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Old 01-06-2003, 23:35   #1 (permalink)
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Lincoln Navicross concept sedan shoots for elegance and ruggedness

By Charles E. Ramirez / The Detroit News
1-7-03

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln Division showed off a concept car that's a cross between a luxury sports sedan and sport utility vehicle Monday at the North American International Auto Show.

Lincoln, which was the United States' best-selling luxury brand a few years ago, has more recently struggled with diminishing sales, executive turnover and financial losses.

Despite that, executives for the American luxury brand are confident they've laid the groundwork for a brighter future. For 2003, the company has two all-new products - the Aviator and Navigator SUVs - as well as two redesigned vehicles, the LS sports sedan and the Town Car sedan. The Aviator is based on the Ford Explorer.

Lincoln latest concept vehicle, the Navicross, provides a glimpse at the future of its products, officials said Monday.

Based on a modified Lincoln LS platform, the Navicross is similar in size to other sport sedans, but has the ground clearance of a SUV. It also has taken some exterior features from the MK9 concept vehicle Lincoln unveiled in 2001 and the Continental it took the wraps off last year.

"It's the type of vehicle you would drive to the mountains to ski and elegant enough to take to the opera," said Gerry McGovern, Lincoln Mercury's design director.

Under the Navicross' hood is a supercharged, 32-valve 4.2-liter aluminum V-8. It also has a full-time all-wheel drive system and traction control.

But likely the vehicle's most unique feature is its pillar-less, center-opening doors that make it easy to get in and out as well as highlight the Navicross' interior.

"Navicross demonstrates that the Lincoln vision can be both restrained and dramatic, providing an emotional and compelling outlook on the future of Lincoln's product range," McGovern said.

(Photo) Design director Gerry McGovern shows the Lincoln Navicross concept car.
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Old 01-06-2003, 23:37   #2 (permalink)
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A pic of the dash board....
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Old 01-06-2003, 23:39   #3 (permalink)
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a pic of the rear end......
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Old 01-07-2003, 00:00   #4 (permalink)
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Lincoln Navicross concept signals new design, new segment
The Lincoln Navicross concept vehicle is a breakthrough all-conditions sport sedan that shatters the accepted car, crossover and sport utility vehicle paradigms. Designed to be visually striking, dynamically engaging and uniquely practical, Navicross creates an all new, yet unnamed industry niche.

The Lincoln Navicross represents the next step in applying the Lincoln design DNA – a process that began with the Lincoln MK9 concept in 2001 and, a year later, the Lincoln Continental show car.

By developing the design DNA through concepts, Lincoln is transforming its products, first by applying their influence in new Lincoln interior designs. Beginning with new 2002 and 2003 products, Lincoln has tripled its investment in interior design. Elements of the show cars are found in today’s world-class interiors of the Lincoln Aviator and Navigator.

“Navicross demonstrates that the Lincoln vision can be both restrained and dramatic, providing an emotional and compelling outlook on the future of Lincoln’s product range,” says Gerry McGovern, design director, Lincoln Mercury. “We’ve shown how our interior designs translate into production. Through our concepts, our design DNA will continue to redefine the Lincoln brand inside and out.”

New Segment

Defining Navicross with traditional vehicle segment descriptions is difficult because it is designed neither as a sport coupe, sport sedan, nor a sport utility, yet serves many of the purposes of all three. The Navicross is based on a modified Lincoln LS platform and deploys a full-time all-wheel-drive system with an adaptive traction control system. The sedan has coupe looks with center opening B-pillarless rear doors.

“We started with an advanced vehicle architecture that delivers the ‘sport’ that we were looking for in dynamics,” says McGovern. “Then we sectioned to achieve the right proportions and gave it the stance that defines it as indefinable. We’re not only testing the industry’s definitions, we’re stretching the luxury envelope.”

Navicross has a similar size and shape to that of a sport sedan combined with a sport wagon with the ground clearance and breakover angles of a sport utility vehicle. It defies classification as a typical crossover vehicle because of sportier proportions and a unique “three-box” silhouette shaped like none of the people-hauler-purposed crossovers currently on the market.

Navicross Design
Exterior
The Navicross has a strong, solid, elegant, enduring exterior design that is unmistakably Lincoln. Dramatic proportions and overall architecture convey the strong stance and poise of the Navicross. Elegantly defined wheel arches balance subtle body side surface features. Large 20-inch wheels clad with all-terrain tires fill the wheel wells, giving Navicross increased ride height and functionality.

Form and function coexist and complement each other throughout the design. While remaining all-terrain ready, the Navicross design is meant to be sensual and emotional in its surface language. Elegant and graceful upper bodylines make the Navicross look lively yet sophisticated. The pillarless center-opening doors provide exceptional ingress and egress to the interior, allowing the car to have a dramatic and sporting profile and still provide superior access. The horizontal indentation with inlay which runs through the front and rear fenders further defines the body side’s strength and muscularity.

The full-length body side brightwork frames the car’s proportions and enhances its dynamic stance, as well as concealing the vehicle door handles.

The Navicross further evolves Lincoln’s signature front-end identity with its horizontal accent and the one-piece grille, incorporating a complex headlamp array using fiber optic ribbon and a remote “light engine.” This innovation allows the package efficiency of the front end to be maximized, reducing overhangs to a minimum and keeping down the overall vehicle length.

Lincoln has a heritage going back 85 years, with a distinct product DNA.

“For Lincoln, overall exterior DNA is optimized proportion and stance, combined with elements of restraint and formality,” says McGovern. “The interior DNA provides optimization of space, while being inviting and indulgent. Intuitive functionality is another key element. All of these attributes can be seen in the Navicross.”

The Interior

Interior
Like the exterior, the interior is a characteristic evolution of the Lincoln design DNA.

Opening the doors reveals a ring frame made of high-strength composite materials, encircling the door opening to provide a visual cue to the integral strength and rigidity of the body structure. The door hinges are fully integrated into the frame, and move 90 degrees to provide maximum ease of vehicle ingress and egress. The interlocking center-opening doors provide integral side impact protection, and an integral rollover cage is designed into the vehicle supported by the door ring frame.

“Fully opening both doors provides a huge opening into the car’s interior,” says McGovern. “What one sees when looking into that opening is an interior that is both intriguing and inviting.”

The interior theme is one of cleanliness and simplicity. A symmetrical instrument panel and doors are an important part of Lincoln’s heritage. The overall form emphasizes the strength and power of the vehicle and its all-terrain capability. Its attitude is both sporty and rugged.

“A luxury interior must be comfortable, precisely executed and sophisticated, ” says McGovern. “The Navicross achieves this balance through sumptuous aniline leather seating, exquisite hair-on-hide door panels and an exploration of the latest technologies in materials, screens, voice-activated systems, solar roof panels and fiber optic lighting.”

Navicross will deliver a superior sensory experience. Switchgear is kept to an absolute minimum in the cockpit. Two large interactive, organic light-emitting diode (LED) reconfigurable viewing screens are featured on the instrument panel, an evolution of the Continental concept car’s high-tech organic LED approach seen in 2002.

Both screens have delicate graphics and utilize jewel-like details for bezels and needles. The screen in front of the driver displays vehicle instrumentation including speedometer, tachometer and fuel level.

Other vehicle information, including settings of the THX-certified audio system and the climate control system, is easily accessed and viewed by a third, smaller screen on the center console.

The Navicross’ hard-shelled seats appear to float above the vehicle’s hardwood finished floor with the aid of a lateral structure which slots into the doorsill and tunnel, giving the rear passengers increased foot space. The interior gives the impression of fantastic interior space, as well as providing innovative stowage solutions.

The rear is outfitted with two individual seats with the option of the center section housing either a fifth passenger, a central armrest, a child seat, or an open space for more trunk-loading capacity. A sumptuous leather and hardwood lined trunk has various stowage options, including multi-functional attachment points for cargo.

Powertrain

Under the hood of the Navicross concept is a supercharged 32-valve 4.2-liter aluminum V-8. The engine powers a full-time all-wheel-drive system with adaptive traction control. The 5-speed automatic transmission has a manual sequential function, so a driver can manually shift through the gears by moving the shift lever up or down. The gearbox automatically senses driving style and road conditions for optimal gear shifting and performance.
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My next Ford.....
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