update to the hands-free digital assistant Alexa arrives this fall, bringing the seamless operations that clients have come to expect of their personal and home devices.
Lincoln Plans Major Driver-Assist Suite
Lincoln is exploring more ways for clients to enjoy their vehicle – to use it as a space for personal relaxation through more connected features. For example, with Rejuvenation mode, clients can create their sensory environment through various displays, lighting, climate, seat, message, scent, and audio settings. Lincoln designers and engineers are also experimenting with digital scenting techniques, exploring how warm, pleasant scents positively affected passengers' mood and overall well-being.
"The space that surrounds you has an immense effect on your overall mood," said Kemal Curic, design director, Lincoln. "Crafting a space that goes beyond the traditional – a serene sanctuary that elevates the senses and impacts a client's mood every single day – reveals that as designers, we contribute so much more to the overall experience than just creating vehicles that look good."
Recognized by J.D. Power and Associates for the highest sales satisfaction among all luxury brands, the company's dealer network is key to delivering effortless, connected services as Lincoln prepares for an electric future and builds on its commitment to bring unique luxury experiences to its clients.
Lincoln To Enhance Its Way
By the end of this year, the Lincoln Way, a collection of personalized services and benefits, will offer custom, on-demand retail experiences in China, as well as a modern, progressive new American luxury facility design and new retail format pilots. Leveraging China's best practices for a digital, always-on approach, the Lincoln Way in North America will play an essential role in helping to advance connected services.
Today, nearly one-third of U.S. sales are completed online through Lincoln's remote sales platform. Now, Lincoln is working on a fully integrated digital sales platform to meet clients' changing needs, providing them with a convenient suite of services to be used for routine maintenance and repair through Lincoln Service Connect. The brand will also introduce the Lincoln Charging Network, leveraging partners such as Electrify America to deliver a seamless, connected charging experience for clients via the Lincoln Way app.
"Technology allows us to enhance the traditional transaction and make the ownership experience for our clients as convenient and effortless as possible," said Michael Sprague, North America director, Lincoln. "Meeting clients on their terms is important today and will be even more so in a digital, connected future."
Lincoln continues to pilot new offerings recognizing that time is luxury. For example, the brand is testing a mobile fuel and vehicle spa subscription-based service in Houston, leveraging real-time data through the vehicle's connected features to proactively remind clients if their Lincoln requires fuel or routine maintenance. The service also offers the convenience of vehicle detailing from anywhere.
Lincoln Plans New Network
With a focus on the top 130 luxury markets, Lincoln is also growing its network of brand-exclusive Vitrine dealerships. This model moves away from the traditional transaction space to a modern layout centered around the client and simplifies the buying process. To date, 28 all-new Vitrine facilities, including Lincoln's first boutique establishment in Arizona, have opened across the country, with another 50 in process.
Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said, "You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent the usual number of misspent hours hanging out at gas stations Shell and Texaco (a big thing in my youth) and working on cars. From there on, it was a straight line to my first column for the paper, "You Auto Know," an enterprise that I handled faithfully for 32 years. Not too many people know that I also handled computer documentation for a good part of my living while writing YAN. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in venues including Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, and others. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.