DEARBORN, MICH. – Lincoln’s midsize Nautilus utility vehicle is handsome enough, considering what it is. After all, you can only do so much with the shape of an SUV, despite all the curving and creasing of its sheet metal. At the end of all those design tricks, you’ve still got a basic two-box format.
It’s the interior where designers can really let loose – and the crew at Ford’s flagship luxury division have taken Lincoln interiors to a new level. The cabins of its products have been dubbed by the brand as sanctuaries, designed to isolate its occupants from the hubbub of the outside world, to coddle and wrap them with luxury, comfort and class.
The serene interior designs and impressive technologies that have proven successful in other models in Lincoln’s SUV lineup, the Navigator, Aviator and Corsair, are being extended to the Nautilus for 2021. The midsize luxury SUV’s upgrades include the new SYNC 4 connectivity/infotainment system displayed on a 13.2-inch display screen – the largest available across the Lincoln brand and among the largest in the segment – in the centre stack. Lincoln’s piano key shifter spreads horizontally below the display screen.
“Nautilus plays a critical role in bringing new clients to the brand, especially those who are looking for the flexibility of a larger midsize SUV and appreciate the luxurious features and design that set Lincoln apart,” says Michael Sprague, North America director, Lincoln. “The intent for the new Nautilus was refinement, rounding out our distinct lineup of SUVs – truly creating sanctuary.”
To help convey that sense of sanctuary, the 2021 Nautilus interior puts a heavy emphasis on horizontal lines and neutral tones to create an elegant, calming environment. Two new standard interior colours have been added to the Nautilus’ palette – Sandstone, which showcases neutral tones with higher colour contrasts varying from light to dark, and Black Ebony, which returns with new Roast accents on the seats, doors and console armrests, as well as the mid-horizontal instrument panel. The luxury brown tones harmonize with black contrasts, real wood finishes and bright chrome accents.
“It has been a collaborative process from the beginning between the colour and materials team and the design team to ensure that the new themes really sweep the cabin with colour in all the right areas and round out the design in a harmonious way,” says Ronni Celoto, Lincoln colour and materials design manager.
Three new exterior colours are available for 2021 – Green Gem, Asher Gray, also available in a sleek monochromatic package, and signature Lincoln Flight Blue.
Ford’s new SYNC 4 system, which offers even more simplicity and connectivity than previous iterations, is making its debut in the Lincoln lineup with the 2021 Nautilus. This intuitive new technology eliminates the need to plug in to connect with their smartphone content. Its conversational voice recognition capabilities enable occupants to search the internet and seek information using their natural voice. Other features include SiriusXM satellite radio with 360L, a digital owner’s manual and the ability to receive secure, over-the-air updates with the latest technologies and improvements to the system with little to no action from clients.
Other technologies include Lincoln Co-Pilot360 as standard equipment, as well as available Lincoln Co-Pilot360 Plus, which features a 360-degree camera, front sensing system, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, lane-centering technology, distance alert/distance indication, enhanced active park assist and evasive steering assist.
Lincoln’s Phone As A Key technology is now available across the Lincoln lineup with the addition of the 2021 Nautilus. It’s activated through the Lincoln Way app and allows owners to start and drive their vehicle using their compatible smartphone – no traditional key is required.
For 2021, the Nautilus is being offered with a pair of engine choices. A 2.0-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder producing 250 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque, is standard, while a 2.7-litre twin-turbocharged V-6, delivering 335 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque, is available. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and include auto-stop-start capability.
The Nautilus will continue to be built in Oakville, ON and the 2021 edition will arrive in dealerships early next year.