When any old SUV won’t do, there’s the new Navigator

It’s big. And it’s brassy. And it’s brimming with more driver and occupant coddling than you can shake a barbecued turkey drumstick at. And, of course, it’s got three rows of seats. For those who insist upon the ultimate luxury experience in a domestic SUV, there’s the Lincoln Navigator, whose fully redone 2020 version arrives in dealerships this summer.

Ladled-on luxury is the norm for this vehicle segment, naturally, and part of that is ensuring that what originated as truck-based wagons now deliver car-like comfort when negotiating the road. Lincoln is going to rely on technology to accomplish that for the new-generation Navigator (I almost mistakenly typed “Gladiator”). The 2020 model will feature a forward-facing video camera that “reads” the road surface ahead before the Navigator actually reaches it, a system that Lincoln calls Road Preview. The camera looks 50 feet ahead of the vehicle and can detect road imperfections ranging from 2 to 8 inches in height. A dozen sensors then compensate for what the camera sees, almost instantly, immediately re-tuning the shocks and air springs to compensate for the irregularity. The camera reads the road 500 times per second and the adaptive suspension can adjust 100 times per second to keep up. The 2019 Navigator uses a turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 that produces 450hp. When ordered with its Grand Touring package, the 2020 model combines a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 with a hybrid driveline. No pricing was announced, but as a point of reference, the 2019 Navigator starts out at $73,205.

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