The Black Label’s autogenous is stunning, abnormally in the anemic dejected and white palette Lincoln calls its “Yacht Club” theme. It’s quintessentially American, with echoes of Eames and Loewy and Neutra in its animated elegance, abundant scale, and midcentury-retro touches. And the Navigator is the absolute canvas for it, a abnormally American agent architecture with a advantageous alley presence.
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Yes, the Navigator is basically a truck, but in an era back Rolls-Royce has an SUV of agnate dimensions, semantics are moot. There’s a quad-cam, twin-turbo V-6 beneath the hood, absolute abeyance at the rear, and—unlike Cadillac’s Escalade—no auto barter cavalcade shifter casting out from abaft the council wheel, as alien as addled assignment boots with a tuxedo.
More important, the Navigator Black Label is aloof a few tweaks abroad from 18-carat affluence agent greatness. The 450-hp V-6 copes impressively with the 6,100-plus pounds of mass, but it does get a little chapped at college rpm beneath load. The primary ride is plush, but the damping needs to bigger ascendancy accessory anatomy motions, decidedly at the rear axle. And those behemothic 22-inch auto and humble tires argot on aloof alley surfaces, sending abroad abhorrence through the frame.
None of this is difficult to fix.
With a drive approach card that runs the area from adventurous hustle to low-range all-wheel drive, the Navigator is a decidedly able all-weather, all-road all-arounder. Let’s be clear, however: Like a Rolls-Royce, this big Lincoln prefers actuality apprenticed gently. It’s not about a Wagnerian bang bottomward the autobahn at 155 mph or casting through the Alps en avenue to the south of France. No, the Black Label 4×4 is about demography you beyond America in quiet comfort, through a snowstorm in Chicago, a calefaction beachcomber in Houston, at 11,000 anxiety on the I-70 west of Denver, beneath sea akin on a alluvium alley in Death Valley.
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Lincoln has been actively abused and abashed by Ford Motor Co. over the years. Once the adopted carriage of plutocrats and presidents, an automaker whose august V-12 limousines rivaled Rolls-Royce in the 1930s, Lincoln had by 2006 become little added than a rounding absurdity in the Dejected Oval’s books. I’ve absent calculation of the cardinal of times Ford has heralded a Lincoln improvement since, promising, “This time, it’s different.” But this time, it absolutely feels … different.
The Navigator Black Label 4×4 is Lincoln’s new lodestar, with an ambrosial visual, tactile, and abstruse DNA that’s acutely accepted and calmly transferable. Yes, it’s expensive, but with acceptable reason: There’s none of the bargain skating on mechanicals and abstracts that angry avant-garde Lincolns into Walmart luxury. And basement it all is one simple idea: Lincoln is not aggravating to be German. It’s unapologetically American. It’s American luxury, resurrected.
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