Lincoln rounds out its roster of SUVs with the unveiling of the all-new 2020 Lincoln Corsair at the 2019 New York International Auto Show. The Corsair replaces the outgoing MKC as the smallest vehicle in Lincoln’s SUV lineup, and shares elements of its basic design with the recently unveiled 2020 Ford Escape compact crossover.
The Corsair offers a choice of two turbocharged 4-cylinder engines: a standard 2.0-liter with a targeted 250 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, and an optional 2.3-liter with a targeted 280 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. Both engines use an 8-speed automatic transmission, and are available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Driver-selectable drive modes—named Normal, Excite, Slippery, Deep Conditions, and Conserve—tailor powertrain settings to road conditions and/or driver preference.
A dash-mounted push-button gear selector and a split-folding rear seat with up to six inches of fore/aft adjustability (to favor passenger legroom or rear cargo space) are standard. Available features include a 14-speaker Revel premium audio system, head-up display, hands-free power liftgate, panoramic sunroof, “Perfect Position” 24-way adjustable front seats with massage, and Phone As A Key technology. That last item enables owners to lock and unlock the vehicle, open the liftgate, and start and drive the vehicle using the Lincoln Way app on their compatible smartphone. No traditional key fob is necessary, and users can also create a personal profile for automatic adjustment of up to 80 vehicle features, such as power seat and mirror positions. The system can be quickly deleted if the phone is lost or stolen, and there are backup entry/starting systems if the phone’s battery should go dead.
A serene cabin environment was a focal point of the Corsair’s design process. An Active Noise Control system filters out unwanted sounds, and a dual-walled dashboard provides extra insulation between the interior and engine compartment, helping to keep out vibrations. Traditional electronic warning chimes for things like an unbuckled seat belt or open fuel door are replaced by symphonic sounds recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
The Lincoln Co-Pilot360 suite of safety features—which includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, and automatic high-beam headlights—is standard. An optional Lincoln Co-Pilot360 Plus upgrade adds an adaptive cruise control system with stop-and-go capability and a lane-centering feature; reverse brake assist, which can help stop the vehicle if rear sensors detect an obstacle; Active Park Assist Plus, which can take over steering, braking shifting, and acceleration functions to park in both parallel and perpendicular parking spots; and evasive steer assist, a feature that will provide additional steering assistance if necessary to avoid an imminent forward impact.
The 2020 Lincoln Corsair is slated to begin arriving in dealerships this fall.
Here are a few words we noticed in the Corsair’s press release: “calmness,” “soothing,” “a sanctuary for the senses,” “effortless,” “calming,” “revitalizing,” and “well-being.” It appears that Lincoln is intending for the Corsair to be a four-wheeled equivalent of a spa day, and we’re fine with that. We’re also more than fine with Lincoln’s transition away from its unloved three-letter model naming strategy toward more evocative monikers… Corsair sounds a heck of a lot better to us than MKC. Lincoln appears to be on a roll with its recent SUV introductions, and the Corsair looks like a fine follow-up to the Nautilus and Aviator. Expect to see a plug-in hybrid powertrain, like the 2020 Ford Escape will offer, in the Corsair’s future.