Lincoln Channels Rolls-Royce in Enticing Preview of Its Electric Future
The newly unveiled Star Concept pushes the luxury envelope with a beverage chiller, drawer for your slippers and one flabbergasting frunk
A full skylight with a digital shade. A drawer for your velvet slippers. A front trunk with electro-chromatic glass that can be opaque or transparent. An attaché case that can secure and charge your devices. Three mood settings that combine audio, lights and scents into a spa-like experience. And, of course, a beverage chiller to keep that bottle of Dom Pérignon at the ideal temperature.
These are the kinds of no-expense-spared details that one would expect to find on a six-figure Rolls-Royce. So you may be surprised to hear that they’re in fact part of the new Lincoln Star Concept, an experimental electric SUV unveiled on Thursday that’s been offered up as a preview of what’s to come from Ford’s luxury brand.
Lincoln has been slow to announce its shift to EVs, especially in comparison with parent company Ford, which is beginning production of its electric F-150 Lightning next week. But along with debuting the Star Concept, which the brand says is a hint at the design language for future EVs, Lincoln also said it plans to release three fully electric vehicles by 2025 and a fourth by 2026 — ones you can actually buy.
While the Star is merely a concept car, it is still an undeniably ambitious one, a vehicle hoping to foreshadow Lincoln’s ascendancy in the luxury arena. (In 2021, the company saw its best annual global sales in 21 years.) The brand’s goals can be summed up by one phrase: third space.
“As Lincoln enters the next chapter in our transition to a zero-emissions future, the Lincoln Star Concept will lead the way for our portfolio of fully electric vehicles,” said Lincoln President Joy Falotico. “It is an excellent example of how we are redefining luxury for the next generation as we work to transform the vehicle into a third space — a true place of sanctuary — for our clients.”
This idea of car as sanctuary — not a workhorse, people mover or adventure vehicle — is one that has long been adopted by the highest echelons of automotive manufacturing, the Rolls-Royces and Bentleys of the world. In the Star, Lincoln has executed this strategy with aplomb, offering touches that do more to convince us they are one to watch in the EV space than normal concept-car fantasies.
First, look to the end caps. In the back, the rear cargo area opens up to reveal a bench seating area that looks like it belongs in a museum. At the bow, the front trunk, or “frunk,” which has become a staple of EVs (that have space freed up where the engine would normally be), has been maximized with a drawer-like extension and a connection to the main cabin. Inside, the front seats are able to swivel to the back (when the vehicle is stopped, I assume) to create a lounge space, which is where the aforementioned beverage chiller between the back seats comes in.
And then there are the suicide doors (or coach doors), which Lincoln is probably going to add on to every special-edition from now on because they were so popular on the 80th anniversary Continental.
It’s unlikely these features will all make their way into the production EVs Lincoln announces in the coming years. Such is the case with concept cars. But Lincoln has big plans for the luxury market, so don’t expect to be any less wowed by the ones you’ll be able to drive.
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