It’s no secret that the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade are direct and bitter rivals in the full-size luxury SUV space, and have been for years now. In fact, Ford Authority spies have spotted The Blue Oval benchmarking the new-for-2021 Escalade not just once, but twice, as those two models continue to duke it out on the sales charts. The refreshed 2022 Lincoln Navigator was revealed last fall to do battle with the all-new Caddy, but that renewed effort won’t include a high-performance answer to the Escalade-V, it seems.
“We like to focus on our own identity and focus on how we would deliver our experience that resonates with our clients,” John Jraiche, Global Lincoln Product Director, told Ford Authority in a recent interview when asked if the brand was considering a direct rival to the Escalade-V. “We understand where the competition is, we’re not looking to emulate anyone. We took a strategy years ago to be separate and distinct with our Lincoln lineup and we’re looking to double down and deliver that strategy in a new way as we transition into EVs.”
The 2022 Navigator is available with one single powertrain option – Ford’s twin-turbocharged 3.5L V6 EcoBoost that is rated to produce 440 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. GM has yet to release power figures for the Escalade-V, but that SUV is expected to be powered by the automaker’s supercharged 6.2L V8 LT4 powerplant present in a number of other performance vehicles, including the Cadillac CTS-V, CT5-V Blackwing, Chevy Camaro ZL1, and C7 Corvette Z06. In the Blackwing, it produces 668 horsepower and 659 pound-feet of torque.
Many were hoping that the 2022 Navigator would be available with Ford’s twin-turbo 3.5L V6 PowerBoost hybrid, which produces 430 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque in the Ford F-150, but as Ford Authority reported last month, Lincoln’s customers felt like the non-hybrid version of that powerplant was adequate for their needs. Regardless, the Navigator Black Label has been attracting younger customers to the brand in recent months, so a higher-performance variant makes a lot of sense, too.