Ford’s recently inked partnership with EV upstart Rivian promises to be a good investment for both parties. But amid the high dollar figures and the surprise of the deal itself, not much was known about what we could expect in terms of future products. A new report appears to suggest that one piece of the puzzle will be coming sooner than expected.
The report from the folks at Automotive News suggests that Lincoln (not Ford) will be the first to benefit from Rivian’s skateboard platform technology with an all new electric SUV model that will make its debut in the latter half of 2022. The platform was developed by Rivian with key input and assistance from Ford engineers, and is touted for its flexibility with the trick chassis combining elements of the suspension, batteries, electric motors, and controls to be a more efficent underpinning for EVs.
As for the Lincoln EV, it would compete withbits platform mate, the Rivian R1S which is expected to start at $72,500, and is projected to go into production in early 2021. Ford and Rivian both declined to comment on the report’s validity, but the new Lincoln (if it exists) is known internally by its program code U787, and it could also have other companies in its crosshairs. This includes Geberal Motors, with that firm planning to introduce two electric SUVs by 2023. One is slated for Cadillac, but the second could help revive the long dormant Hummer nameplate which would be an odd move considering Hummer’s past reputation for being everything but a fuel conscious brand.
These plans will of course depend on whether Ford can sucessfully help Rivian start production at their new plant (a former Mitsubishi facility) in Normal, Illinois which was a key cog in the company’s $500 million investment. At the time, Ford revealed it planned to use the skateboard platform for its own offering, but stopped short of confirming what it exactly had planned. Rumors also point to Lincoln introducing a compact electric crossover in late 2021, with a bigger follow up appearing in 2023.
As for Ford, it has electrified plans of its own, with the brand launching the F-150 EV in late 2021. The recently revealed Mustang Mach E EV performance SUV will begin making its way to dealerships next year, with both models being part of its own plans to invest $11.5 billion into electrifying its new vehicle lineup by 2022.