2020 Lincoln Aviator first look: Aviator takes flight

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BERNAT LÓPEZ / ©RACERZ

The all-new 2020 Lincoln Aviator midsize luxury SUV will feature an electric-only driving mode and the most power of any vehicle in the brand’s history when it goes on sale in summer 2019.

The sleek three-row SUV is vital to Lincoln’s plan to return to relevance in the U.S.and Chinese markets. It rides on a brand new architecture and will be built alongside the next-generation Ford Explorer in Chicago. Lincoln will unveil the Aviator at the Los Angeles auto show Wednesday. The interior features Lincoln signatures: modern design and handsome materials, particularly on the top-of-the-line Black Label model.

When the Aviator returns to the market next year, slotting between the Nautilus and Navigator, the Grand Touring trim will debut the company’s new hybrid powertrain: a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine coupled with an electric motor. The powertrain generates 450 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque and comes with Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission.

The SUV’s upgraded version will offer increased levels of control. For example, the Aviator comes equipped with Lincoln Drive Modes, which adjust the vehicle’s ride, handling, and responsiveness to the prevailing weather conditions, specifically: Normal, Conserve, Excite, Slippery and Deep Conditions. The GT version includes two additional settings, Pure EV and Preserve EV, which handle the behavior of the hybrid-electric drivetrain.

As for the assistive features, the 2020 Aviator is jam packed. It will lower its suspension to accommodate the driver, allowing them to step up a shorter distance to enter the vehicle cab, or more easily load cargo into the rear. You know, like a kneeling bus.

What’s more, the Adaptive Suspension with Road Preview leverages an eagle-eyed forward facing camera to spot upcoming potholes and adjust the vehicle’s ride in real-time to smooth out the ride.

Price?

Despite all these luxury touches, Lincoln is expected to be competitive in its pricing. It would need to start about $60.000 to complete with the Audi Q7 with a V-6 or Acura MDX SH-AWD Hybrid head on – although John Davis, chief program engineer, said the powertrain competes against a V-8. The Aviator would also slot between a Buick Enclave Avenir and a Volvo XC90 T6 Inscription.