DEARBORN, MI - Featured for years in high-end furniture, musical instruments and luxury wood interiors, ziricote will soon be navigating its way into the automotive market.

The Lincoln Motor Co. will debut the exotic species in the 2015 Lincoln Navigator. The company said it is the first automobile manufacturer to use the exotic hardwood in its vehicles. “Luxury customers understand design and especially desire customized design,” said Barb Whalen, color and material design manager. “The beautiful, natural color and striking pattern of the ziricote wood allows customers who choose the Reserve Package on the new Navigator to experience that."

A member of the Cordia species, ziricote is distinguished by its unusual grain patterns, which have been described at times as spider webbing, swirls, layers, or irregular stripes. It has a yellowish white sapwood and dark brown heartwood, with irregular black zones.

Ziricote will be used to accent the Navigator's door panels, instrument panel, center console and steering wheel. The wood's coloring will be kept natural, with a thin topcoat applied for protection. “Altering the ziricote wood would blemish its beauty,” said Whalen. “You can’t improve on nature.”

Ziricote will be included in the Reserve Package on the Lincoln Navigator, where Whalen said the wood's color complements the Coffee and Dune interior colors, "helping the rich browns and reds really pop,” she added. The 2015 Navigator will be produced at the company's Kentucky Truck Plant.

The Lincoln Motor Co. is the luxury automotive brand of the Ford Motor Co.

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