Lincoln Corsair Hits Small Luxury SUV Segment with Aviator Cues

Daniel Fowler
April 20, 2019

Amid much marketing-and-design jargon from Lincoln executives-including references to the brand's "Quiet Flight" slogan, and interiors as "human sanctuaries"-we dug deeper to understand how the Corsair can stand out in its sharp-elbowed marketplace". The front end is dominated by the company's upright grille while the rear is all about that full-width taillight.

The new model uses the C2 architecture of the 4th-gen Ford Focus and borrows certain design traits from the Nautilus, Aviator, and Navigator. An eight-speed automatic transmission replaces the previous six-speed.

Lincoln noted that "Corsair" is derived from the Latin word for "journey", but of course a corsair is also a small, fast ship (sometimes associated with pirates!) and the name has been often used in aviation. Corsair is also gaining a unique high-end engine option in the form of the EcoBoost 2.3-liter four-cylinder that will crank out 280 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque.

In both cases, front-wheel drive is standard but Lincoln will offer the option of all-wheel drive, which can switch from front- to all-wheel drive seamlessly depending on the road conditions.

Excitement may be relative, with Lincoln highlighting the Corsair's quiet, comfort and connectivity, with nary a mention of sport or performance.

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A dual-wall dashboard in the engine compartment creates an additional barrier between occupants and the motor to provide quietness. It applies customizable technologies for personalization of driving experiences including Lincoln Co-Pilot360, Phone As A Key, Head-Up Display.

The engine palette of the Lincoln Corsair now consists of two options.

The interior's cantilever console appears to float. Lincoln's cosseting, 24-way "Perfect Position" front seats are a lux option, including individual thigh bolsters and massage.

Base Lincoln Co-Pilot360 includes Pre-Collision Assist, Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Information System, Lane-Keeping System, rear backup camera and auto high-beam lighting. That adds adaptive cruise control with lane-centering and speed sign recognition, evasive steer assist, reverse brake assist, and parking assistance. There is no cheating on quality in the second row, either. And let's be honest, that's what customers in the market for luxury crossovers demand, and what will help sell the 2020 Lincoln Corsair when it hits dealers this fall. On a curious note, the company went as far as to commission the Detroit Symphonic Orchestra to play several music pieces and then edit the recordings into notification and warning sounds for the new auto.

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