Ford’s Lincoln luxury brand has confirmed that it will work together with Rivian in developing a fully electric vehicle based on Rivian’s skateboard platform.
Although Ford had previously announced the jointly developed vehicle, the Wednesday announcement confirms the brand badge it will be given.
According to Lincoln, the Rivian vehicle will be Lincoln’s first fully electric vehicle—which introduces some questions about timing. Last year Ford Motor Company president Kumar Galhotra said that a Lincoln vehicle based on the Mustang Mach-E was being developed, reportedly on an accelerated time frame, by Ford’s “Team Edison” group in Detroit.
While the Mach-E-based vehicle would almost certainly be built in Cuautitlan, Mexico, alongside the Ford, the Rivian-based vehicle would be U.S.-built, at the electric vehicle maker’s Normal, Illinois plant.
Although Lincoln’s announcement that the Rivian-based electric EV was going to be the brand’s first EV was timed with the signing of a new U.S.-Mexico trade deal that required higher North American content for vehicles, Lincoln told Green Car Reports that the timing was purely coincidental.
The Lincoln developed with RIvian is expected to be a larger, luxurious SUV—although we should point out that Lincoln was careful in a release to only refer to it as a “vehicle,” keeping the speculation open that it might be a lower-riding wagon or sedan.
Rivian’s platform, as used in Rivian’s own R1T pickup and R1S SUV, will initially include variants with 135-kwh and 180-kwh battery packs, with a smaller pack of 105 kwh available at a later date. It’s likely that the Lincoln vehicle would use one of the larger packs.
Rivian R1T, R1S chassis
Lincoln just introduced its first plug-in vehicle last year—the 2020 Aviator Grand Touring—and will be introducing its second plug-in model, the 2021 Corsair Grand Touring, in summer 2020. Both are part of a strategy from Lincoln to appeal to a younger, more affluent, and more tech-savvy group of customers.
Lincoln also today confirmed that its other current hybrid, a version of the MKZ sedan, assembled in Mexico, will go out of production later this year.