The Navigator’s Engineer

The forthcoming 2018 Lincoln Navigator is an all-new version of the three-row SUV.

The forthcoming 2018 Lincoln Navigator is an all-new version of the three-row SUV. This is no mere crossover. It is a stylish, large, powerful vehicle that is engineered to both engage and perform.

That’s the word from Andrew Kernahan, Chief Program Engineer, for the Navigator, who joins us in the studio—with a Navigator—on this edition of “Autoline After Hours.”

All-New 2018 Lincoln Navigator Unveiled

The vehicle features a twin-turbo V6 that produces some 450 hp, and, Kernahan says, although the final numbers aren’t yet in, they full expect that it will provide best-in-class towing capability. (As the Escalade is one of the Navigator’s primary competitors, know that its towing capacities are 8,300 lb, 2WD and 8,100 lb., 4WD.)

Kernahan emphasizes that one of the important characteristics they worked on developing for the vehicle is “experience,” in that they zeroed in on the whole aspect of the driver engaging with the car, from the use of the Perfect Position Seats in the front—30-way adjustable—to the feeling of the buttons—or keys—for gear selection for the 10-speed transmission. (Those “piano keys,” as Kernahan describes them, as they are horizontally located in the center of the IP, are an interesting story in and of themselves, as he says that when they were being developed they checked the feeling of engagement of things ranging from actual pianos to triggers on guns.)

And they made sure that the vehicle had all of the necessary USB and power outlets that one now expects. To say nothing of an extensive rear-seat entertainment system that not only allows occupants to watch their individual movies or programs, but Lincoln has struck a deal with Sling Media, so if there is a Slingbox at home, there can be TV shows on the go.

Kernahan talks to Autoline’s John McElroy, Dave Sullivan of AutoPacific, and me on the show.

In addition to which, John, Dave and I discuss a variety of subjects, including Honda’s announcement that it plans to have Level 4 automated driving capability “for personal car use by around 2025,” the changes in the car market due to fluctuations in used car availability, and what California governor Jerry Brown was up to in China and what implicaitons that could have for electric vehicles.

And you can see it here: