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Lincoln unveils new SUV targeting the U.S. and China

  • Lincoln this week introduced a new SUV, the Corsair, geared to upscale buyers in the U.S. and China.
  • The compact SUV, which is likely to start at $35,000, will go on sale this fall and replace the MKC.
  • Lincoln will make the Corsair in Kentucky and in China, the first time it's built a SUV in that country.

Lincoln this week rolled out a new SUV, dubbed the "Corsair," in New York aimed at the fast-growing luxury market in the U.S. and China. To that end, the vehicle is billed as a "sanctuary from the outside world" and features technology to block road and engine noise from the vehicle's occupants. 

While Lincoln hasn't yet announced the official price, the SUV is likely to start at $35,000, according to Kelley Blue Book. The compact SUV, which will go on sale this fall from the luxury nameplate of Ford, replaces the automaker's MKC as its entry-level crossover vehicle, according to Stephanie Brinley, principal automotive analyst at IHS Markit.

Lincoln has a lot riding on the Corsair, which could produce as much as a quarter of its U.S. sales within the next few years, Brinley said in a research note. SUV sales are booming as more consumers continue to veer away from sedans. One forecast predicts that SUVs will represent fully half of car sales by 2020. 

"Lincoln has become increasingly successful in offering models that share with Ford counterparts, but are differentiated enough for their own personality," Brinley wrote. "The expectation is for a similar situation with Corsair."

The interior of the 2020 Lincoln Corsair.  TYLER GOURLEY/Lincoln

The Corsair will be built at Louisville Assembly Plant in Louisville, Kentucky. The vehicle will also be built in China for Chinese consumers, marking the first time Lincoln is building a localized SUV in China, according to CNet's Road Show.

Chimes courtesy of the Detroit Symphony

The Corsair, introduced at the New York International Auto Show, is heavy on technology. In a statement on Wednesday, the automaker said that "quietness is paramount" for the car, which is loaded with anti-noise technology to provide a "hushed ride." That includes a dual-wall dashboard in the engine compartment, which adds a barrier between the engine and the car's passengers, as well as "active noise control."

The vehicle also features "six unique symphonic chimes" recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra to alert passengers about open fuel doors and other issues. 

The Corsair also has what Lincoln calls "phone as a key" technology, which allows owners to use their smartphones to start and drive the vehicle, as well as lock and unlock the doors. "No smart key fob necessary," the company said. 

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