About that headline.
You'd probably have to be of a certain age to be aware of it, but in 1972, a group called Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen had a top ten hit record---itself a remake of a 1955 song:
It's 52 years later, time did what time does, and now, we're here to talk about a plug-in Lincoln.
The Lincoln Corsair is the smallest of the four SUVs that Lincoln, now a purely SUV manufacturer, makes---and the Grand Touring trim of the Corsair is a plug-in hybrid.
The Corsair Grand Touring pairs a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder gasoline engine with an electric motor. Total system output is 266 horsepower, which is 16 more than the non-hybrid Corsairs have, so I guess this is a "Hot Rod Lincoln", relatively speaking. At least on paper.
In practice, the Grand Touring is about a second slower than the gasoline models---seven seconds to 60 from a standing start instead of six. Blame the added weight of the hybrid system, the AWD, and a switch from an eight-speed automatic in the gasoline models to a continuously variable transmission in the hybrid. Ride is nice on the "comfort" setting and can be adjusted via the adaptive suspension for more firmness on winding roads.
As with all plug-in hybrids, there's a certain amount of pure electric range before the system kicks into gas/electric hybrid mode. In the Corsair Grand Touring, that's 28 miles---which is on the low side of what PHEVs do these days. Most are in the mid-30s. Overachievers like the Toyota Prius Prime and Toyota RAV4 Prime do 40 and 42 respectively. If your bankbook can swallow a six-figure price, Range Rover has two models that get 51 miles of pure electric driving per charge---the Range Rover Sport Autobiography and the Range Rover PHEV SE SWB. Once that electric range is used up, the EPA estimates the Corsair Grand Touring's mileage at 33 mpg combined city/highway.
The base price of the 2023 Lincoln Corsair AWD Grand Touring is $54,780 (including destination). There's a lot of standard equipment at that price---configurable daytime running lamps, a dual exhaust, hands-free liftgate, jeweled LED headlamps, LED taillamps, heated, auto-folding outside mirrors with memory, a panoramic vista roof with power shade, privacy glass, roof rack side rails, a 60/40 split back seat with recline, ambient lighting, a cargo management system, dual-zone climate control, a frameless auto-dimming rear view mirror, a leather-wraped steering wheel with cruise, audio and climate controls, a power tilt/telescoping steering column with memory, a 12.3-inch center touchscreen, and a comprehensive suite of active safety features.
Even on my last day in a full week with the Corsair, I still wasn't used to the start/stop and and gear buttons mid-console---and they've been there since the Corsair launched in 2020. Most likely a me problem, and if I was driving it for more than a week, it'd become natural.
Our test vehicle had a pretty serious list of extra-cost options, as well---$8,005 for Equipment Group 302A (rain-sensing wipers, a windshield wiper de-icer, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, wireless device charging, a 14-speaker Revel audio system, head-up display, Lincoln Co-Pilot360 2.1 and ActiveGlide 1.2 (Lincoln's version of Ford's Blue Cruise level 2 autonomy system, front parking aid and rear parking sensors). Besides that, the Whisper Blue Metalic paint was $750, the "Perfect Position" 24-way seats (I never found that position, by the way) added $1,285 and 20-inch bright machined aluminum wheels were $1,150.
All of which brings the bottom line on the window sticker to $65,970.
There's a temptation to say that the Lexus is a better choice---but Lincoln's interpretation of luxury is different from Lexus' at the moment---Lincolns simply feel more special, using materials and finishes in the interior that telegraph "luxury" from the moment you open the door, and that's likely to be the deciding factor for people who go with the Corsair.