We traveled to the Big Apple this year and were offered a private viewing of the next generation of Lincoln.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – The 2019 Lincoln Aviator resurrects the name but, unlike the last time the Aviator name was used, this new model has nothing to do (yet) with the Ford Explorer. The new Aviator rides on a fresh platform (rear-drive based) and is a three-row luxury sport utility vehicle.
Slotting just below the Navigator (reviewed here) in the current Lincoln lineup, the Aviator is one of the most modern and attractive designs seen in many years under this umbrella. The three-row luxury SUV will compete with the likes of the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE, while offering fresher styling and also a plug-in hybrid variant that will remain mated to the twin-turbocharged gasoline engine. This hasn’t officially been confirmed, but we would be very surprised if the Aviator doesn’t offer the corporate 3.5L twin-turbo V6 with 10-speed automatic.
Not many details have been released just yet, but Lincoln Motor Co. promises that the Aviator will pack their latest Co-Pilot360 suite of active safety features, which will include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist, and automatic high beams. A series of drive modes will also be selectable, including the sporty “Excite” mode we have seen on other models such as the Continental (reviewed here).
One new piece of technology that will debut with the Aviator is Lincoln’s “Phone as a Key” feature, which will permit owners to use their smartphone to lock and unlock the vehicle, and actually drive away without the need for a smart key fob on your person at all times. Naturally, there will be an added layer of security there to ensure the prevention of malicious use.
The interior of the Aviator is an updated version of Lincoln’s current luxurious and beautiful cabin, with the optional 30-way Perfect Position powered seats. We’ll be spending time with the Aviator once it hits production to determine just how user-friendly the interior is, but initial impressions are quite good. A large touchscreen will display the latest in connectivity and is sure to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto if the rest of Ford and Lincoln’s lineup is any indication.
Lincoln says that the new Aviator will go into production and will be on sale sometime in 2019, and we’re genuinely excited to see it populate our streets once it does. This appears to be a legitimate effort from the American luxury automaker and the freshness in the segment is welcomed.
Photos by Lincoln Motor Company