Lincoln Mark E electric SUV on track for MY2023 launch [Update]

The rumored ‘Lincoln Mark E,’ one of Ford Motor Company’s two upcoming electric SUVs codenamed CDX746 and CDX747, is on track for the 2023 model year, an update from Ford Authority said in March 2021. Expected to be about the size of a Lincoln Nautilus, which measures 190.0 inches in length, 76.1 inches in width, and 66.2 inches in height, the Mark E will be the first-ever Lincoln electric SUV. It will be manufactured alongside a Ford electric vehicle at the Ford Cuautitlan Assembly Plant (Mexico).

Take a look at what we know of Lincoln’s electric vehicle plans:

Design

The design of the Lincoln Mark E should have hints of the Lincoln Zephyr Reflection concept that debuted at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show. China is an important market for Lincoln, and the concept is created to keep the preferences of Chinese car buyers at the forefront. The Lincoln electric SUV may distinguish itself from the sporty Mach-E with an opulent, emotional, and brawnier design.

Our exclusive rendering is an accurate representation of a Zephyr-inspired SUV. The powerful design of the sedan looks more at home on the SUV, thanks to its default masculine proportions. The narrower side air vents project their vertical orientation more clearly. The slightly bigger headlamps suit the SUV body style better, while also providing improved visibility. The front bumper is a little higher, allowing more ground clearance and a better approach angle.

The Zephyr Reflection theme would continue in the interior, which should be plusher with high-quality materials and rich color schemes. We may see the new digital design language, called ‘Constellation,’ with a “coast-to-coast display” that includes night sky themes in the SUV.

Lincoln electric car interior sketch
Lincoln is reimagining its design language with the upcoming EVs, as shown in these official sketches. Image Source: Lincoln

Spy media has revealed that testing of the Lincoln Mark E has commenced. The early prototypes wear the Ford Mustang Mach-E’s top hat, but peculiar differences indicate that the actual EV underneath the familiar shell is something else.

A higher ride height and the wheels with six lug nuts (instead of five) suggest that the Lincoln EV will be tougher than the Ford EV. Other visible changes include increased wider track and an elongated wheelbase, which hint at a bigger body and a more spacious cabin.

Video Source: YouTube/Sinister Coyote 5.0

Lincoln Mark E expected specifications

In April 2020, Ford announced that it had canceled plans for a Lincoln electric vehicle that would use Rivian’s skateboard platform, citing the pandemic which made the company rethink its business strategy. However, that doesn’t mean plans for electric vehicles no longer exist.

Reports say that the Lincoln Mark E will ride on a modified version or an evolution of the Ford Mustang Mach-E’s RWD/AWD EV platform. In an announcement on June 16, 2021, Lincoln said that it plans to unveil its first global EV in 2022. The company revealed that it has four EVs in the pipeline, all based on a new RWD/AWD EV platform.

Ford originally planned to borrow the Rivian R1S’ powertrain for the Lincoln Mark E, but the deal for powertrain sharing with Rivian is off the table. The Lincoln electric SUV could share components with the Mustang Mach-E to get the ball rolling. The top-end Mustang Mach-E configuration packs two motors with up to 480 horsepower and 634 lb.-ft. of torque, and a 98.8 kWh Lithium-ion battery with 376 cells.

Ford will likely develop new motors and batteries for the future Lincoln family. Expect a maximum range of anywhere between 300 and 350 miles in the Lincoln Mark E. An adaptive suspension could be a standard feature in the electric luxury SUV.

Retail

Lincoln is working on improving customer experience as part of its transformation to connected and electrified vehicles. The company is expanding Vitrine dealerships to more locations. Currently, there are 28 such brand-exclusive dealerships, and 50 more are in pipeline. With a plan to focus on the top 130 luxury markets, the company will likely further increase retail outlets in the next few years, to serve customers of the Mark E and the three other EVs.

The Lincoln Mark E should rival the Cadillac Lyriq, which goes on sale in the first half of 2022. The first Cadillac electric car costs USD 59,990.

Ford confirms 5 electric vehicles for the Canadian plant

In October 2020, Ford confirmed that it plans to build five electric vehicles at its Canadian facility in Oakville, Ontario. Here it makes the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus, both of which have no defined successors by the company. Production of electric cars at this facility will begin in 2024, and the last of the five planned models will enter production in 2028.

During the Q3 2020 earnings call on October 28, 2020, James Farley Jr., President and CEO, Ford Motor Company, reaffirmed this development. The company has finalized an agreement with Unifor (Canadian auto workers union) for building electric SUVs at the Oakville plant, Farley Jr. said. He offered no further details on the SUVs planned for this facility.

The Canadian government has advanced the deadline for automakers to switch to zero-emission vehicles by five years to 2035. According to a report from windsorstar.com, Unifor, Ford, and the Canadian government will hold discussions regarding the ban. Ford may have to soon decide the future of its engine plants in Essex and Windsor and the vehicle assembly plant in Oakville.

According to Automotive News‘ product pipeline page, the Lincoln Nautilus’ production at the Oakville Assembly Plant will cease in 2023, and an all-electric midsize crossover codenamed Lincoln CDX818 arrives as its successor in 2025. If it doesn’t become the Nautilus EV, the rumored Lincoln Mark E electric SUV will belong to a different segment.

Lincoln becomes an SUV brand in the United States

Production of the Lincoln MKZ ended in 2020, making it the final Lincoln sedan in the company’s portfolio. With the Lincoln Continental also departing, Ford Motor Company’s luxury brand specializes in SUVs in the United States and will keep it that way for the foreseeable future.

In an interview with FordAuthority.com, Kumar Galhotra, Ford Vice President and President of the North American region, said that Lincoln does not have foreseeable plans to go back to sedans but added that the luxury segment is important in China and that Lincoln was a growing brand there.

Corsair & Aviator take the lead for Lincoln

Lincoln had posted a slower 2020 (-6.1 percent YoY) but enjoyed its best annual retail luxury SUV performance since 2003. The bright spots were the Corsair (26,227 units) and Aviator (23,080) SUVs which recorded sales growth.

Lincoln SUVs made a new first-half sales record in the U.S. this year. Between January and June 2021, Lincoln sold 46,018 SUVs, and the retail sales during this period were 23.3% higher year-over-year. In July 2021, the monthly sales figure of Lincoln SUVs was 4,139 units – 40.2% lower than in July 2020 (6,921 units). In August 2021, Lincoln SUV sales grew to 5,118 units, but compared to August 2020 (7,526 units), that figure was 32.0% lower. The year-to-date (January-August 2021) sales of Lincoln SUVs now stands at 55,275 units, which is 5.8% higher than during the same period in 2020 (January-August 2020: 52,247 units).

A midsize SUV with full electrification could become a new sales avenue for Ford’s luxury brand and give it an early mover advantage in the face of competition from Japanese and European OEMs.

On the incoming electrified Ford products

Aside from the Mark E and electric versions of the next-gen Lincoln Aviator and Ford Explorer, the Blue Oval would manufacture the Ford F-150 Lightning at its Michigan plant starting 2022. Further, the Ford Bronco Hybrid and next-gen Ford Ranger Hybrid (T6.2) will see electrification in the form of PHEVs. By 2030, the Lincoln brand’s line-up will include only electrified models.

Featured image: Ford