The 2020 Lincoln Corsair looks quite promising, with strong levels of performance and luxury.
As the market shifts away from sedans, Lincoln is looking to capitalize on new consumer tastes.
“Lincoln now has a full family of SUVs to exceed the needs of our clients,” says the brand’s president.
Lincoln rolled out a new SUV, the Corsair, at the 2019 New International York Auto Show. And this just might be the one that saves Lincoln. Lord knows it won’t be another cool sedan, which is all Lincoln used to make. And the sad fact of the matter is that no one is buying sedans today, even if they’re as cool as can be. In fact, Ford remains confident their decision to shift away from sedans in their product line was the right move. Hence, we will see more SUVs from Dearborn, the latest being the 2020 Lincoln Corsair.
“P” Is For Presence
Look, I’m a sports car guy. I make no bones about that and I make no apologies for it. But there is something to be said for big, imposing sedans. Something with capital “P” Presence to burn. Something like a 1962 Lincoln Continental, for instance. You pull up to the curb in one of those, and buddy, you know you’ve arrived. But, like I said, people aren’t into sedans any more. People are into SUVs. I get that. Practicality, blah-blah-blah. Usability yadda-yadda-yadda. Whatever. It’s your dollars making the payments and it’s your butt in the seat, so it’s your choice.
However, Lincoln found themselves in a bit of a conundrum. If all they had to do was make sedans with more than enough power and comfort (and capital “P” Presence), easy-peasy, job done. But, try as they might, they couldn’t make that work. And so Lincoln teeters on the brink of doom (for decades now) trying to convince people to buy sedans. Well, they finally cottoned to what was what, and voila, we now have the 2020 Lincoln Corsair to consider.
For starters: Great name. Corsair. It’s either taken from sort-of-bad-guy pirates or (my belief) one of the nastiest fighter planes of the Second World War. Next, it’s got capital “P” Presence. It doesn’t have the hulking mass of its bigger brother, the Navigator, but it’s hard to miss and ignore. Also, that roll out color? Perfect! A darkened blue that looks like an used gun barrel. That’ll make ’em pay attention!
“Entering the fastest-growing luxury segment, the all-new Corsair is artistically crafted, expertly designed and infused with our unwavering attention and commitment to detail; it’s unapologetically Lincoln,” said Joy Falotico, Lincoln Motor Company President.
Lincoln calls the Corsair a luxury SUV, which is exactly what it is. You will never, ever see a Corsair at the end of 12 miles of bad road picking up a bunch of muddy, greasy lumberjacks done with another long day of work. The Corsair is an SUV, but it’s not that kind of SUV. There’s a bit in the Lincoln press materials about the Corsair titled “sanctuary for the senses” and that pretty much defines what it’s like on the inside. Imagine if the Skull & Bones clubhouse was on wheels, and you pretty much got it.
The seats are 24-way adjustable, have massage capability, and additional lumbar support for drivers and front passengers. The second-row passengers get tons of legroom, thanks to the sliding seats that offer up to six inches of travel; and a 60/40 fold-flat or split-bench option. Lincoln says the Corsair offers more legroom in the second row than larger SUVs like the Mercedes-Benz GLS and Tesla Model X.
“Quietness is paramount for Corsair,” Lincoln says. And they get there by the most elaborate means imaginable. The dashboard is a dual-wall design, isolating you from the engine compartment and its troublesome noise. That’s not enough though. Rather than normal buzzers, there are six unique symphonic chimes that inform you of everything from an open fuel door to an unbuckled seat belt. The chimes were recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. No. Really. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
The stereo is a specially-tuned Revel system specific to each individual Corsair. In other words, the placement, tuning, calibration, and number of speakers is unique to each vehicle. Wireless charging for your mobile devices? Of course! (no unsightly wires). There are multiple power outlets throughout and Wi-Fi comes standard. Integrated SYNC 3 technology of course (this is a Ford product, after all) with AppLink. Drivers can access their apps from an available eight-inch touchscreen. Nice!
Keys? Not with the Corsair. Now your smartphone is your key. You can remotely start and unlock your Corsair; open the rear liftgate, and trigger a personal profile that automatically adjusts up to 80 features to your preferences.
Standard driver-assist features include Pre-Collision Assist with automatic emergency braking and Pedestrian Detection; Blind Spot Information System, Lane-Keeping System, rear backup camera, and and auto high-beams. If you’d like, there’s also adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist. Evasive steer assist offers assistance to the driver to help avoid a collision with a slower or stopped vehicle. Reverse brake assist can help you stop if the rear sensors detect an obstacle behind you. Active Park Assist Plus even parks the beast for you.
Power, oh, it’ll have enough of that. The 2020 Lincoln Corsair comes with your choice of two turbo four-cylinder engines. The standard 2.0-liter plant puts out 250 horsepower and 275 lb-ft. of torque, while the 2.3-liter mill packs 280 horsepower and 310 lb-ft. of torque. Both are hooked up to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The all-wheel drive system switches between front- and all-wheel drive, depending on road and weather conditions.
Powertrain performance can be further customized by using one of five drive modes: Normal, Excite, Slippery, Deep Conditions, and Conserve.
But the real bottom line here is how the new Corsair is a serious choice for people with serious money to spend. And that means Lincoln just might make it back from that brink. Which is fine with me. Expect the 2020 Lincoln Corsair in dealerships this fall.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.