Could a sports tourer be in Lincoln’s electric future?  – TechCrunch

Could a sports tourer be in Lincoln’s electric future? – TechCrunch

Lincoln unveiled its first all-electric concept vehicle Wednesday at an event in Hollywood: the Lincoln Star Concept, a crossover that looks a lot like a Corsair or Nautilus crossover with a longer, lowered body, sharper creases highlighted with effects. LED lighting and some interesting offerings that are unlikely to make their debut in any future production vehicle.

The Lincoln Star Concept vehicle is a concept that will not end up on the production line. This is purely a research exercise and will be used to gauge customer interest in potential features and design style for Lincoln’s plans to fully electrify half of its offerings by 2050. The presentation TechCrunch attended showcased the Star Concept and several other vehicles that appear to be grand tourers or low-slung sedans, which is particularly interesting given that Lincoln currently only offers SUVs and crossovers in the United States.

Lincoln Star Concept - exterior

Image credits: Lincoln

“We are soliciting feedback and getting ideas with Star Concept. Proportioned volume is something that obviously can be in two or three rows,” John Jraiche, global director of luxury vehicles on Lincoln’s enterprise product line management team, said in an interview with TechCrunch. “In the programming that we showed at the presentation, each vehicle will serve a very unique purpose and honestly I don’t think they have any proxies on the market right now.”

While journalists are not allowed to take pictures during the presentation leading up to today’s embargo, the slides clearly showed what appeared to be slimmer sedan-style bodies under sheets next to the Star Concept. When pressed on whether there might be a grand tourer or a “sports-style” car coming from Lincoln, Jraiche hesitated.

“You use the word ‘sports’… I think there’s room for a low, long, low-roof, high-roof type of vehicle. I wouldn’t necessarily use the term ‘sports car’. I think there could be an opportunity for a formal language like the one I just described. Lower floor type and lower to the floor, lower floor, lower ceiling, height.”

If Lincoln does release a grand tourer or sedan, it would represent a significant change in Lincoln’s product plans, as the company currently only sells crossovers and SUVs in the US market. The company stopped selling the Continental sedan in the US in 2020, just four years after announcing the return of the famous moniker, after Ford, Lincoln’s parent company, announced that it would only produce SUVs and crossovers for the US market (with the exception of the Mustang).

There is a very strong possibility that US consumers can get a Lincoln based on the Mach E, which also has a lower ride height and fastback grand touring style.

Lincoln targets China’s electric vehicle market

In reality, however, the US is not the growth market for Lincoln; China is. If Lincoln makes a battery-electric touring sedan, it is highly likely that it will be for the Chinese market rather than the US.

“China is really key to our future growth.” Joy Falotico, president of Lincoln, said during the presentation. “Last year, we sold over 91,000 vehicles in China and that was a 48% year-over-year increase.” Lincoln currently sells more vehicles in China than in the US

In spring 2021, Lincoln announced the Zephyr – a sedan built and sold only in China. According to the company, they have received more than 5,600 pre-orders for the vehicle since the announcement. The Lincoln Corsair (a crossover that is also available in the US) is the best-selling nameplate in China for the past 23 months, according to the company.

“Sedans are strong in China,” Jraiche said later, echoing Falotico’s statement during the presentation. “The data says that’s where the market is going in the future with EV is yet to be seen, but we have some predictions and we think it will be a low vehicle with a low ride height and a lower roof height. A lowered vehicle.”

The Star concept certainly fits the low ride height and low roof style, although it’s more of a crossover or wagon than what Jraiche hinted at. Jraiche made it clear that what really matters when it comes to Lincoln’s future is content. “What you deliver inside the vehicle will be paramount,” he said. “What pain points are you solving for the customer? How do you use computing power? What experiences will you deliver? We are choosing to serve as a flexible driver environment.”

Lincoln Star concept EV transformer

Image credits: Lincoln

To that end, the concept included cool touches like bus doors, front seats that swivel to create a living room space inside, hidden door storage for a laptop that can be mirrored on the vehicle’s interior screens, a drawer-style front door. – suitcases and a tailgate that converts to outdoor seating.

While we’re certainly excited to see any of these features appear on a production Lincoln car, we doubt we’ll see them in the form they take on the Star Concept. In addition to the Star Concept, Lincoln says it will have a total of four new all-electric vehicles by 2026. What form they will take and where they will be sold remains to be seen.

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