The 2020 Lincoln Aviator has been unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Arguably, one of the best looking production Lincolns of recent years, it remains very close to the concept that shared the same name earlier this year.
Envisioned as Lincoln’s answer to a growing mid-size luxury market, the Aviator inspires to become one of the brand’s best selling models. But that won’t be an easy feat with strong two-and three-row competitors like two- and three-row heavy hitters like the European Audi Q7, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE and Volvo XC90.
“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.”
As Good Looking As The Concept
While Lincoln could have unveiled the Aviator as a concept with an outlandish design with no hope of reaching the production line, it didn’t. Instead, it unveiled an SUV with a design largely ready for the street and this is clearly visible with the road-going model. It may not be quite as attractive as the concept but as far as ed three-row SUVs go, it looks pretty good.
Key design elements at the front are LED headlights and a large, muscular chrome grille. There’s also a number of elements at the rear that look virtually identical to those of the concept, including the slim brake lights and the horizontal light bar that joins them.
Inside, the Aviator’s resemblance to the concept continues. There’s a plethora of beautiful leather surfaces, a digital gauge cluster, and a large central infotainment screen. Seat controls on the doors, similar to those used by Mercedes-Benz, are also present.
Plenty Of Tech
It will come fitted with all the latest tech that Lincoln has to offer and then some more, including the brand’s first model to allow owners to use their smart-phones as a key.
Also new to Lincoln is an available “smart” suspension that enables Aviator to “see” most potholes or uneven pavement and immediately make suspension adjustments to keep the ride as smooth as possible. According to the company, the Adaptive Suspension with Road Preview uses an advanced forward camera to constantly scan the road, “seamlessly adjusting the suspension as needed”.
As with other Lincolns, the new 2020 Aviator will come standard with the company’s suite of driver-assist features, albeit upgraded and bundled under the “Lincoln Co-Pilot360 Plus” name. The Plus version adds Traffic Jam Assist, Evasive Steer Assist, Reverse Brake Assist and Active Park Assist Plus.
Powertrain Options Include A Mighty Plug-in Hybrid
Sharing its underpinnings with the next Ford Explorer, the new Aviator comes with standard rear-wheel drive and optional all-wheel drive. The base engine is anything but that, as it’s a 3.0-liter bi-turbocharged V6 that puts out 400 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission.
And if that’s not enough (…especially in RWD form), Lincoln will soon offer a Plug-in Hybrid variant projected to deliver 450 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque. The PHEV will offer two driving modes, the “Pure EV” that uses only electricity and the “Preserve EV” that utilizes the internal combustion engine only. The company did not release any other details on the powertrain.
When And Where Will It Go On Sale?
Aside from North America, the new Aviator will also be sold in China, with further details on pricing, availability to be announced.
*We’ve updated this article with live images from the LA Auto Show