While Lincoln hasnt yet announced the official price, the SUV is likely to start at $35,000, according to Kelley Blue Book. The compact SUV, which will go on sale this fall from the luxury nameplate of Ford, replaces the automakers MKC as its entry-level crossover vehicle, according to Stephanie Brinley, principal automotive analyst at IHS Markit.
Lincoln has a lot riding on the Corsair, which could produce as much as a quarter of its U.S. sales within the next few years, Brinley said in a research note. SUV sales are booming as more consumers continue to veer away from sedans. One forecast predicts that SUVs will represent fully half of car sales by 2020.
“Lincoln has become increasingly successful in offering models that share with Ford counterparts, but are differentiated enough for their own personality,” Brinley wrote. “The expectation is for a similar situation with Corsair.”
Video: 2020 Lincoln Corsair First Look: Lincoln Swings for the Fences
The Corsair will be built at Louisville Assembly Plant in Louisville, Kentucky. The vehicle will also be built in China for Chinese consumers, marking the first time Lincoln is building a localized SUV in China, according to CNets Road Show.
The Corsair, introduced at the New York International Auto Show, is heavy on technology. In a statement on Wednesday, the automaker said that “quietness is paramount” for the car, which is loaded with anti-noise technology to provide a “hushed ride.” That includes a dual-wall dashboard in the engine compartment, which adds a barrier between the engine and the cars passengers, as well as “active noise control.”
The vehicle also features “six unique symphonic chimes” recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra to alert passengers about open fuel doors and other issues.
The Corsair also has what Lincoln calls “phone as a key” technology, which allows owners to use their smartphones to start and drive the vehicle, as well as lock and unlock the doors. “No smart key fob necessary,” the company said.
Video: 2020 Lincoln Corsair is a more stylish, better-equipped MKC replacement | New York Auto Show 2019
Lincoln likes to say that its philosophical approach to luxury is different than other brands, prioritizing quietness and comfort over sportiness and aggressiveness. Thats exemplified in the new 2020 Lincoln Corsair, a small crossover that replaces the MKC. There is little that stands out about the Corsair mechanically, as it uses carryover engines from its predecessor and shares its underpinnings with the Ford Escape, but we do appreciate the work Lincoln has done to raise its luxury quotient. The 2020 Corsairs considerably nicer interior, competitive array of tech features, and reserved exterior design seem poised to make it a significantly more competitive entry in the tough compact-luxury-SUV segment.
Michael SimariCar and Driver The Corsair is slightly longer than the MKC and has an 0.8-inch-longer wheelbase but is otherwise dimensionally similar to its predecessor. Lincoln promises additional rear legroom and a few more cubic feet of cargo space, and the rear seat now slides on a six-inch track.
The Corsairs interior feels more special than the MKCs, with an attractive horizontally oriented dashboard layout with a tablet-style touchscreen and nice design touches such as the “floating” center stack that houses the climate controls. Material quality is an improvement as well, with soft leathers, soft-touch surfaces, and textured open-pore wood on the higher-trim cars we poked around in. Some climate-control and audio knobs still feel a bit chintzy and hollow. Lincoln says it will not offer a Black Label version of the Corsair, but there is a Beyond Blue interior package that adds an extreme-looking turquoise color scheme.
A turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four with 250 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque is the standard engine choice, paired with either front- or all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The upgrade engine is a turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four with 280 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque; it comes standard with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed auto. Neither of these powertrains is aimed as a performance-oriented choice, and, in contrast to some competitors which pump in fake engine noise, Lincoln instead emphasizes the extra sound insulation it added in the Corsairs dash.
Michael SimariCar and Driver A plug-in-hybrid version of the Corsair is happening and will follow the gas engines by a few months. While Lincoln isnt sharing details about the gasoline-electric powertrain at this point, we assume it will mirror the related Ford Escape plug-in hybrid, which uses a 2.5-liter inline-four as its gasoline engine and has a 14.4-kWh battery pack estimated to provide 30 miles of electric-only range.
There is an impressive array of optional features offered on the Corsair, but we worry that the price will balloon quickly when you add extras such as the 24-way Perfect Position front seats, 14-speaker Revel audio system, and 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. There is also an available head-up display, plus a “phone as a key” option that can allow your smartphone to act as a key fob. Lincoln packages its standard driver-assist features as part of the Co-Pilot360 suite—which includes blind-spot monitoring, automated emergency braking, and lane-keeping assist—while an upgraded Co-Pilot360 Plus is optional and adds features including adaptive cruise control, park assist, and a 360-degree camera system.
According to Automotive News, the PHEV model will not be present at the model’s launch this fall, with Lincoln representatives staying mum on specific details of that powertrain option. We know from VIN decoder documents that the Corsair PHEV, offered only in all-wheel drive form, will borrow Ford’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder for the gasoline half of the equation, but just how far the variant can travel on electric power alone, as well as the system’s combined output, remains a mystery.
Video: WATCH LIVE | The All-New 2020 Lincoln Corsair Global Reveal | Lincoln
When the Corsair goes on sale in fall 2019, we expect it to start a bit higher than the 2019 MKCs base price of $34,990. And with all the extra goodies added, we wouldnt be surprised to see its price approach $60,000.