“The intent for the new Nautilus was refinement, rounding out our distinct lineup of SUVs — truly creating sanctuary,” says Michael Sprague, Lincoln North America director.
Just two years following Lincoln’s rebrand of the MKX to Nautilus — to better align with the current nomenclature and design language — the second-generation vehicle undergoes a refresh yet again, this time primarily focusing on the cabin and technology.
“Nautilus plays a critical role in bringing new clients to the brand, especially those who are looking for the flexibility of a larger midsize SUV and appreciate the luxurious features and design that set Lincoln apart,” says Michael Sprague, Lincoln North America director, in a press release. “The intent for the new Nautilus was refinement, rounding out our distinct lineup of SUVs — truly creating sanctuary.”
Mirroring the serene elements of nature, occupants will notice styling elements inspired by the horizon. The dashboard is drastically different, swapping out the conventional vertical stack and instead incorporating a long flat piece housing the air vents and supporting a massive central 13.2-inch display.
Returning is the Black Ebony colour palette, which covers the instrument panel, seats, doors and armrests in Roast upholstery. A fresh Sandstone interior theme is available as well, boasting neutral tones and plenty of light to dark contrasting. Premium materials of course abound, such as supple leather, genuine wood finishes and satin chrome accenting.
Complementing the huge screen is the evolved SYNC 4 infotainment system, featuring a Lincoln-exclusive night sky-inspired Constellation background theme to set it apart from the Ford version. Completely revamped, it now allows the ability for mobile devices to connect Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wirelessly, without the need to plug in a physical USB cable. Also, visiting the dealership to get firmware updates will become a thing of the past, as SYNC is able to receive them securely over-the-air, similar to a smartphone or PC.
The exterior still exudes the same subtle elegance the company has worked very hard to become known for. Even at a distance, the polished grille looks stunning, the mesh comprised of small repeating star logos. Walk towards the crossover, and the signature Lincoln Embrace comes alive to greet the driver. The “Welcome Mat” puddle lighting illuminates the ground, and the door handle pockets softly glow to lead the way inside.
Under the hood, the vehicle remains powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 250 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. Or, step up to the optional 2.7-litre twin-turbocharged V6 (+ $4,000) to experience a significant performance bump up to 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft. Both mills are mated to a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission, and offer auto start-stop capability to improve fuel economy.
All models are equipped with standard Co-Pilot360 safety tech that includes a backup camera, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, automatic high-beam headlights and a driver monitoring system. For an extra $3,600, buyers can bundle in the Co-Pilot360 Plus package adding a birds-eye view camera, dynamic cruise control, an enhanced park assistant and more.
Look for the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus to begin arriving in dealerships soon.
MSRP: $56,000 (Reserve AWD trim)
Motor: 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder
Horsepower: 250 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 280 @ 3,000 rpm
Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic
Layout: Front engine, all-wheel drive Fuel economy: TB
Photos: LINCOLN Press room