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SUVs by Design

Cruising Report from Private Clubs Magazine

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SUVS BY DESIGN By Michael Frank Today’s carmakers have more tools at their fingertips than ever to make every vehicle beautiful. They use modern metallurgy and glues rather than welds to meld junctions, resulting in more fanciful shapes and sharper visual breaks. They have long penned sensual, sleek auras for sports cars, echoing the muscularity and athleticism of a low-slung predator, such as a mountain lion. But how to bring the sexy to SUVs with their added height and everyday functionality? Writer Michael Frank sits down with creators behind four of the hottest SUVs debuting this fall to get their straight-from-the-drawing-board takes on achieving bold new shapes, fashioning more modern cabins, and conceiving iconic and, yes, seductive beauties you’ll be driving in the year ahead. LINCOLN NAVIGATOR Lincoln sets the bar high with this rolling living room that has seating for seven, computer-controlled adaptive suspension, an optional 20-speaker Revel Ultima sound system, and a Wi-Fi hot spot that can pair up to 10 devices, plus USB ports in all rows. Motivation comes via a twin-turbo, 450-hp V-6 engine mated to an ultrasmooth, 10-speed automatic. “We are conscious of national design character,” says David Woodhouse, Lincoln’s design director. “Look at a German car and it’s all brushed metal. It speaks to a machine heritage that’s very Germanic. With Lincoln, we stress something especially of America — a kind of elegance that’s truly a Lincoln hallmark going back to the 1950s and ’60s, when Lincoln expressed an American modernism, restraint in design language, but exuberant in proportion, volume, and finishes.” From $72,250.

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