There's a simple reason why.
The 2021 Lincoln Nautilus just arrived, and upon first glance, it seems like a pretty significant update. Though the exterior remains mostly unchanged, the interior is completely transformed to match other Lincoln models like the Aviator. Since the interior is where drivers spend their time, this update should be more than enough for buyers looking to trade out of their old Nautilus or MKX.
Not everything about the 2021 Nautilus is new, though. In fact, both of the engines (a 2.0-liter turbo-four and 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6) carry over from last year with no significant updates. Oddly, this means Lincoln has plug-in hybrid options positioned above and below the Nautilus with the smaller Corsair Grand Touring and the larger Aviator Grand Touring. Surely, the mid-size Nautilus will receive a PHEV version as well, right?
Speaking to CarBuzz on a question and answer session for the new Nautilus, the North America Director for Lincoln, Michael Sprague, confirmed that the current Nautilus would not spawn a Grand Touring variant with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
"Right now, we are finding from our clients is that having the Aviator PHEV and Corsair PHEV fits the perfect positioning for us," Sprague commented. "Nautilus did not receive a lot of feedback from clients saying [there] was a huge demand for them, so we think the way that the portfolio is set up has us well-positioned for what's happening in the marketplace."
It seems Lincoln has a simple but clear reason for not offering a Nautilus Grand Touring: customers just aren't asking for it.
Just because the Nautilus will only offer a gasoline four-cylinder or V6 option doesn't mean Lincoln doesn't plan to offer more hybrid models in the future. "Electrification is very important to the Lincoln strategy, and we will have a battery-electric vehicle in the future," Sprague added. Lincoln originally planned to work with Rivian on a new EV, though that project was reportedly canceled. Instead, we predict that Lincoln's first all-electric model will be developed in-house, using technology from the Ford Mustang Mach-E, which is already rumored to be sharing its platform with other electric Fords in the near future.