DETROIT – Ford Motor plans to introduce four new electric vehicles into its Lincoln lineup by 2026, as the once-dominant American luxury brand reinvents itself to focus on EVs.
The new vehicles were announced Wednesday night alongside the unveiling of a new concept EV called the Lincoln Star. The concept marks new design and technology directions for the brand, according to company executives.
“As Lincoln enters the next chapter in our transition to a zero-emissions future, the Lincoln Star Concept will lead the way for our portfolio of fully electric vehicles,” Lincoln President Joy Falotico said in a release. “It is an excellent example of how we are redefining luxury for the next generation as we work to transform the vehicle into a third space — a true place of sanctuary — for our clients.”
The Lincoln Star is a crossover SUV with a smooth exterior design and panoramic windows. Much of the vehicle’s badging is in lights rather than traditional physical logos. Its silhouette is reminiscent of a Land Rover Range Rover SUV.
The interior is where the vehicle is especially different compared with Lincoln’s current lineup of vehicles, which includes the large Navigator SUV and several crossovers in the U.S.
The Star, like many new luxury vehicles from competitors, includes a large screen across the instrument panel and a retractable steering wheel that can be stowed away. The two front seats of the vehicle can rotate to face the rear seats, providing a lounge-like setting.
The Star also features three “rejuvenation moods” that change the audio, lighting and even smell of the vehicle’s cabin. The moods are Coastal Morning, Mindful Vitality and Evening Chill.
Automakers routinely use concept vehicles to gauge customer interest or show the future direction of a vehicle or brand. The vehicles are not meant to be sold to consumers.
The new Lincoln EVs could provide a much-needed boost for the brand. Lincoln expects EVs to make up more than half of its global volume by mid-decade and 90% of its North American sales by 2030.
“Now is our moment,” Falotico said during a media briefing. “This is just the start of our electric journey.”
Lincoln has failed to gain much traction in the U.S. in recent years outside of its large Navigator SUV. Sales for the brand recently peaked at about 112,000 units in 2019. Amid supply chain problems, its sales dropped to about 87,000 vehicles last year.
Lincoln has found some success in China, though, leading the brand to report its best global retail sales last year in 21 years. The brand’s retail sales were just under 190,000 vehicles, up about 7% compared with 2020.