I will come as a surprise to no one that the first all electric SUV from Lincoln Motor Company will sit on top of a Rivian platform. The Rivian R1S electric SUV already looks like a kissin’ cousin to the Lincoln Navigator. The only thing Lincoln needs to do is revise the goofy Edsel-like headlights on the Rivian and start rolling them out the door.
In a press release dated January 29, Lincoln announced it is “working together with Rivian to develop an all-new electric vehicle previously announced as part of Ford Motor Company’s original investment in Rivian.” Last August, Ford CEO Jim Hackett cautioned against assuming his company’s $500 million investment in Rivian meant the two would build an electric pickup truck together.
“Rvian is a really special thing that’s teaching us about merging not only the powertrain but the architecture that the electronic control unit and other things connect to. So think of it as architecture for the operating system of the vehicle. You shouldn’t go down the path of assuming it’s a pickup,” he told Motor Trend.
“The Lincoln battery electric vehicle will be built off of Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform and is part of Ford Motor Company’s planned equity investment in Rivian,” the press release says. “This all-new vehicle also is part of Ford’s previously announced investment of more than $11.5 billion into electrification, which includes the Mustang Mach-E and a fully electric version of the best-selling F-150 pickup.”
Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe adds, “Our vehicle development partnership with Ford is an exciting opportunity to pair our technology with Lincoln’s vision for innovation and refinement. We are proud to collaborate on Lincoln’s first fully electric vehicle.”
The as yet unnamed electric SUV from Lincoln will be built at the Ford factory in Hermosillo Assembly Plant in Mexico where the Lincoln MKZ sedan is currently manufactured. That car will be discontinued, apparently, as sedan sales continue to plummet in North America.
Positioning the new electric vehicle as a Lincoln will help cushion any sticker shock potential buyers may experience. Electric vehicles are not yet price competitive with conventional cars — although the gap is narrowing all the time — and buyers of premium vehicles expect to pay premium prices. General Motors is doing much the same thing by deciding to brand most of its new electric vehicles as Cadillacs.
“Working with Rivian marks a pivotal point for Lincoln as we move toward a future that includes fully electric vehicles,” says Joy Falotico, president of Lincoln Motor Company. “This vehicle will take Quiet Flight to a new place — zero emissions, effortless performance and connected and intuitive technology. It’s going to be stunning.” No timeline for when the new EV from Lincoln is expected to be in showrooms has been announced.