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2015 Lincoln Navigator replaces 5.4L V-8 with 3.5L V-6 EcoBoost; power up 22.6%, fuel economy up 12.5%

The 2015 Lincoln Navigator full-size SUV, which goes on sale this year, features a new 3.5L V-6 EcoBoost engine delivering 380 hp (283 kW) @ 5250 rpm, and 460 lb·ft (624 N·m) @ 2750 rpm. This marks the highest power and torque rating yet for this powerplant—the first of the EcoBoost line to be introduced (earlier post)—which is also applied in the most recent Ford Transit (310 hp, 400 lb-ft); Flex, Taurus SHO, Explorer Sport, Police Interceptor Sedan and Utility, Lincoln MKS, Lincoln MKT (365 hp, 350 lb-ft); 2015 F-150 (tba); and Expedition (365 hp, 420 lb-ft).

EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 2015 Lincoln Navigator (standard wheelbase, 4x2) is 16 mpg city, 22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined (14.7, 10.7 and 13 L/100 km, respectively). The EcoBoost replaces the 5.4-liter V-8 (standard wheelbase, 4x2) that produced 310 hp (231 kW) and 365 lb-ft (495 N·m) of torque and fuel economy of 14 mpg city, 20 mpg highway, 16 mpg combined (16.8, 11.8 and 14.7 L/100 km, respectively). Power is up 22.6% and fuel economy (combined) is up 12.5% /

The EcoBoost formula of turbocharging and direct fuel injection creates a smoother torque curve than larger-displacement V-8 engines, Lincoln noted. A 4.10:1 rear-axle is standard on Navigator L models (available on Navigator) and helps multiply the torque for maximum acceleration. This abundance of low-end torque makes towing even easier.

When properly equipped, the 2015 Navigator also delivers best-in-class towing of 9,000 pounds with maximum payload of 1,570 pounds.

Navigator’s six-speed automatic transmission includes Lincoln SelectShift, which allows the driver to manually control gears if desired. Navigator is available in rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive configurations. An available Control Trac four-wheel-drive system enhances traction on slippery surfaces, helps improve handling on dry roads and enables off-road capability.

The 2015 Lincoln Navigator goes on sale this year with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price starting at $62,475, including destination and delivery charges.

Helping make the 2015 model the best-handling Navigator yet is the addition of standard electric power-assisted steering.

The Lincoln Drive Control option offers continuously controlled damping, a technology applied to the suspension that monitors multiple vehicle sensors and road conditions every two milliseconds and adjusts suspension needs accordingly. Continuously controlled damping provides a smoother ride and allows the driver to customize the vehicle ride by selecting one of three control modes: normal, sport and comfort.

With the addition of EPAS and CCD to Navigator’s class-leading independent rear suspension, along with EcoBoost power and a strong brake system, the Navigator is surprisingly nimble for such a large vehicle.

—David Cantrell, assistant chief program engineer

Navigators equipped with four-wheel drive offer driver-friendly Hill Descent Control, along with standard hill start assist. With hill start assist, a vehicle parked on a slope with a grade of five degrees or more remains stationary for up to two seconds after the driver releases the brake pedal, eliminating forward or backward roll before acceleration.

With Hill Descent Control, the driver sets a desired speed and the system applies brake pressure as needed to descend steep grades at a controlled speed. This feature is especially helpful when towing.

Also standard on Select package models is Nivomat, a load-leveling system that raises the rear end of a loaded Navigator to optimum ride height for improved handling. The mechanical leveling system helps reduce uneven wear on the tires and helps maintain better vehicle aerodynamics for improved fuel efficiency.

SYNC with MyLincoln Touch is standard is standard equipment. The driver connect system allows drivers to use voice-activated or touch screen controls to make phone calls, play music, manage the navigation system or set cabin temperature. The system includes a 4.2-inch LCD screen in the instrument cluster, an 8-inch touch screen in the center stack and traditional knob controls for easy operation.

A standard Blind Spot Information System signals when another vehicle is detected in an adjacent lane behind either rear wheel. For 2015, Navigator also introduces a standard rearview camera, which displays a color image on the 8-inch touch screen to give the driver a better view when driving in reverse.


Owen Glover

The EcoBoost in the Navigator may be rated to produce more power, but that's only because that's rated at 93 Octane, rather than 87 for most EcoBoost applications:

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