Lincoln Unveils Redesigned 2024 Nautilus SUV
A new drivetrain lineup and a focus on cabin technology marks Nautilus’ move to Ford’s widely deployed C2 platform.
With aviation-inspired design elements, new powertrains and a larger footprint, Lincoln’s redesigned 2024 Navigator comes to showrooms early in 2024 to compete in the luxury midsize SUV segment crowded with conventionally powered, hybrid and EV models. With parent Ford promising to invest $30 billion on vehicle-electrification development by 2025, the new Nautilus offers a hybrid variant to be counted in that program.
Previously on Ford’s aged CD midsize architecture, the 2024 Nautilus moves to “a modified version” of Ford’s ubiquitous C2 unibody platform – the foundation for current models such as the Ford Escape, Maverick and Bronco Sport – according to vehicle engineering manager Dan Boxeth. Despite moving from a “midsize” platform to what is regarded as a compact-vehicle architecture, the 2024 Nautilus grows in every exterior dimension: it’s 3.2 in. (81 mm) longer at 193.2 in. (4907 mm) overall and its 114.2-in. (2901-mm) wheelbase is 2-in. (51-mm) longer than the outgoing Nautilus. The 2024 Nautilus also is 1.1 in. (28 mm) wider and 2 in. taller.
At a recent media showing, Lincoln did not reveal the 2024 Nautilus’ curb weight, but Boxeth said despite the upsizing of its footprint, the new model’s weight is “comparable” to the current Nautilus (4165 lb. to 4545 lb/ 1889 kg to 2062 kg). He told SAE Media that in the switch to the C2 architecture, some hard points had to change, but the 2024 Nautilus continues with a front strut and independent rear multilink suspension.
Ford’s decision to retool the current Nautilus’ assembly plant in Oakville, Ontario, Canada for EV production means North American Nautilus models will be built at Ford’s plant in Changan Hangzhouin China, where a China-market version of the Nautilus already is assembled.
Lincoln designers offer that the 2024 model’s all-new sheetmetal espouses the brand’s “Quiet Flight 2.0” design language, using aircraft inspiration in its lines and detailing. The most visible example of this perhaps being the vivid horizontal line running from the rear edge of the headlight assembly along the bodyside to the taillight. Reinforcing the aero-driven motif is the Nautilus’ Jet Experience Package available for any of the Premier, Reserve or Black Label trim levels.
Lincoln said the turbocharged 2.0-L 4-cyl. base engine is all-new, even with an identical bore and stroke and 10:1 compression ratio and 250 hp and 273 lb-ft (373 Nm) power rating that is quite similar to that of the current Nautilus’ 2.0-L engine. The hybrid variant of the new Nautilus adds a 100-kW (134-hp) motor integral with its CVT to generate a total of 310 hp and an undisclosed total torque from its 2.0-L engine. The base engine is connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission and all models have all-wheel drive as standard.
The Nautilus’ 5-occupant cabin leverages a high degree of premium surfaces and materials, but its signature feature is a 48-in. (1219-mm) LCD screen standing more than 4 in. (102 mm) tall across the entire width of the dashboard. The unit effectively is two not-quite-24-in. displays seamlessly blended, while an 11.1-in. (282-mm) control touchscreen within the front-seat occupants’ reach augments the giant “coast-to-coast” dash display.