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Lincoln Navigator Could Get The Engine It Deserves

Scoop / 3 Comments

Even though it already has a Raptor motor.

The fourth-generation Navigator represented a massive leap forward for the Lincoln brand in both styling and quality. With the 2018 redesign, the Navigator easily outclassed its biggest rival, the Cadillac Escalade, and now Lincoln would like to outdo its Detroit rival on a smaller scale. CarBuzz was flown out to Nappa Valley, California to drive Lincoln's latest SUV, the Aviator, which offers the same sort of appeal as the Navigator in a mid-size package.

A full review of the Aviator is forthcoming but speaking with Lincoln at the event, we had a chance to ask how the Aviator could help influence the brand moving forward.

For starters, the Aviator will be available with two drivetrain options, both of which are more potent than initially predicted. The standard engine is a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 producing 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. There is also a plug-in hybrid variant called the Grand Touring, which bumps the output up to 494 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque. That's some serious grunt, so we immediately wondered if Lincoln had similar plans for the larger Navigator.

The Navigator is currently powered by a larger 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6, which it shares with the Ford F-150 Raptor, producing 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. We asked Lincoln's North American Luxury Product Line Chief, John Jraiche if the Aviator's hybrid drivetrain could make its way into the Navigator. "We are thinking about it," he replied.

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Even with a smaller displacement, the Aviator's plug-in drivetrain offers more oomph than the Navigator's non-hybrid setup. Jraiche's response was not a clear indication that a plug-in Navigator is on the way buy Lincoln has clearly received positive feedback on the Aviator's power and torque figures, so it might make sense to introduce a Navigator Grand Touring.

If pointless vehicles like the old Escalade hybrid are used as a warning from the past, building a hybrid Navigator might make much sense. But Lincoln isn't marketing the new Aviator as the "eco-friendly" option; it is being sold as a performance upgrade with a smidge of practical electric driving range, as evidenced by the lack of the word 'hybrid' in its name. It isn't certain whether the Navigator will receive a hybrid variant but Jraiche did confirm a hybrid version of the Corsair would be announced, "later in 2019."