Lincoln Corsair SUV Breaks Cover

April 17, 2019 at 10:06 AM

Ford Motor Co.’s Lincoln unit took the wraps off its all-new Corsair compact crossover this week ahead of the vehicle’s public debut at the New York auto show.

The 2020 model, which succeeds the current MKC under Lincoln’s new naming strategy, shares a platform with the Ford Escape crossover. But the Corsair doesn’t share any sheet metal or interior trim with its Ford sibling.

The Corsair also is longer, wider and has a lower roof than the outgoing MKC and new Escape. Styling builds on Lincoln’s latest design language, including a long roof that tapers off in the rear and a sharply angled tailgate and rear window.

Buyers can choose between a pair of 4-cylinder engines carried over from the MKC. The standard 2.0-liter mill makes 250 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque, while an optional 2.3-liter turbocharged unit generates 280 hp and 310 lb-ft. A plug-in hybrid option will be added later.

Both engines are mated with a new 8-speed automatic transmission. The optional all-wheel-drive system automatically turns on under certain road, speed, temperature and other driving parameters, according to Lincoln. And drivers can select among five drive modes.

The Corsair’s rear suspension also is completely different from the Escape to provide a smoother and quieter ride. To further enhance NVH, the wall between the passenger compartment and engine has two separate metal panels with an air gap in between to insulate against engine and road noise. In addition, active noise cancellation is used to quiet the interior.

Motorists can lock, unlock and start the new crossover via a smartphone app without a physical key being present. The so-called digital key also enables customized settings—seats, mirrors and audio system—for different drivers. If the phone loses power or is misplaced, owners also can access their vehicle by entering a passcode on an exterior keypad and start the engine via the dashboard touchscreen.

Interior highlights include a “floating” center stack to make controls easier to reach, upright dashboard and digital instrument cluster. Second-row seats can slide six inches to increase legroom or cargo space. Top-end models also get 24-way power-adjustable seats (with a massage function) and a 14-speaker sound system. The Corsair also has a wireless charging pad for smartphones and other devices.

Ford’s Co-Pilot360 suite of driver assist features is standard. The package includes automatic emergency braking, pedestrian assist, blind spot alert, lane keeping assist and automatic high beams. Among the options are a head-up display, active-park assist, evasive steering assist and a more advanced adaptive cruise system with traffic jam assist.

Ford will build the Corsair at its plant in Louisville, Ky., and at a joint venture facility in China. Pricing hasn't been announced.