Lincoln Aviator Forecasts An Elegant Three-Row Plug-In Hybrid

Lincoln, in case you hadn’t noticed, is in the process of comprehensively revitalizing its lineup. And just as it did with the new Continental and Navigator, the American luxury marque is previewing the next addition to the lineup with the teaser vehicle you see here.

Presented at the New York Auto Show (right in arch-rival Cadillac’s backyard) is the new Lincoln Aviator, forecasting a new SUV to revive a nameplate we last saw a baker’s dozen years ago.

A three-row SUV that’s sits under the Navigator

Like its predecessor, the three-row sport-ute would slot in underneath the larger Navigator. Only this time, the Aviator is far more than a gussied-up Explorer. In fact it’s not even based on the same platform. As few technical details as Ford’s premium division has released on the sport-ute concept, it emphatically notes the rear-drive setup, where the current Explorer is built atop a front-drive platform.

It’s a plug-in hybrid

In a first for the brand, the Aviator incorporates a plug-in hybrid powertrain – albeit of unspecified parameters. All we know is that the internal-combustion part is twin-turbocharged, so our best guess is a V6. And Ford doesn’t currently offer a V6-based PHEV. (The hybrid versions of the C-Max and Fusion use a 2.0-liter four.)

Atop those rear-drive, plug-in hybrid building blocks, Lincoln has adapted the Navigator’s clean and elegant design to the smaller form. The show car is painted an iridescent shade of Flight Blue, with glossy black and chrome trim. And the luxurious interior is done up in Shearling Beige and Lunar Gray, with digital instruments and machine-turned aluminum trim drive home the aeronautical theme.

Dearborn has taken the opportunity to pack the show car (or truck) with all its latest electronic gizmos, from a 12-inch infotainment display running the latest Sync system and a smartphone-based key to the Co-Pilot 360 suite of driver-assist technologies and a suspension that scans the road ahead and adjusts the ride accordingly.

“We believe Aviator’s elegant design, state-of-the-art technology and refined plug-in hybrid option will draw even more clients to the Lincoln showroom,” said Lincoln president (and Ford marketing chief) Joy Falotico, “including families who are looking for three-row capability.” We’d say that about sums it up, and we’re looking forward to seeing how the concept translates into production form when it goes on sale sometime next year.

* Gallery updated with live images from NY

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  • MayTheBestCarWin05

    wow. wow. wow. wow. wow.

  • Belthronding

    that looks absolutely amazing.

    • Andrewthecarguy

      I must be in the minority…
      Looks like Infiniti, BMW and Rover derivative to me.
      It blends in immediately to the current automotive landscape.
      Looks good, but not amazing.

  • kudos to the neat integration of the charging port!

  • eb110americana

    Lincoln has RWD and real names again. Cadillac has a turbo-4 with 3-mode VTEC and a 4.2L twin turbo “hot-V” V8. What is happening?! If it starts raining mid-engine Corvettes tomorrow, I think my head might explode!

  • cbATL

    Cheese ‘n f’en Rice – This looks better than the Bentley Bentayga. Let’s do this shit Lincoln!!!

  • Robert

    Lincoln is on a roll, that thing is gorgeous!

    • DR.FUNK

      Now,about those hideous cars…

      • Eythan Aldrich

        dude , just stop

  • enthusia

    this is a concept? it looks production ready… well the interior does at least.
    in any case, this is astonishing.
    and RWD too!

    • OdysseyTag

      Was gonna say the same thing!

    • Dennis Scipio

      I’m surprised that some people think simplistic design on a car looks good.

      • enthusia

        sometimes less is more

    • Toronado_II

      Bronco’s brother ?


    That’s actually really nice. Alright, Lincoln, get it into production and don’t water it down.

    • Leconte Dave

      Only the mirrors and the quad exaust will change

  • PhilMcGraw

    I honestly wish instead of the Nautlius they would just have this in both 2nd and 3rd row configurations. This looks amazing.

    Also, to those wondering, Lincoln has confirmed this is basically production form of the vehicle just with minor design details that might not make it over to the final car like the quad exhaust tips and obviously the mirrors will need to be bigger.

    • LWOAP

      Glad to hear it.

    • Jay

      I was gonna mention the quad exhaust. While it does look good it doesn’t really fit on here.

  • DM

    Simply gorgeous!!! And Lincoln had the guts to make it RWD. The interior is just amazingly luxurious without feeling pompous or uninviting. This is a home run for Lincoln; at this moment they are beating Cadillac big time.

    • Victor Ferreira

      Depending on pricing, I’d take this over an X5 or a GLE any day of the week. I’m impressed!

  • CJKnox

    You’ve done it Lincoln, well done!

  • Bash

    If this is how it will look, I know where my money goes next.
    Love it, to the end of the galaxy and back, twice!

  • Craig

    I love the fact that it’s obviously a Lincoln – but NOT just a shrunken Navigator. It has a look all it’s own. Very nice.

    • donald seymour

      My thoughts exactly.

    • Andrewthecarguy

      The rear has a lot of ‘Rover’ in it tho


    The front overhang is one of the shortest I’ve seen ! Usually I like short front overhang but here, combined with the long and heavy rear overhang, I’am not sure it does the proportions justice.

  • Commonsenseonthefield

    Easily the best looking American SUV

    • Jay

      Second best.

      • DR.FUNK

        I was gonna say…it appears they got both the SUV’s right.

  • Leconte Dave

    Not a fan of the grill

  • Ricardo Santos

    While I love the rest of the car, the new Lincoln “face” does nothing for me.

  • dumblikeyou2

    It’s great looking but my God, Range Rover much?

    • ErnieB

      I saw the same .. but nicer looking..

    • MarketAndChurch

      This is good for Land Rover. It’ll make them work even harder to make something even better looking.

  • Infinite1

    It’s a nice looking SUV inside and out

  • Jay

    Photo 15?

  • ErnieB

    Holy crap!!! This is stunning!!!

  • ErnieB

    This just blew away the competition.. I am completely shocked and awed!!

  • I can’t imagine there is an SUV that attracts me more than Range Rover. The spec sounds like epic too.

  • U8INIT

    Lincoln is STORMING right now….who can compare?!…I’ll wait!!!

  • no25

    Much better rear end the Navigator!

  • TrevP

    Yep. Getting one.

  • Harry_Wild

    Just one word describes this new Aviator – “Wow” it is beautiful!

  • ErnieB

    I liked the xc90.. but this just bumped it off my list ..

  • caddy45

    Unless Cadillac stuns with an XT6/XT7 3-row SUV (with a plug-in option) – I may have to jump ship and give up my brand loyalty. This is incredible.

  • john1168

    This looks fantastic! And, with the exception of the side view mirrors and the lack of D.O.T. side reflectors, it looks production ready. Build it just like this Lincoln and you’ll sell millions of them.

    • krusshall

      Millions? It’ll sell no more than other luxury CUV/SUVs so 4,000 to 8,000 a month.

      • john1168

        Figuratively speaking. The point was they’d sell a lot.

  • Looks nice. The front is Jaguaresque and the rear looks Range Roverish…

  • Dennis Scipio

    what is so special about a RWD vehicle compared to AWD?

    • Nordschleife

      Better handling dynamics generally but I think it matters less in a truck but RWD is what driving enthusiasts want.

    • Victor Ferreira

      I don’t necessarily think anyone particularly had an issue with AWD. It’s FWD that people don’t like. Especially in premium (or premium-priced) vehicles.

    • krusshall

      Perception of performance pedigree.

  • Nordschleife

    Its very Velar-esque but what better car to emulate. It looks fantastic.

  • DMax

    WOW Lincoln is on top of their game now. This is a seriously good looking car.

  • AstonMartin

    Someone gets it in Detroit. Great job Lincoln offering a smaller version of the Navigator once more at a more attainable price point. Prep it now for production and make lots because the orders will flow once production is formerly announced. Cadillac, take notes, I’m rooting for you too.

  • MarkoS

    The new design language works here. Now get rid of that under-bite on the grille. Very Range Rover / Jaguar esque, but still all it own. Very nice interior, but I would want a third row delete option. Good job Lincoln, this will be hot.

  • Robert Eller

    I’m pretty sure the platform is the next gen Explorer platform because there was rumor it could be FWD/RWD/AWD depending on configuration.

  • botornot387

    This is stunning! Lincoln has another winner on its hands. Don’t change any elements or water down for production. Interior design is in a class by itself. Cadillac should be worried. They have nothing on this.

    • matrem

      This design shows a clear understanding of what the brand should be. Cadillac can’t seem to decide.



  • Honda NSX-R

    Good job Lincoln, this will sell like hot cakes.

  • Jorge Salazar

    wowoowwo that thing is awesome!!!!

  • Dan Facciolo

    Is it wrong that I want one?

  • Roland Fairwater

    Could this mean that the next Explorer (which won’t be a moment too late) will switch back to a RWD platform? If so, that will be exciting.

  • SteersUright

    The exterior is handsome but not a jaw-dropping beauty. Its the interior thats really impressive and overall, its appears a very solid offering. Good for Lincoln and about time, I might add! (I think its the headlight detailing and overall shape along with the “altezza” clear tail lights that cheapen this handsome design a bit for me. Seems only Audi knows how to do gorgeous lighting).

    Now get back to taking another stab at completely redoing the Continental and properly this time (means rear-drive!).

  • Justin Ragland

    only one word to describe this: YES!!!!!!!!! this is amazing!!!

  • Lincoln is on a good path.

  • SgtBeavis

    So who do we pick on now that Lincoln is no longer building crap?

  • Cobrajet

    You have the Continental and Town Car swapped around.


  • TheBelltower

    Further proof that great products can turn around any brand. I’ve never seen so much enthusiasm for a Lincoln vehicle, ever.

  • Galaxium

    I think the front end is a little too bulbous for my tastes, but overall, this is really good.

  • Jesse A. C. Majors

    Who who needs a navigator if you have this

  • FunctionForm

    Sweet. One of the best looking SUVs out there. Also looks production ready so where is it? Far better than the Navigator. The Navigator’s grill is FAR FAR FAR TOO BIG. Couldn’t they see that? But this one’s sweet.

  • krusshall

    The exterior is handsome though very derivative. Put some realistic exterior mirrors and smaller diameter wheels and you’ll have the production design. The interior is a mixed bag, like other Lincoln interiors. There is way too much piano black trim along with polished metal and brushed pattern metal. But it’s only production intent so not the final trim selections.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Not bad – I’m still not into that Jag/KIA mashup grille but it’s got the Navigator’s style in better proportions. I’m a little surprised by the hoopla, though. Anyway, either Ford is being a little mischievous or Carscoops doesn’t get it but this obviously wouldn’t have been built on the current Exploder platform because that thing traces its history back to the Volvo S80 of 1998. No, this will ride on the same platform as the NEXT Explorer.

  • Peter Vancouver

    Very nice !! … look out Range Rover


    Hell YES! Masterpice!

  • Tumbi Mtika


    I AM JUMPING FOR JOY RIGHT NOW!!!! This is absolutely AMAZING!!!

    It’s everything I ever wanted from this and more. Lincoln has taken flight. And I am so glad that I can finally say this.

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