Lincoln Star Concept charts a new course for Lincoln’s electrified ambitions

Lincoln celebrates its centennial this year, but that doesn’t mark the founding of the company. Lincoln was created in 1917, but acquired by Ford in 1922 and this is the anniversary that the automaker chooses to honor. As part of the ceremonies, Lincoln isn’t just looking back, but giving a glimpse of its future with the Star Concept, an electric SUV it says will be the foundation of its electrified lineup going forward.

Lincoln’s EV plans have seen several twists. At one point the plan was for Lincoln to develop an SUV based on the Rivian platform, then there were plans for a different SUV based on the existing Ford Mustang Mach-E platform. However, what underlies the Star concept is something completely different from either. Lincoln calls it “Flexible Battery Electric Architecture” because it can adapt to both rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations. It’s one of two EV-specific architectures Ford is developing (the other is for light trucks), and both were announced last year.

So far, Lincoln has indicated what kinds of battery technology or motors will power the concept, so we still don’t know what kinds of powertrain upgrades eventual Lincoln (or Ford) EVs will feature.

Lincoln star concept

Lincoln star concept

Lincoln star concept

Lincoln also didn’t provide exact specs for the Star concept, calling it more of a “flexible silhouette” than something with a straight line to production dimensions. We saw the concept in person in Los Angeles earlier this week, however, and can confirm that it’s on the larger side of the SUV scale, something along the lines of the Aviator. The designers said it could easily have accommodated three rows of seats had they not decided to go for a more executive-styled two-row route.

The styling of the Star concept departs from Lincoln’s current look, which gives its SUVs a more upright stance with strong character lines on the sides. It’s a much smoother design from every angle, starting with a face insert that gives the concept a wide, flat front. Lincoln designers said its appearance is a stretched version of the current Lincoln grille, but they could be more creative with the design as cooling needs don’t have to be considered. The logo is simply a cutout behind the backlit surface of the face, with small geometric cutouts fanning out from the center that allow the light designs to shimmer around it. Above is a large daytime running light signature that curves the hood and also hides the projector headlights that activate when needed.

Lincoln star concept

Lincoln star concept

Lincoln star concept

Lincoln star concept

Lincoln star concept

Lincoln star concept

Instead of a flat roof like Lincoln’s current lineup, this one scales down significantly and leaves the highlight at the very front of the greenhouse where a small LIDAR unit is perched. A 3D wire mesh structure for the A- and D-pillars makes them transparent from the inside, and the same pattern appears in the unique rear light strip that runs the full width of the vehicle.

The concept’s front and rear cargo areas feature unconventional openings. At the front, the lower part of the fairing slides forward, while the hood lifts vertically to allow access to this storage space. In back, the lower half of the rear lowers outward to provide a seat for two to enjoy the outdoors, while the upper half lifts like a conventional tailgate.

This new platform also allows for greater design flexibility and features like the one found on the hood. It is made from electro-chromatic glass which can change from transparent to dark. While driving it becomes clear to allow light to shine into the front footwells as there is no traditional firewall. When stationary, the window darkens to hide objects that could be stored there.

Lincoln star concept

Lincoln star concept

While the vehicle on display doesn’t have a working interior, images shared by Lincoln show a large “coast-to-coast” touchscreen that sits atop the dashboard. This feature is very similar to the setup first seen in the Ford Evos which debuted in Shanghai last year with its own ultrawide screen, although it combines a 12.3-inch cluster display and a 27-inch widescreen, while Lincoln’s setup appears to be a single transparent display. There’s also a pair of screens for the rear passengers and a briefcase that can be used to store a laptop. The laptop pairs with the screens to display computer updates, turning the back seat into a mobile workstation.

The interior will also feature more durable materials and leather/chrome alternatives, as well as three rejuvenating ambiences that use displays, ambient lighting and an interior scent to set the mood: Coastal Morning, Mindful Vitality and Evening Chill.

Exactly how well the Star concept will make it to production is hard to say, with Lincoln’s exact plans still running to very vague timelines. The company said it expects half of its sales to be electric vehicles by the middle of the decade, but did not give further details on when these electric vehicles might emerge. except that it will introduce three all-electric vehicles by 2025, with a fourth coming in 2026. Lincoln also declined to say when the first of these vehicles might arrive or if it will be on this new platform. form, so it’s still hard to predict when the first of those might arrive.

Comments are closed.