Along with some new technology.
Lincoln's mid-size luxury crossover formerly known as "MKX", the Lincoln Nautilus, has just received a major refresh for the 2021 model year, and as expected, the most radical changes have taken place within the confines of the cabin. Months ago, leaked photographs purported to show a dramatically improved interior, but the question of whether the exterior would also get a refresh was left unanswered. Now we know: the exterior hasn't changed much at all.
Instead, Lincoln dedicated time to transforming the cabin. The 2021 Nautilus bears almost no resemblance to last year's version inside, now looking more like a miniature Aviator - not a bad thing by any stretch. Among the new cabin highlights, there sits a new SYNC4 infotainment system housed in a massive 13.2-inch touchscreen, which is the largest available within the Lincoln brand. Below the infotainment system resides Lincoln's signature piano key shifter.
This new interior matches Lincoln's "Quiet Flight" DNA, which has guided the brand's most recent redesigns of the Corsair, Aviator, and Navigator. The classy new interior aesthetic has been paired with new color options, including new Black Label themes called Chalet and Flight. Chalet is meant to evoke pleasant memories of mountain slopes and ski lodges with Espresso and Alpine Venetian leathers and deep Silverwood trim. Flight won't be available until next year, but it offers our favorite combination of colors, including rich leathers and trim that harkens back to the golden age of aviation.
"It has been a collaborative process from the beginning between the color and materials team and the design team to ensure that that the new themes really sweep the cabin with color in all the right areas and round out the design in a harmonious way," says Lincoln's Color and Materials Design Manager, Ronni Celoto. Along with the new interior themes, three new exterior paint colors join the pallet, including Asher Gray, Green Gem, and Flight Blue.
With the addition of SYNC4 in the cabin, the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus gains access to a slew of new technologies. The car now features Lincoln's Phone As A Key technology, first introduced on the Aviator, available across the lineup. Lincoln says SYNC4 also includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Sirius XM with 360L, conversational voice command, and over-the-air updates. To differentiate it from the SYNC4 system used in Ford models, this version receives a Lincoln-exclusive Constellation theme with blue hues featuring pops of orange to mimic the horizon.
The new interior is truly stunning, but the news is less exciting under the hood. The Nautilus carries over its engines from last year, comprising a base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 250 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque and an optional 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 delivering 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. Both engines send power out to front- or all-wheel-drive through a standard eight-speed automatic transmission.
No pricing has been revealed, but it shouldn't stray too far from last year's $41,040 starting price. Lincoln will continue to build the Nautilus alongside the Ford Edge in Oakville, Ontario, with the 2021 model arriving in dealerships early next year.