The new Lincoln Aviator introduced at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show will be its brands most important model of the upcoming year, no doubt about it. Charged with keeping up the momentum initiated by the new Navigator, the Aviator can and will reach more buyers. That’s what Lincoln is hoping, anyway.
With a new plug-in hybrid powertrain and a ton of other exclusive features, the Aviator wasn’t just an afterthought. We sat with key members of the Lincoln team at the show to get more info on the brand’s new and very important mid-size luxury SUV.
The 2020 Lincoln Aviator is described as a revolutionary vehicle for the Lincoln brand, even in terms of exterior design. How would you describe its design? Is this a new beginning for the brand in this regard?
David Woodhouse, Lincoln’s Chief Designer: “Obviously, it takes elements of the other models of the brand – especially the Navigator and Continental – but yes, indeed, we can say that the Aviator is an important model that announces the renewal of the brand. The Aviator has always been identified since the beginning to illustrate this new philosophy “Silent Flight” (Quiet Flight in the language of Shakespeare).”
Have you already identified the direct competition at the new Lincoln Aviator 2020?
Joy Falotico President of the Lincoln Group: “Yes, vehicles like the Volvo XC90, the Audi Q7, the BMW X7, the Acura MDX, the Infiniti QX60 or even two-row models like the BMW X5 or Mercedes-Benz GLE are also part of the opposition within this segment”.
Lincoln’s new three-row crossover will also be available with plug-in hybrid mechanics by the end of 2019 (as a 2020 model). How do you define this variant that will carry the name Grand Touring when it arrives on the market?
John Davis, Chief Engineer Aviator: “We prefer to treat this high-performance version as a hybrid model that can be recharged, rather than sticking to the PHEV label which isn’t always popular with the American public “.
Joy Falotico, President of the Lincoln Group: “In fact, the public is still confused about hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrids and even electric vehicles. Most people surveyed associate the abbreviation PHEV with a frugal but inefficient vehicle, while the Grand Touring is the opposite of that.”