UPDATE: Live images of the Aviator from the Los Angeles Auto Show are now in the gallery below.
After showing the prototype at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, Lincoln is opening the door on the production model of the 2020 Aviator, showing off both gas and plug-in variants ahead of its world debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Gallery: 2020 Lincoln Aviator
The production model looks much the same as the prototype. According to Aviator design boss David Woodhouse, the Lincoln design team looked to aeronautical history for inspiration while penning the new SUV.
The instruments and gauges draw inspiration from Bell and Ross, a watchmaking company renowned for its devotion to aviation-inspired design, and in place of wood trim pieces, there are polished, engine-turned aluminum accents, calling to mind the instrument panels of vintage aircraft. The pattern of aircraft runway lights inspires the perforation pattern on the cushy leather seats – massaging 30-way chairs are, of course, available – while the new Black Label interior theme, Flight, combines tan leather modeled after classic luggage. But it’s not all old-timey touches. To use another aviation phrase, the Aviator has a “glass cockpit,” with a large 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a head-up display. These are good, modern touches.
Lincoln scored big hat-tips when it debuted the Navigator, and its little brother features similar lean, long horizontal lines, with little perpendicular interruptions to distract from the front to back narrative. Black pillars disappear in a sea of tinted cabin glass, making the window line its own horizontal front-to-back design stroke, with no vertical interruptions.
“Lines that pull back and downwards suggest the Aviator is ready to take flight,” Woodhouse told Motor1.com.
In general, things are big on the Aviator. It’s a big SUV, with big wheels and big wheel wells, with big doors and big windows. Yet, the scaling seems off in a few places. The door entry ports are actually much smaller than the doors themselves – there’s an odd six- to eight-inch overhang at the bottom of each door.
Inside, the pilot and co-pilot seats are huge, gorgeous things that are jam-packed with adjusters, massagers, heaters, and coolers. But the second-row seats are relatively teeny on their own and sit in a space that could have accommodated something larger. The third-row seats are very small indeed – almost child-sized – to a scale we wouldn’t have imagined by looking at the Aviator’s exterior.
Even the headlights are strikingly small looking, although the ocean-sized grille may have something to do with that. Notable however, is the adaptive nature of these LED lights: they narrow at speed for long-distance night vision, and widen at low speed, to better spot joggers, dogs, and cyclists.
The Aviator’s powertrains are as expected. A gas-powered, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 connects up to a 10-speed automatic transmission to send 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque to an optional all-wheel-drive system. Rear-drive is standard. For more performance, the Aviator goes reaches for the electrical socket, offering a plug-in hybrid powertrain with a twin-turbocharged engine in the Grand Touring model that nets 450 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque.
Along with being Lincoln’s first plug-in hybrid, the Aviator will also pioneer Phone As A Key for the brand. This technology does precisely what it says on the tin – turns your smartphone into the vehicle’s key. Using the Lincoln Way app, owners can leave their physical keys behind. That’s in addition to all the things that are possible in other apps, like locking and unlocking the doors, opening the tailgate, and remote starting the engine.
Lincoln is pushing the line that the Aviator is a creature-comfort machine, the antidote to a world gone awry. While it’s easy to chalk that up as nothing more than marketing hype, from the plug-in hybrid powertrain, to the 28-speaker Revel Ultima audio system, to the stunning interior, it makes some sense. The Aviator looks and feels like a luxurious, quiet cocoon.
How much that four-wheeled cocoon will cost is another matter entirely. Lincoln hasn’t released pricing yet, nor has it said when its newest CUV will arrive in showrooms. We’ll have more on the 2019 Aviator when it hits the show floor at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show on November 28.
Live Photo Credit: Andrew T. Maness / @TheRoadLessDriven / Motor1.com
All-New Lincoln Aviator Takes Flight with Advanced Technologies, Grand Touring Performance Option
All-new Lincoln Aviator brings Lincoln’s design vision to life, elevating beauty and performance in the brand’s newest SUV
Aviator Grand Touring, with its advanced electrified hybrid technology, introduces a new level of performance from The Lincoln Motor Company
Intuitive and industry-leading technologies, including Phone As A Key, are designed to create an effortless experience for drivers in the all-new Aviator
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 28, 2018 – The all-new 2020 Lincoln Aviator touches down at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week with advanced technologies that let the luxury SUV kneel to greet you, scan the road ahead for uneven pavement, and allow you to drive away using your smartphone instead of a key.
The three-row, midsize premium utility elevates Lincoln’s design vision while delivering on Quiet Flight, a key brand concept that supports tenets of beauty, gliding, human and a crafted sanctuary. Lincoln Aviator will be available globally, entering the highest volume segment in the U.S., the midsize luxury market, and the third-highest volume segment in China.
Also debuting is the Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring, named for its gliding power and effortless performance. This marks the first time the company has combined a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and advanced electrified hybrid technology capable of delivering smooth performance and instantaneous torque.
“Aviator represents the very best of our brand DNA and signals the direction for Lincoln vehicles going forward,” says Joy Falotico, president, The Lincoln Motor Company. “It offers elegance, effortless performance and unparalleled comfort – a true representation of Lincoln’s vision for the future.”
Power, capability, and choice
Aviator offers the kind of capability premium clients require in a three-row SUV, with available all-wheel drive and a choice of gas or hybrid powertrain. The standard twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine, paired with a 10-speed SelectShift® automatic transmission, is expected to deliver an impressive 400 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque for effortless acceleration.
With the hybrid option, Aviator Grand Touring’s twin-turbocharged engine and advanced electrified technology is targeted to deliver even greater levels of performance. Projected to produce 450 horsepower and a massive 600 lb.-ft. of torque, the all-new Aviator Grand Touring is expected to deliver greater performance than many three-row, midsize luxury hybrid SUVs.
“This is our most advanced hybrid technology,” says John Davis, chief program engineer, The Lincoln Motor Company. “Together with the standard twin-turbocharged gas engine and advanced electrified Grand Touring technology, Aviator is set to define effortless performance – performance that only Lincoln can deliver.”
Lincoln Drive Modes allow clients to further customize their drive experience, while a 12.3-inch standard configurable LCD instrument cluster confirms their choices with beautiful, easy-to-read dynamic graphics and prompts. In addition to Lincoln’s five signature settings – Normal, Conserve, Excite, Slippery and Deep Conditions – two new modes are engineered specifically for Aviator Grand Touring. These modes, Pure EV and Preserve EV, allow clients to choose when and how to best use their electric energy, while an enhanced Excite mode maximizes performance.
Client-focused, intuitive technologies
Aviator delivers a wealth of intuitive technologies designed to assist the driver while enhancing the overall experience of the journey. Right from the start, its suspension system automatically lowers the vehicle to “greet” the driver, adding a new level of sophistication to Lincoln’s signature welcome lighting embrace. The convenience of this feature makes loading cargo easier as well.
The effortlessness of the overall experience continues as clients enter, using their compatible smartphone as a key to access their vehicle. Lincoln’s Phone As A Key technology, debuting in the all-new Aviator, is activated through the Lincoln WayTM app. It allows owners to lock and unlock, open the liftgate and, most importantly, start and drive the vehicle – all without a traditional key.
Phone As A Key offers additional amenities. For instance, drivers can activate a locator chirp to find their vehicle, or
If owners want to loan their Aviator to a family member or friend, the technology makes that equally effortless too, as up to four “keys” are provided with each vehicle in addition to the standard smart key fob.
Should a phone battery go dead, a passcode can be entered on the standard exterior keypad to gain entry then a backup code can be entered on the center touch screen to start and drive the vehicle. If a phone is lost or stolen, Phone As A Key can be easily deleted, providing additional peace of mind for clients.
Also new to Lincoln is an available technology that enables Aviator to “see” potholes or uneven pavement and immediately make suspension adjustments to keep the ride as smooth as possible. Adaptive Suspension with Road Preview uses an advanced forward camera to constantly scan the road, seamlessly adjusting the suspension as needed.
All Lincoln vehicles come standard with a suite of driver-assist features known as Lincoln Co-Pilot360TM. With the arrival of Aviator, Lincoln’s most advanced suite of driver-assist technologies will be available in a new upgrade aptly named Lincoln Co-Pilot360TM Plus. It adds:
Traffic Jam Assist helps guide the vehicle using adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, lane centering and traffic sign recognition, which scans speed limit signs along the roadway, adjusting speed based on the information obtained
Evasive Steer Assist offers assistance to the driver to help avoid a collision with a slower or stopped vehicle; it provides additional steering support when a collision cannot be avoided by braking alone
Reverse Brake Assist can help you stop the vehicle while backing up if Aviator’s integrated rear sensors and camera detect an obstacle at the rear
Active Park Assist Plus removes the stress from parking by taking over steering, shifting, braking and acceleration functions with the touch of a button to navigate parallel and perpendicular parking spaces with ease
“All of this innovative technology is purposeful,” says Falotico. “Together, these features help make Aviator’s drive experience even more effortless and intuitive.”
The boundless allure of flight has long inspired automotive design, and the all-new Lincoln Aviator takes that inspiration to the next level.
“The connotations of flight are intrinsic in the lines of the vehicle,” says David Woodhouse, design director, The Lincoln Motor Company. “You have the stature and presence of the grille at the front, then the body and tail taper off – creating a distinct aerofoil analogy.”
The dramatic lines of Aviator exemplify Woodhouse’s views on luxury. “Luxury is about creating something you didn’t know was possible,” he says. “It requires a certain degree of mystery, seduction and allure – factors that are decidedly in play with Aviator.”
Aviator’s iridescent Flight Blue exterior color on display in Los Angeles complements its flowing lines. Lincoln’s signature grille is executed in high-gloss black and chrome accents that beckon the eye, while a wraparound windshield completes the aviation- inspired theme.
An all-new Lincoln Black Label theme, Flight, harmoniously combines Luggage Tan and Ebony, further elevating the ambience of the cabin. Bright engine turn appliqués, brushed in small circles, replicate the finish of early aviation instrument panels and enhance the theme. The supple leather of the seats is minimally processed to retain its natural texture.
Chalet is another Lincoln Black Label option for Aviator, evoking the contrasting pleasures of mountain slopes and the inherent comfort of an après-ski lodge. With Espresso and Alpine Venetian leathers and deep Silverwood appliqués, each touch is designed to awaken the senses.
Another Lincoln Black Label theme available is Destination. Celebrating the art of travel, Destination takes its inspiration from vintage luggage, harkening back to a time when travel was rich with excitement and intrigue. Mahogany Red Venetian leather with an intricate diamond weave on the seats is complemented by smooth khaya wood appliqués – making travel both near and far a true pleasure.
Lincoln Black Label is created for clients seeking the ultimate in a luxury experience, offering premium materials in specially curated designer themes and a host of membership privileges. The grille for the all-new Lincoln Black Label Aviator features reverse lattice mesh with a repetitive pattern of strong, bright-finished badge motifs.
The signature grille for Lincoln Black Label Aviator Grand Touring features unique Lincoln stars embedded within the quadrants in an elegant chrome finish, while the grille for Aviator Grand Touring is also adorned with the embedded stars.
Comfort and convenience
Aviator’s spacious, airy cabin accentuates horizontal lines, minimizing visual clutter to deliver a soothing sanctuary. An available RevelTM UltimaTM 3D Audio System re-creates an authentic concert-hall experience by immersing occupants in rich, superior sound emanating from 28 speakers throughout the cabin.
An ergonomically advanced steering wheel is intended for ultimate ease of use and customization; only subtle thumb movements at the 10 o’clock position are needed to access the voice command button. The steering wheel features streamlined, four-way switches at strategic positions to control music, phone and navigation functions.
Available Perfect Position seats with Active Motion offer 30-way adjustability, massage capability and additional lumbar support for driver and front-row passenger for paramount comfort, while flexible second-row seats recline, adjust fore and aft, and slide forward for easy access to the third row. The third row provides ample seating with plenty of room left over for cargo, assuring nothing and no one is left behind. Advanced under-floor battery packaging in the Grand Touring edition allows for all the benefits of an electrified powertrain without compromising luggage space or legroom.
Other convenience features include an available wireless phone charging pad located in the front-row center armrest, while a handy media bin is available for the front-row passenger. Multiple power outlets throughout the cabin and a standard Wi-Fi hotspot keep occupants connected wherever the journey may take them.
“At Lincoln, we’re always thinking about the next, best way to elevate luxury for our clients,” says Falotico. “Aviator arrives at this perfect intersection – where strength and beauty meet performance and technology.”