The Lincoln Corsair receives a Grand Touring variant with a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Lincoln Nautilus refreshed with new interior and more modern technology.
MKZ and Continental sedans dead in North America.
American luxury brand Lincoln is looking ahead with a range of utility vehicles, along with plug-in hybrid powertrains, although the path to full electrification seems to be longer one would expect.
Still, sales were on pace in 2020 compared to 2019, despite the industry-wide havoc created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what to expect from the Lincoln brand in 2021.
The last two remaining passenger cars in the North American lineup, the Lincoln MKZ and the Lincoln Continental, have been dropped. That leaves the brand with a utility vehicle-only lineup, which follows the current consumer buying trend anyway.
The Lincoln Corsair was introduced for the 2020 model year, replacing the MKC as the entry-level model in the portfolio. A turbocharged 2.0L inline-four with 250 horsepower equips the Standard trim level, while the turbo 2.3L engine that provides 295 horses is an upgrade in the Corsair Reserve. Both are connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and while a front-wheel drivetrain is standard in the U.S. with the 2.0L engine, AWD is optional, but mandatory in Canada. New this year is the Corsair Grand Touring and its PHEV system that consists of a 2.5L inline-four with an electric motor, for a combined output of 266 horsepower and a projected driving range of 25 miles or 40 kilometres.
The midsize, two-row Lincoln Nautilus obtains a refresh for the 2021 model year, with mild exterior styling enhancements, along with a redesigned interior, a new SYNC 4 infotainment system with a 13.2-inch touchscreen, new cockpit colour schemes and paint colour choices. The turbo 2.0L four with 250 hp comes standard, while the engine upgrade is a twin-turbo 2.7L V6 producing 335 hp. As with the Corsair, AWD is available in the U.S., standard in Canada. The latter also gets a single trim level—the Reserve—while Standard, Reserve and Black Label variants are offered south of the border. The Nautilus might not get a redesign after 2023 when the current generation reaches the end of its production cycle.
The Lincoln Aviator was a new addition for the 2020 model year, as the brand brought an old nameplate back to life. The three-row, midsize crossover comes standard with a twin-turbo 3.0L V6 that develops 400 horsepower, matched to either FWD or AWD. Meanwhile, the Aviator Grand Touring relies on a plug-in hybrid system developing a combined 494 hp and 630 pound-feet of torque, with an EV-only driving range of 21 miles or 34 km. For 2021, the Aviator gets some paint colour changes, while the front-row heated and ventilation seats add automatic activation. The U.S. gets Standard, Reserve, Grand Touring and Black Label trims, while Canada makes do with Reserve and Grand Touring.
The range-topping Lincoln Navigator is once again available in regular- and extended-wheelbase Navigator L configurations, offered in Standard, Reserve and Black Label trim levels in the U.S., Reserve in Canada. A new Special Edition package for the Black Label gives the full-size SUV a black-painted roof, a black mesh grille, 22-inch black alloy wheels and more. Otherwise, the 2021 model year is a rather quiet one for the big utility vehicle, which is equipped with a twin-turbo 3.5L V6 developing 450 horsepower and either 4×2 or 4×4 drivetrains—the latter being standard in Canada.