Electric Vehicles

The Rivian-Lincoln EV SUV joint venture has been cancelled

Lincoln has cancelled plans for an all-electric SUV.

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

The auto industry has its first model casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic. The joint venture between Rivian and Lincoln, a luxury arm of Ford Motor Company, to develop an electric SUV has be cancelled according to reporting by Automotive News.

Messaging to Lincoln dealers this week noted that while there is the possibility that Lincoln will develop an electric vehicle (EV) in the future, given the current business environment, the project needed to be shelved.

2020 Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring PHEVThe 2020 Corsair Grand Touring becomes Lincoln's second PHEV with segment-first electric all-wheel drive.Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

Before it was cancelled, the model the joint venture was producing would have built a Lincoln SUV atop the same skateboard that Rivian plans to build the R1T truck and R1S SUV on under its own badge.

When the proposed new model was announced in January, Joy Falotico, president, Lincoln Motor Company, said, "Working with Rivian marks a pivotal point for Lincoln as we move toward a future that includes fully electric vehicles. 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."

Ford invested $500 million in Rivian last year.

Until the COVID-19 pandemic halted much of the automotive industry from supplier to salesman, Rivian had been set to begin production of their all-electric R1T truck and R1S SUV in the coming months. Now, reporting by The Chicago Tribune indicates that the company's timeline for launch has been pushed back to 2021. Rivian has since confirmed the delay.

Currently, Lincoln offers Aviator and Corsair plug-in electric vehicle options, which have a small number of all-electric range. The downside for buyers is that those models cost substantially more than their gasoline-only powered counterparts.

Ford is investing $11.5 billion into electrification, including the new Mustang Mach-E and a fully electric version.

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VW purchased the rights to the iconic Scout name and plans to make new EVs under the brand.

Volkswagen

Automakers bring back names and brands from the past all the time, but it's not every day that a major company purchases a brand name specifically for the purpose of reviving it. That's exactly what Volkswagen just did with Scout, the name of an ultra-popular off-road SUV that was built by International Harvester in the 1960s and 1970s.

As for the types of vehicles we'll see from the brand, we currently only have the renders to go on. The pickup truck and SUV both feature throwback styling that is reminiscent of the original Scout shapes. Beefy off-road tires and lifted suspension are the only other clues available in the drawings.

Volkswagen has its own EVs, and its other brands like Audi and Porsche have made significant progress with electric vehicles as well. That said, VW doesn't really have a solid off-road option from any of its brands at the moment, so the Scout purchase opens doors for the automaker in that arena.

The announcement sounds exciting, but we've still got plenty of time to wait before there's a Scout-branded EV on the roads. Volkswagen said the plan is to release vehicles by 2026, but it won't be sitting idle between now and then. The VW ID.4 is still very fresh and the automaker says it will launch a total of 25 new EVs in the U.S. by 2030.

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Lincoln will not make a performance variant to compete with Cadillac.

Lincoln

TheLincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade have been duking it out at the top of luxury SUV rankings for decades, but there’s one area of the Caddy’s development that Lincoln won’t touch. In a recent interview, a company executive told Ford Authority that it has no plans to create a performance variant of the Navigator to compete with the upcoming Escalade V from Cadillac.

2022 Lincoln NavigatorThe new Navigator features several upscale touches and excellent tech. Lincoln

That means the Navigator will stick with the powertrain it’s carried for years, which is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that makes 440 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a smooth ten-speed automatic and either rear- or four-wheel drive. While there’s more than enough power to get the hulking Lincoln moving, it’s not a powertrain that inspires excitement or engagement, and though beefy, it’s tuned much more for comfort and quietness than drama.

Though more than adequate, those specs are a far cry from the numbers we expect from the Escalade V. The full-size bruiser from Cadillac is expected to get a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, similar to the unit seen in the CT5-V Blackwing and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. We don’t know power numbers yet, but the engine should deliver horsepower and torque numbers in the high 600s.

Cadillac Escalade VThe Escalade V will be massively powerful. Cadillac

That Lincoln is taking a different approach isn’t surprising. The automaker has already announced its intention to go all-electric, so pouring more time and resources into creating a performance gas-powered SUV isn’t in line with its goals. Company executives have also expressed a desire to avoid imitating rivals, so the decision to leave a performance Navigator behind is not surprising.

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