Lincoln is looking to be flying high with the arrival of its latest crossover utility model, the Aviator. This new three-row vehicle revives a name last attached to a Lincoln-badged version of the Ford Explorer in 2005. That's not the Aviator's only link to the mainstream Explorer: Lincoln's latest shares a platform with the redesigned 2020 version of that Ford SUV.
As we write this, Lincoln has yet to announce complete details on the Aviator, but we know enough to be able to say it sounds like a compelling vehicle.
Even more interesting is the prospect of a plug-in hybrid powertrain for a Grand Touring trim level that will pair that engine with electricity. It'll make the Aviator capable of EV cruising, but also promises a combined power output of 450 hp and 600 lb-ft(!) of torque when working with the V6.
The Aviator, like the Explorer, is based on a rear-drive platform. However, all Aviators sold in Canada will be standard with AWD. Look for a 10-speed automatic transmission to put the engine's power to the wheels.
Aviator marks Lincoln's return to real names for its models, instead of the brand's current MK naming scheme. The Aviator replaces the aging MKT and joins the Nautilus (formerly the MKX) and the Navigator, which remains one of the most recognizable names among full-size SUVs.
Styling-wise, in profile the Aviator looks a lot like the Land Rover Range Rover Velar, which is not a bad vehicle to be compared to. Lincoln's more direct competitors include the Audi Q7, BMW X7, Cadillac XT6, Buick Enclave and Acura MDX.
Lincoln has built a lot of tech into the Aviator, like the ability to use a smartphone as a key. It will stand in for the fob that would normally activate the passive keyless entry and push-button engine start systems.
An adaptive air suspension will work with a forward-facing camera to adjust to road conditions in real time. That suspension also lowers the Aviator's ride height at highway speeds to improve aerodynamics and can raise the body up for better ground clearance.
There will also be 30-way adjustable front seats with massaging. An available 28-speaker stereo will play your favourite music, along with the Aviator's various warning chimes -- which were created with the help of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed