AD #1298 – 2015 Lincoln Navigator, Chevy Finds New Roads, Hybrid Jeep “Inevitable”

January 23rd, 2014 at 11:55am

Runtime: 9:03

- Navigator Powders Its Nose
- Toyota = Ichiban
- Chevy Finds New Roads
- Hybrid Jeep “Inevitable”
- A Special Barn Find
- 2015 Chevy Tahoe Interior

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Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily, we’re glad you’ve joined us today.

Lincoln will publicly unveil its refresh of the Navigator at next month’s Chicago Auto Show but the company gave us and the rest of the media a sneak peek of what its done to this full-size luxury SUV. The Navigator, which celebrates its 18th birthday this year, does so with a redesigned exterior that’s made of steel and not aluminum like the all new 2015 F-150. The SUV features a sleeker front end, newly designed hood and — for the first time on this vehicle — Lincoln’s split-wing grille introduced a few years ago on the MKZ. Meanwhile, under that new hood the old 5.4-liter V8 has been replaced with a new 3.5-liter direct-injection twin-turbo Ecoboost V6 with 370 horsepower and 430 pound feet of torque. Inside, if you’re willing to pay for it, Lincoln is now offering what it calls a “Reserve Package” for customers who want the cabin even more wrapped in leather than it is now and wood trim you usually find on yachts. Unfortunately Lincoln did not supply us with a picture of its new illuminated welcome mats which I was hoping to show you. Despite coming out with this refresh now, we hear that Ford will completely redesign the Navigator for 2016 and put it on an intensive aluminum diet.

Speaking of that aluminum F-150 be sure to join us for Autoline After Hours tonight. That truck is going to be one of the topics we dive into. Who is taking the right strategy? Ford, by lightweighting its full-size truck, or GM, by countering with a mid-size truck that could get better fuel economy? It all starts live tonight at 6 pm eastern time, at

Toyota is officially the world’s largest automaker…again. Toyota says it sold 9.98 million vehicles worldwide last year, just a whisker away from the magical 10 million unit number. Toyota says it will break the 10 million mark this year. General Motors finished close behind Toyota with 9.71 million vehicles sold, while the Volkswagen Group finished up the year with 9.5 million. The sales crown is going to be a dog fight this year. Toyota’s sales are recovering in China while GM’s sales in Europe are likely to start growing again.

And despite the fact that the Chevrolet brand is dropping out of Western Europe, except for the Corvette and Camaro, the head of Chevy’s global operations, Tim Mahoney, points out that Chevy is still in 142 countries around the world. Last year it sold around 5 million vehicles, making it the 4th largest brand globally. Mahoney tells Autoline that his focus over the next year is to take the “Find New Roads” tagline around world and finally give Chevrolet a globally integrated marketing message.

The Jeep brand is working on boosting its fuel economy numbers. Jeep will have a new B-segment vehicle hitting the market sometime around December. It will be built in Italy off a Fiat platform and some say it could be called the Jeepster, an iconic name that Jeep used years ago. The B-segment is especially important for Jeep in Europe and Asia where smaller vehicles sell well. And despite adding diesel engines and 9-speed transmissions to its lineup, that’s not enough. Mike Manley the CEO of the Jeep brand tells Autoline, “a hybrid is inevitable.” That may be heresy to some Jeep purists, but every automaker has to figure out how to meet stringent fuel economy regulations.

Yesterday I asked you what car you thought this was? At first glance I thought it may have been a Nash Healey, but it’s not. So to figure it out I tapped into the knowledge of the Autoline Daily audience and some of you nailed it right on the head. It’s a Chrysler Thomas Special. The car was styled by Chrysler’s famed head of design from the 1950’s, Virgil Exner, and if you look at where the roof line meets the rear fender you might see a little bit of the VW Karmann Ghia in there. That’s because Volkswagen acquired the rights to Exner’s 1953 Chrysler D’Elegance design, which shared a similar lines with the Special, and was then used by Ghia to turn the VW Beetle into something of a “sports car.” I knew that we could not slip this one past you and thanks to everyone that participated.

Coming up next, a look at the interior design of the all-new Chevy Tahoe.

Last year GM revealed the all-new version of the 2015 Chevy Tahoe that’s due to hit showrooms this year. For a look at what’s new on the inside, Chevy put together this video to highlight what’s new.

(Today’s look at the interior of the 2015 Chevy Tahoe is only available in the video version of the show.)

That’s all for today’s report. Hope to see you tonight for Autoline After Hours, and back here again tomorrow for another edition of Autoline Daily.

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43 Comments to “AD #1298 – 2015 Lincoln Navigator, Chevy Finds New Roads, Hybrid Jeep “Inevitable””

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Jeep: Want to improve your cafe standings? First,get rid of mike (un)manly,second,put a 2.8 into the JK’s.A no brainer for most,unfathomable for (un)manly the geek.

  2. rick Says:

    you never cease to amaze me john, first time i`ve ever seen 1953 chrysler d`elegance. was`nt aware of this vehicle. i believe is most beautiful vehicle i`ve ever seen.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2, Yeah, what a fantastic looking car. Here is more about it:

  4. Tony Gray Says:

    I like the execution of the grille on the Navigator, IMHO the best version yet. Some of the earlier designs were a bit too art deco for me, but this looks classy.

  5. ColoradoKid Says:

    G.A. – 1 – +1 and a real good chuckle … thanks ! :o


    Lincoln Navigator – Same as it ever was …. only uglier .


    Chevy’s finding new roads alright . The road straight to perdition that is .

    Oh man .. when it comes to this ad campaign of GM’s ? Its almost too easy ;-)


    McLaren P1

    Talk about ugly … IMO amongst the ugliest of the new breed . And thank goodness as I just found out … I’m not the only one that thinks so …

  6. Lex Says:


    What is going on the Eco-Motors? Automakers are attempting to reduce a vehicle’s mass by using aluminum, but how about the weight of the drivetrain? I understood from your interviews that the guys at Eco-Motors. That their engine is lighter in weight than a conventional engine. How similar or dissimilar is it to a Porsche or Subaru boxer engine? What are it’s advantages and disadvantages? What if you coupled a Eco-Motors engine to a Extended Range EV to supple auxilary electrical power? This might be a good topic for AAH.

  7. ColoradoKid Says:

    4 – Eesh !! – Seriously ? IMO the grills the very worst part of it .

    In all honesty …. unless Ford gets its act together toot suite with the brand … they’d be better off reputation wise and financially relegating it along with Mercury … thereby putting the two names back together … Lincoln/Mercury .. RIP

    Seriously Ford … let Cadillac bankrupt GM trying to be the American BMW/Mercedes/Audi and stick to what you still do well .. cars – trucks and family SUV/CUVs . Heck .. at the rate Cadillacs going lately .. they’re already half way there ;-)

  8. HtG Says:

    If the Chicago auto show is coming up, could that mean anything other than an introduction from Mazda?

  9. pedro fernandez Says:

    I should call this new Italian Jeep the “Crapster” I don’t see G.A running to his nearby Jeep dealer to put down a deposit on one of these!

  10. ColoradoKid Says:


    Hows about NOT installing all that garbage into cars in order to make them lighter rather than going the pretentious and very expensive route ?

    An example ? Back when I had the 4Runner ( 98 optioned out to what would become the 4Runner Sport ) my neighbor had a 98 4Runner limited . We always wondered why I got such much better mpg’s than him despite my higher ground clearance [ TRD suspension ] .. so at one point we took em both to the local weigh station … paid the fee and had em weighed . Both V6′s .. both autos etc

    Like to hazard a guess how much all that extra stuff the Limited had ( leather – auto seats – sunroof – body cladding etc etc etc ) weighed ?

    Try …. 450 lbs . Tell me that doesn’t make a difference !

    Driving quality ? We switched cars for a day … both coming back with the conclusion that other than appearance and perceived status with the Limited … there was none … except .. mine handled much better on and off road in both our opinions

  11. C-Tech Says:

    The only thing missing on the Navigator now is the bathroom, or should I say head

  12. C-Tech Says:

    How did the Chrysler Thomas Special fall in to private ownership? Aren’t all the concept cars put in a museum or storage?

  13. Bradley Says:

    Do Navigators still sell well? Or is the profitability of them so good that Ford is happy to sell them in small numbers? The pics look nice of the “refreshed” Navigator. Anxious to hear the MPG of the aluminum Navigator. Let’s start a rumor…60 MPG aluminum Fiesta.

    The Tahoe is definitely the best looking one GM has offered. However, it isn’t my taste. Too Big. How big does a vehicle have to be, when towing a second vehicle behind it becomes practical? You know like RVs. Think GM could sell a Spark with coordinating interior to the Tahoe.

  14. HtG Says:

    10 come on now, CK, didn’t you get the memo inre how it is only power to weight that matters? Nimbleness? You ain’t from around these parts is you?

    0 to 60, ooh yeahhhh

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Ecomotors is going to China.

    Regarding the engine, I’m not convinced. It is a forced induction two stroke, like the now nearly extinct GMC/Detroit diesels. Of course, there are major differences. The Ecomoters engine is spark ignition, has an odd crankshaft arrangement, and uses a partly electric/partly turbo blower, but it seems like the word is out that two stroke engines are not very good for fuel efficiency.

    Maybe I’ll be proven wrong, but I doubt it. Time will tell.

  16. ColoradoKid Says:

    Toyota is #1

    But think about this .

    Despite Toyota’s ongoing problems in the Chinese market … In spite of all the recalls .. etc etc in the US …

    Toyota is still a very clear #1 . Take away those problems and Toyota’d be dominating the market in ways unseen for decades

    Then .. consider this . The ONLY thing keeping VW-Audi from overtaking GM for the #2 slot is their recent foibles and marketing mis-steps in the US

    When placed into perspective …. GM’s looking more vulnerable by the second

  17. ColoradoKid Says:

    14 – Pretense is pretense .. and fugly is fugly … despite all the hoopla .. 0-60′s .. ‘ Ring Bling ‘ ” manufactured ” times etc .

    And IMO … the P! .. along with the LaFerrari ( la cucuracha ? ) .. are down right .. fugly

    The Porsche IMO aint no gem neither … but in comparison to the other two …

    And then there’s the matter of all that marketing pretense of F1 technology ( yeah right ) and Hybrid Supercar [ automotive oxymoron of the century ]

    Ugh … oh well … We’ll always have Koenigsegg/Pagani …

    Speaking of F1 … seen the recent reveals of the 2014 cars in dire need of a trojan ? ;-)

    Eeesh … Fugly taken to a new level

  18. MJB Says:

    Gotta say, I think that Lincoln grille just got worse. Much worse. The previous one looked like a giant cheese grater. This one looks like….well,… crap.

  19. HtG Says:

    Wait until the Red Car reveals itself in all it’s nonfamily splendor. They better be extra discrete in placing the vent hole up front. Did you see the Williams? How about how the Force India dong was hidden by the wing”s vertical plate?


  20. T. Bejma Says:

    With all of GM’s terrible missteps, abominations on the dealer floor, totally off base marketing, lack of direction, terrible quality and, of course the excessive pretentiousness, I just wonder…

    How in the world they can be the #2 automaker… Hmmmm….

    It baffles the mind…


  21. T. Bejma Says:

    Cool video about the GM Milford Proving Grounds…

    Be sure to watch to the end to see Lutz raceway…

  22. M360 Says:

    John – Does the new Chevy Tahoe have a special place for a lady’s purse? That’s a requirement for our next vehicle that I wish was easier to find.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    VW is the most global of all car companies, except they are only a niche player in the U.S. and Canada. They say they are serious about North America, and built the Chattanooga factory, but they have a “niche” dealer network. Changing that, along with better reliability data would go a long ways towards selling me another car.

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    #23Kit, according to VW fanboys over at TTAC, those quality issues are a thing of the past, I guess those black dots appearing on the CR repair records stats for VW vehicles are meaningless!

  25. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Pedro: and you won’t see me at any jeep dealer anytime soon.I need a pickup,(small or midsize)and jeep don’t have one.Macaroni said a while ago that there will be no more midsize pickups for dodge,(ram),so that leaves jeep to bring into production their pickup which (un)manly keeps teasing us with since 05.Add to that the overpriced jeep brand,plus the fact that are pure junk,why on earth would I buy anything from them.Just yesterday I read a horror story about a guy that waited to buy a 2013 jk because of the prior 3.6L pentastar engine problems.So he took delivery I think it was in this past Nov.2k miles later it’s getting a new head installed and he has been without his jk for over a week.That guy is pissed about that and who can blame him.How many years now has this been a problem? How long will it continue? Screw that company all to hell.Fiat can have it and finish running it into the ground…

  26. Buzzerd Says:

    T.Bejma – I enjoyed the vid, thanks for posting.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Interesting video. I’ve only been there once, but it was interesting, and fun.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Pedro, some of the recent VW’s are doing better in CR’s surveys, but not the Beetle. The new New Beetle has a big black dot, just like the old New Beetle had nearly every year. Only one VW had as good as the half-red “above average,” the non-GTi Golf.

  29. pedro fernandez Says:

    #28 Kit most likely the Diesel version with the manual transmission, the most dependable VW you can buy, I know a guy who has one and drives the crap out of it w/o any issues. Those new VW you refer to are the ones made here for American tastes and the traditional VW buyers hate them with a passion.

  30. pedro fernandez Says:

    G. A question for you, if the only small pickup avail in a few years is a Chinese one, would you consider buying one?

  31. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Pedro: Nope.I’m gonna buy the new colorado diesel when it comes out.That will be the second year of production for the new midsize twin,and they are using the 2.8L crd from vm motori which I have had before and liked.For me,it’s a win-win.Homey don’t need a commie-mobile.

  32. pedro fernandez Says:

    GA I feel you bro! I don’t even want Chinese parts in my car, although it is hard to find others. A tech told me yesterday that there are ok Chinese parts and awful ones, just how can you tell? can’t go by price alone.

  33. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I went through that crap decades ago when I was building vw bugs for folks.The engine parts by the late 70′s were coming from brazil and they were pure crap.By then most of the german parts were all gone so I just stopped messing with vw’s.

  34. HtG Says:

    I’d love to drive a Golf, but the pit of my stomach disagrees. Still, if my car takes a swan dive I’d check out Golf, to see if it could grab me.

  35. Bradley Says:


    Thanks for the video, I liked the Cold-War informational video format. At 9 minutes you can see the new CEO.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Is America ready for a $66K Kia? Here’s AW’s take.

  37. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit at the end of the article they say you’re better off with the BMW 550 but I would take my chances with the Kia reliability although its resale value will most likely be in the dumps!

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34, I think I’d chance it, if there were a nearby dealer I liked. The one I’d consider in a few years, as it stands now, would be a TDI/manual.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    37, If I were in that market, I’d probably go for a 2 year old Lexus LS, for similar, or less money than the new KIA.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Kia might be a good buy when it’s 3 years old, for those who want a biggish rear drive V8. It might go for about the same money as a new 4 cylinder Camry, or Corolla.

  41. pedro fernandez Says:

    40 I guess it’s like fine wine, it gets more attractive (better buy) as it ages. #39 I agree on the Lexus, if you want better handling, there are after market options out there for a price.

  42. aliisdad Says:

    That Lincoln grill is kind of growing on me.. It seems like they are getting it better integrated into the look of the models they have at Lincoln.. I hope they will stay with one design that becomes their brand signature since all too often American companies tend to change their identity grill just as it is becoming known to the consumer.. I think of BMW and Mercedes as examples to how to have and maintain an identity with a grill that everyone knows that evolves but still is easy to recognize as their brand… I hated the new Lincoln look at first, but I have come actually like it, and this new Lincoln look could work pretty well for the brand…
    It seems like Lincoln has kind of taken the role of Mercury as a “tarted up Ford”.. They are going to have to really separate from standard Ford offerings with their own special, luxury, and unique models soon if they are going to have a decent shot at bar in the near lux segment.. While the new front end is pretty good, it will take more to be a “Lincoln”, and I hope it works out for them… Truth is, though, that some of the new Ford models are pretty nice already with the luxury-type packages!!

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The trouble with Lincoln, is that all they have is “tarted up Fords.” and there is a huge price premium for the Lincolns. With Mercury, the price premium was small. Unlike Cadillac, Lincoln has nothing that is unique to the brand.

    With all of the money that Ford appears to be making, it would seem that they could come up with a modern Town Car, a big, rear drive sedan to compete with the best from around the world. I guess they prefer to stick with badge engineering, with a few body panel and interior changes. Does Mulally really want killing both Mercury and Lincoln to be part of his Legacy?