Lincoln Navigator concept is a gullwing-doored SUV

Lincoln has gone a bit mental with the new Navigator concept and fitted it with probably the biggest gullwing doors there have ever been. If you could find a way to make them flap, it probably would take off. They’re that big.

But they are just a bit of attention-grabbing motor show hokum. Company bosses have already admitted the next-gen Lincoln Navigator will feature conventional doors. Which is a good thing. Though we do hope the trio of automatically extending steps up to the cabin stay.

Ludicrous doors aside, this is a thinly-veiled preview of the production car, due in 2017. There’s a strong resemblance to the upcoming new Continental saloon, but we also detect strong hints of the mid-range Ford Explorer in the rear quarter panels. (All previous Navigators have been based on the Explorer; we assume this one is too, but Lincoln hasn’t said as much.)

Still, it looks suitably upmarket and not as aggressive as the Cadillac Escalade, its main rival. The six-seat interior is fantastic too, with a minimalist dashboard and separate centre console, and elaborately padded and upholstered seats. How much of it will reach production remains to be seen; the wardrobe-like storage in the boot definitely won’t.

Under the bonnet is the 400bhp, 3.5-litre twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 motor seen elsewhere in the Lincoln range. That engine is likely to be the core option on the production car and there will inevitably be a hybrid option as well.

The Navigator concept is loaded with Ford’s latest semi-autonomous driving and connectivity tech, all of which should reach production.

Since it was launched in 1997, the Navigator has always played second fiddle to the Escalade and even the much more expensive Range Rover. Lincoln will be hoping the new Navigator gains ground and starts to revive the brand’s deeply depressed sales.

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By Only Motors

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