Lincoln positions its vehicles — filled with creature comforts like luxurious massaging seats and a panoramic vista roof — as being a sanctuary on wheels.
The Lincoln Corsair that I recently took for a test drive had all that and more — including technology that kept my lungs safer when Michigan’s air quality took an unexpected hit.
Smoke from Canadian wildfires last week created respiratory hazards for southeast Michigan residents. The haze was visible with the naked eye, and my weather app flagged a “severe weather alert” and warned me of “elevated levels of fine particulate” also known as PM2.5.
The Corsair I drove was equipped with Auto Air Refresh, which Ford describes as a “holistic air filtration and active air monitoring system.”
Using the vehicle's standard cabin particulate and odor filter, Auto Air Refresh helps clean the cabin air by filtering out particles caused by atmospheric dust, tobacco smoke, smog and some allergens including pollen.
Auto Air Refresh uses an outside gases sensor to automatically adjust the climate control system to change from outside air to recirculated air to help reduce the entry of outside odors into the cabin. It uses a particulate matter sensor in the cabin to estimate and provide information about particulate matter pollution in the cabin. It also allows you to refresh the cabin air with outside air on-demand or automatically.
The system is activated as soon as the vehicle is started and can refresh the air at up to 1.5 times per minute. The system is automated and requires no input from cabin occupants, although there is a screen accessible from the large center stack that drivers can access that shows the level of PM2.5 particulate inside of the vehicle.
Thanks to Auto Air Refresh, even with the danger outside the vehicle, my interior cabin air stayed between 3 and 5 µg/m3, which is considered safe and healthy.
Currently in the Lincoln portfolio, only the Corsair and Aviator offer Auto Air Refresh.
Lincoln is not the only brand to include such systems.
Some Volvos are equipped with Advanced Air Cleaner technology — which comes with a sensor that like the Corsair, measures PM2.5 levels inside the cabin. Some Teslas also have a HEPA filter and an air filtration system with a setting called Bioweapon Defense Mode that is inspired by air filtration systems used in hospitals, clean rooms and the aerospace industry.
Another example of Lincoln technology that aims to keep drivers safer is a hands-free driving option.
Lincoln and Ford brands previously called the same system by two different names — Lincoln called it ActiveGlide while Ford called it BlueCruise. But future Lincolns are phasing out the ActiveGlide labeling and switching to also calling it BlueCruise. That’s a wise move, since will be easier to build brand awareness if consumers are only exposed to the name across both Ford divisions.
The technology allows drivers to operate vehicles hands-free while keeping their eyes on the road. The latest version also includes Lane Change Assist and In-Lane Repositioning.
While you do have to be ready to take over steering, the system definitely results in less stress while driving and increased safety. There is less of a chance of distracted driving with the “extra set of eyes” that the vehicle provides. It’s just one more feature that contributes to the feeling of sanctuary in the Corsair.