The Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring, scheduled for availability in summer of 2020, is the latest luxury crossover to receive a plug-in hybrid variant. The Corsair Grand Touring features an electrified 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a permanent magnet synchronous motor. That’s not all that novel in and of itself, but the powertrain comes standard with an electrified all-wheel drive system.
This system, which drives the rear wheels with a pair of electric motors to improve performance and stability as needed, is a first for both Lincoln and for the segment. So far, Lincoln isn’t saying exactly how this electrified all-wheel drive system works. A representative from Lincoln indicated that more details would be released closer to the vehicle’s official launch, so at the moment it is not clear if the motors are positioned on the rear axle or in each wheel.
The Corsair Grand Touring represents Lincoln’s second application of a plug-in hybrid system, following this year’s Aviator Grand Touring. Lincoln expects the powertrain to achieve a 266-horsepower rating and an all-electric range of at least 25 miles. It’s compatible with Level 1 and 2 chargers, the latter of which can complete a full charge in less than four hours. A light ring around the charging port illustrates the current level of charge at a glance. The Preserve EV mode combines gas and electric capability to power the Corsair while simultaneously charging the battery up to 75 percent. The Pure EV mode uses all-electric power as much as possible, kicking over to hybrid power when necessary. The main drive modes, pretty self-explanatory, are Normal, Conserve, Excite, Slippery, and Deep Conditions.
As Patrick Smith, the Corsair’s chief engineer, explained during the reveal, electrifying the Corsair Grand Touring provides a “feeling of gliding” and makes the ride seem “effortless.”
And according to Lincoln, the Corsair Grand Touring’s PHEV system and electric AWD aren’t even the really big news. As part of the strategy to attract millennials and women to the Corsair Grand Touring, Lincoln is continuing to bet big on the appeal of music as an element of the brand.
We’ve seen this already, with Lincoln commercials focusing on Revel audio systems, and the Corsair Grand Touring demonstrates further efforts in this realm. As was discussed by a music-focused panel at the reveal, featuring experts from Universal Music Group and Billboard magazine, there have been significant innovations in vehicle audio systems every 15 to 20 years since the first radio was put in a vehicle in 1930. Connectivity came about 10 years ago, and Lincoln is adamant that the time is ripe for something new.
Why is this such a big deal for Lincoln? It ties into Lincoln’s “sanctuary” approach to interior craftsmanship, focusing on cabin acoustics as a guiding principle for engineering and design. As an example, Lincoln cites a collaboration with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in creating a new version of the typical alert chime that serves as a seatbelt or door-open warning; it’s supposed to be pleasant rather than annoying.
Despite this hard sell to younger buyers, Lincoln also touts its suite of services, which seem like more of an old-guard approach: available pickup and delivery to make your Lincoln’s maintenance more convenient and save owners some time.
In any case, the Corsair Grand Touring is an attractive collection of some slick ideas, and we’re looking forward to a first drive.