IT’S the car with stairs, hulking gullwing doors, five TV screens and a Hollywood superstar to attract attention.
But most of the theatre of the Lincoln Navigator Concept show car was exactly that; there are no plans for the gullwing doors or the stairs, no matter how big the new model that will arrive in 2017 is. And actor Matthew McConaughey is not part of the deal.
Yet while the Navigator Concept is largely irrelevant for Australia – the Lincoln brand has again been ruled out for sale in Australia (the export focus is China) and there are no plans to produce it in right-hand drive – there are elements that could shape future Ford production models.
Lincoln design boss David Woodhouse told Wheels the intercom system between the seats of the Navigator Concept was something being considered for future models.
“We know that family accommodation, power and safety are really important to the Navigator customer, and especially the social aspect of the interior,” he said.
“There’s about seven screens; we’ve actually used them for some interesting ideas for the interaction socially inside the car. There’s an enhanced intercom integrated into the seats, so you don’t have to shout [up and down the car].
“We’ve got things like a camera that looks at the driver, so if you’re sitting in the second or third row you’re talking to them you can actually see their face.”
He suggested such a system could initially be offered as an option on future models, and later potentially filtering down to more mainstream Ford models.
“Part of the opportunity with a concept is visions and ideas about where some of the technology could go [in production cars],” Woodhouse said.
And Lincoln has leaned on the Ford Australia design team, based on the outskirts of Melbourne.
“One of the strengths of the design team in this company is we have studios around the world,” he said. “From time to time, yeah, we do call upon input from the global studios. They [Ford Australia] have provided work to me over the last couple of years.”