Lincoln, Ford’s Luxurious brand is trying to reposition itself in the luxury segment after performing poorly in the recent past. To add to the Nautilus and Navigator SUVs, Ford has revived the Aviator nameplate. It will slot between the compact Nautilus and the full-size Navigator. The Lincoln Aviator Concept rides on a newly developed all- and rear-wheel-drive architecture. Ford showcased the new 3-row SUV at the New York Auto Show in concept form but revealed that the model is ready for production.
Lincoln Aviator Concept Exterior
Unlike the concepts that previewed the Navigator and Continental, the Aviator is ready for production as all its sheet metal looks ready for production. In terms of size, it is 200 inches long which makes it 10 inches longer than the Nautilus and 10 inches shorter than the Navigator (short-wheelbase version) making it a great fit between the two. The SUV is underpinned by a unibody rear-drive platform which it shares with the upcoming Ford Explorer. The new platform has enabled the automaker to come up with long dash-to-axle proportions while still ensuring the model delivers almost a 50/50 weight distribution ratio.
Overall, the look of the model features a fast-fall roofline while the sides are heavily sculpted resulting in a stance that mimics a bird that is in flight. The grille design which is more upright makes the model look more upscale. To enable the model to tackle various surfaces, it will ride on 22-inch wheels.
Inside, the Aviator flaunts a new, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather wrapped seats and a 12-inch cluster display. The driver’s seat is 30-way adjustable and offers better massage functionality. The model has done away with the automaker’s dual-cockpit system in favor of a single flowing design which makes the cabin look more spacious. The design includes a huge flow-through cargo space below the center stack. In the front armrest, the model features a wireless phone charging device as well as a bin for storing phones. The model will also offer Wi-Fi connectivity and several power outlets spread throughout the cabin for all passengers.
Ford has emphasized on advanced technologies for the model. Buyers will be able to use their smartphones to start the vehicle, lock or unlock doors, or open the trunk making it unnecessary to carry a key fob. Owners will also be able to use their phones to spot the model in a parking area. If the battery of the phone goes dead, the driver can enter a backup passcode on the exterior keypad to access the vehicle and proceed to start and drive the vehicle using the center touch-screen.
The Lincoln Aviator Concept comes with an active driver assist package dubbed “Lincoln Co-Pilot360” which features blind spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, rear brake assist, lane keep assist and high-beam headlights among others. The vehicle is also fitted with adaptive dampers which are paired with a “Suspension Preview Technology”; this technology uses cameras to detect broken pavement and potholes.
Engine and performance
Under the hood of the 3-row SUV will be a plug-in hybrid drive-train as well as a twin-turbocharged gasoline mill. Ford, however, remained mum about the actual details of the two powertrains. As for the V-6 mill, my best bet would be either the EcoBoost 3.5 L, V-6 engine that drives the Navigator, or the 3.0 L EcoBoost V-6 that powers the Continental. However, even the twin-turbocharged 2.7 L, V-6 on the Nautilus could make the cut as it produces 335 hp which is just about right for the model. More details will be released before its debut.
Price and release date
Ford showcased the Aviator as a concept meaning there was no pressure on the automaker to reveal its price. Considering it will slot between the Nautilus and Navigator, expect its price to fall between the two SUVs as well. Ford will likely showcase a production model in the last quarter of this year before the Aviator hits dealerships next year as a 2020 Lincoln Aviator.