The Aviator is all new for the 2020 model year, slated to go on sale next year after its debut at the LA auto show last month. The new SUV followed up on a concept that was revealed in New York earlier this spring, with the production version once again positioning itself between the smaller Nautilus and the larger Navigator in Lincoln's lineup. The redesigned SUV is the most distinct Aviator yet — no trace of a Ford model is visible on the outside — and it will also be the most powerful production Lincoln model ever. It will also be among the greenest, with a plug-in hybrid version doubling as the top performance flavor.
1. The performance
The all-new Aviator will be powered by two versions of a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6. The base engine will produce 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, while a plug-in hybrid version of the same engine will notch that up to 450 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque. Both versions of this powerplant will be paired with 10-speed automatic transmissions. Needless to say, this is a lot of power for a three-row Lincoln SUV that isn't even the biggest or the most expensive model in the lineup.
2. The design
Aeronautical themes have taken center stage with this redesign, with Lincoln using a number of flight-themed elements inside and out. This includes the design and texture of the center stack, with the designers incorporating vintage, mid-century elements into the look of the gauges and the switchgear inside. Interior color options have been picked out with vintage air travel in mind as well. Plenty of metal surfaces have been added to the interior to communicate a vintage airplane look, without taking it too far. Shapes and metal elements on the exterior add to the flight theme, including a wing-shaped element that stretches from the front fender into the front doors.
"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."
3. Driving Modes
The 2020 Aviator will have no shortage of driving modes, perhaps more than many owners will have an experience to try even within a week. The gasoline-engined base model will offer modes named Normal, Conserve, Excite, Slippery and Deep Conditions, the latter meant as an off-road mode. The plug-in version, meanwhile, will feature these five modes plus another two: Pure EV and Preserve EV, with one focusing on performance and another on conserving the battery charge level.
4. Adaptive Suspension with Road Preview
One new technology that will make its debut on the Aviator will be a camera system that will monitor the road ahead for potholes and adjust the suspension in real time to compensate for the upcoming pavement segment. This is a technology that other automakers have introduced in recent years, most notably Mercedes-Benz, but it will first appear on the Aviator SUV in Lincoln's lineup.
5. Lincoln Black Label Themes
The 2020 Aviator will offer a number of special interior design themes including Flight, which will offer Luggage Tan interior colors paired with circular, brushed metallic details on metal surface elements. This theme is designed to replicate the look of vintage aviation instrument panels.
Another theme, dubbed Chalet, will mix Espresso and Alpine Venetian leathers and Silverwood elements, designed to replicate the look of the interiors of European apres-ski lodges.
A Lincoln Black Label theme dubbed Destination, meanwhile, will mix Mahogany Red Venetian leather with khaya wood surfaces, striving to replicate the aesthetic of vintage luggage and luxury travel. This theme will include diamond-quilted leather surfaces for the seats — a popular look in the last few years.
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