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2018 Lincoln Navigator cuts 200 lbs. with aluminum body; F-150-certified shops can fix it

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Business Practices | Repair Operations | Technology

The 2018 Lincoln Navigator recently went on sale, and collision repairers versed in the aluminum F-150 should find the next-generation SUV’s construction “very similar,” a spokeswoman confirmed last week.

Lincoln cut nearly 200 pounds out of the body-on-frame model over the prior generation. Lincoln product communications manager Amanda Park said that the body-in-white and panels were derivatives of the aluminum Ford F-150 platform.

“We’ve been able to learn a lot” since the F-150 debuted at the North American International Auto Show four years ago, Park said at the 2018 NAIAS Jan. 15 — the same day the show awarded the SUV North American Truck of the Year.

Like Ford, Lincoln used a higher-strength steel frame for the Navigator.

“The front frame structure is very largely similar to the F-150,” Park said, describing it as “almost identical” except for a “few refinements.”

However, Park said that rear frame was “largely a carryover” from the 2017 Navigator, for the automaker wanted to retain the independent rear suspension found in the previous generation.

It sounds like a repairer with F-150 certification and experience on older Navigators shouldn’t have any difficulty with the 2018 version of the SUV, though of course repair procedures must still be consulted.

Ford aluminum-certified collision repairers will be qualified to fix the aluminum Navigator, Park confirmed Wednesday.

“Dealers in our network who have the tools, equipment, and training to perform F-150 and Super Duty structural body repairs are also fully capable to perform the same repairs on the Lincoln Navigator,” she wrote in an email. “Navigator does not require additional tools or equipment to perform these types of repairs over what is required for F-150, Super Duty or Expedition.  Additionally, a Lincoln Navigator Aluminum Body Repair training course was made available to dealers with the launch of the vehicles.  This new course is in addition to the prerequisite 2015 Ford F-150 Structural Repair Training Course.

“In addition, dealers enrolled in the Ford National Body Shop Network (NBSN) program have the training, facilities, and tools and equipment to repair any of our aluminum vehicles.  The NBSN is the only collision repair certification offered by Ford Motor Company.”

She said this applied to independent repairers with the Ford aluminum certification as well.

Asked about promotion of the Ford-badged aluminum network to Lincoln owners, Park wrote: “We will work through our Lincoln dealerships to make the service process as effortless as possible. We offer Pickup & Delivery service for vehicle maintenance for Lincoln products, among other initiatives to differentiate the Lincoln ownership process.”

Other highlights of interest to insurers trying to calculate frequency and severity and collision repairers trying to fix these SUVs:

  • The Navigator has a different type of adaptive headlight than the auto-dimming and turning-with-the-car versions we’ve covered before. According to Lincoln, the SUV “offers speed-dependent adaptive lighting, a new Lincoln technology that provides a wider spread of light at lower speeds for increased visibility – helpful when driving through residential areas. As the vehicle accelerates, the beam of light narrows to help eliminate the glare off signs or other distractions.”
  • A windshield-projected heads-up display is available on any trim above the base Premiere.

  • The SUV has “inclination and intrusion sensors, which trigger an alarm if someone attempts to move or enter the vehicle.”
  • “Upon approach, the chrome Lincoln star logo on the grille softly illuminates” on certain trims, according to the OEM.
  • Adaptive cruise control and Ford’s trailer backup assist feature are among the ADAS options.
  • Lincoln says that “laminated front and side glass” was used to reduce noise.

More information:

2018 Lincoln Navigator overview

Lincoln, April 12, 2018

Images:

The 2018 Lincoln Navigator is shown Jan. 15, 2018, at the North American International Auto Show. (John Huetter/Repairer Driven News)

A heads-up display is an option on the 2018 Lincoln Navigator. (Provided by Lincoln)

Lighting which projects the Lincoln logo on the ground is available on the 2018 Navigator. (Provided by Lincoln)