Lincoln hopes to redefine itself with its Star concept vehicle, the luxury brand’s first EV and the first vehicle using a new architecture Ford developed for its next generation of electric vehicles.
Full of fresh ideas, the Star eschews a grille, makes an argument for see-through trunks and boasts a design that sets the course for future Lincoln EVs.
Neither a traditional SUV nor a sedan, the Star concept is “the first significant step to our electrified future,” Lincoln global product director John Jraiche said. “It will be our guiding star.”
Lincoln will introduce three EVs intended to account for more than half its global sales by the end of 2025. A fourth EV will go on sale in 2026.
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Testing ideas for Lincoln EV features
The Star is not one of those vehicles. Loaded with innovative technology and design, it’s a throwback to the days when concept vehicles served to introduce new ideas, testing public acceptance of some, generating early customer interest in others.
The four upcoming EVs will all be “informed” by the Star, Jraiche said.
The new EV architecture, which will underpin a wide range of vehicles from the Ford and Lincoln brands, allowed engineers to create a spacious interior with an emphasis on comfort, connectivity and what Lincoln calls “rejuvenation.”
Jim Farley, Ford Motor Co. president and CEO, said the concept Star combines “Lincoln luxury with flexible electrical architecture” to “revolutionize how people engage with the brand and scale it across an exciting lineup of products.”
The Star’s silhouette recalls a low, sleek SUV, but its nose showcases a new concept. The grille and hood are lower than Lincoln’s big Aviator and Navigator SUVs.
“The day of the prominent internal combustion engine grille is gone,” Lincoln exterior design chief Earl Lucas said.
The interior has two rows of seats for five passengers and as much room as a current large SUV like the Aviator. The Star’s basic design also can accommodate a third row of seats.
Your choice of scents – yes, scents
In addition to its space, the interior showcases new digital concepts and a combination of light, sound and smells generated to match and enhance different moods.
The interior can create three “rejuvenation modes”:
- Coastal morning: gentle sounds, the scent of sea mist and lighting meant “to replicate a stroll on the beach at sunrise.”
- Mindful vitality: Meant to reenergize the senses with upbeat audio, soft glowing light, flowery fragrance and digital moving artwork throughout the cabin.
- Evening chill: A calming soundtrack with night sky video and the scent of evergreens.
The shape of the free-standing instrument panel was influenced by aircraft wings.
Why a see-through front trunk?
The Star can have either rear- or all-wheel drive. Lincoln didn’t say anything about the range of power outputs and battery sizes that its upcoming EVs will offer.
The interior features a single pedal for the one-pedal driving many EV owners choose to maximize regenerative braking. Other features include video screens the width of the dashboard, rear video and lattice accents of 3D-printed metal.
The front trunk is made of electrochromic glass that’s clear when the vehicle is moving, which allows more light into the cabin.
The panels of the front trunk would become opaque when the Star isn’t moving to avoid displaying its contents to passersby.
“Interior and exterior lighting are very important,” Lincoln interior design chief Robert Gelardi said.
The concept was designed and built in Lincoln’s Dearborn studios, with input from around the world, particularly China, where the company had planned to unveil it this week, before the Beijing auto show was canceled because of COVID-19. China will be a major early market for Lincoln’s EVs.