(from Ford Press Release) Lincoln’s
next-generation Aviator will "crossover" to a car-based platform,
enhancing Lincoln’s lineup, while maintaining its place as Lincoln’s
entry in the mid-sized SUV segment. A teaser of the luxury SUV debuts at
the 2004 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The medium-size utility vehicle segment is one of the fastest-growing
premium segments in the industry. Dubbed a crossover sport utility
vehicle, Aviator’s move to a car-based platform will help Lincoln
deliver a very competitively priced vehicle – one with exceptional
comfort, elegant design and effortless driving – everything customers
expect from a Lincoln.
"The next-generation Aviator is a new kind of Lincoln; it’s our
first-ever, car-based SUV," said Phil Martens, Ford Motor Company group
vice president, Product Creation. "Aviator is here to stay and is
evolving to meet customer demand."
Lincoln Design Soars
The next-generation Aviator will get an
all-new look and architecture. This sneak peek strongly suggests the
direction that the exterior design will take moving forward. As the
first Lincoln car-based SUV, it is designed with sporty lines while
incorporating current Lincoln design cues. It also applies classic
design elements from the past, modernized for use in future
"We wanted to create a new type of premium crossover," said David
Woodhouse, chief designer. "The teaser, much like the future Aviator, is
a midsize sports crossover designed with distinction, but it does not
forget where it came from."
A signature bright metal strip inspired by the 1961 Continental begins
at the grille, runs over the fenders, frames the full-length glass roof
and ends at the lower tailgate, accentuating the vehicle’s profile. The
all-glass roof provides a panoramic, overhead view.
One of the most noticeable characteristics is a new Lincoln grille, a
trait to watch for on future Lincoln models. The polished egg-crate
grille, reminiscent of elegant Continental models of the past, features
a rhythmic pattern of solid horizontal and vertical chrome trim. The
grille surround encompasses the headlamps, a cue also from the 1961
Lincoln Continental. The new face incorporates a nearly 2-by-4-inch
Lincoln star and a bright horizontal blade by the lower air intake.
Its 21-inch spoked wheels, made from a combination of cast and polished
aluminum, feature wheel caps with the Lincoln star at the center.
Additional polished bright work can be found running the length of the
side windows, on the door handles, head and tail lamps and vehicle
The richness of the exterior color, combined with the vehicle’s bright
detailing, create a feeling of urban sophistication. When approaching
the vehicle, the exterior appears to be black in color, but up close,
its tone changes to a deep Pacific Blue.
This Aviator teaser shows off a uniquely wide C-pillar, giving the
vehicle’s visual stance a sense of balance. It also features a recessed
Lincoln star with intricate detailing.
The upper glass lift gate features a nearly 3-by-6-inch floating Lincoln
star, integrating horizontal taillamps that stretch the full breadth of
the rear and emphasizing the vehicle’s width – another echo of past
Lincoln proportions. The tailgate hinges flat, offering an unobstructed
entry to an unexpected amount of interior cabin space.
Staying true to its Aviator name, this
vision for the next generation Aviator features a conceptual interior
that couples an aviation theme with an innovative use of space, unique
materials, comfort and convenience features that unmistakably make it a
"This dramatic one-and-a-half-box design features a modern, efficient
package where occupants are accommodated in a versatile and generously
spacious ‘lounge-like’ interior," said Woodhouse. "The vehicle is
designed to make you feel as though you’ve purchased a first-class
ticket on a most exclusive airliner."
The Aviator features flexible storage and seating. Adjustable first- and
second-row seats, as well as two storage consoles that move forward and
rearward between the occupants, allow passengers to arrange the cabin in
different configurations for long trips.
The rear console also features personal climate and navigation controls;
additional storage is found in all four doors and seat backs.
Keeping with the aviation theme, lap tables with a leather-trimmed pad
deploy from the rear center console to be used for a laptop computer,
snacks or travel games in the second row. Aviator’s four reclining
captain-style chairs have integrated leg rests for an extra level of
comfort and luxury. To complete the travel experience, DVD screens are
integrated into the front row seat backs.
Genuine aeronautical vents and map lights are found on the cantrails and
headers with additional illumination in the upper door trims for
True to Lincoln, the interior features a
combination of unique materials, creating a luxurious and relaxing
The symmetrical floating instrument panel exhibits a combination of
brushed and brightly polished aluminum accents on the cluster, radio,
navigation and climate controls, elongated vents and Lincoln star –
adding jewel-like detail and contrast to the interior. The instrument
panel also features a laser-inscribed "Aviator" vanity plate of polished
aluminum above the glove box, again giving the Lincoln stamp of luxury.
The seats feature a combination of light and dark plush leathers with
textured leather accents on the headrest, lumbar support and footrest.
Light-colored leather is found from the belt line up and helps lift
attention upward. It’s also found on the steering wheel, dash and door
accents. The reddish undertones of the dark leather used from the belt
line down give the interior space a feeling of richness.
A continuous, Behr, pure hardwood floor with bright aluminum strip
accents begins at the instrument panel and flows uninterrupted into the
cargo space, maximizing the interior space. Behind the occupant cabin,
the Aviator teaser’s cargo area features 30 cubic feet of storage space,
enabling customers to pack for any trip. The hardwood flooring is
carried through to the inner tailgate, a design detail that provides an
impactful first impression upon opening the cargo bay.
Meantime, the all-glass roof is framed by a repeat of the exterior
signature bright strip, adding to the interior’s super sensory
Comfort and Convenience
The center stack features a multifunction
information screen displaying satellite navigation, climate control
status and vehicle information like seat memory and tire pressure.
Occupants also can access concierge services, weather forecasting, hotel
or restaurant information via the Internet.
The teaser features Lincoln’s exclusive THX®-certified audio system for
the purest sound available in a vehicle. This hi-fi system has nine
speakers with automatic mute control. Also, for passenger comfort, the
radio’s volume automatically adjusts to the vehicle’s speed – raising
the volume as the speed increases.
Aviator also boasts a collection of luxury features that enhance the
occupants’ journey, including rain-sensing windshield wipers,
self-leveling headlamps, power and heated exterior rear view mirrors
with integral direction indicator, automatic dimming rear view mirror,
height- and reach-adjustable steering column, built-in capability for
hands-free telephone, driver and passengers independent climate control
with pollen filtration and an integrated global vehicle theft location
Travel With Confidence
As a representation of the
next-generation Aviator, the teaser combines sporty lines, a broad
stance and generous ground clearance to assert the vehicle’s off-road
capability while echoing its on-road refinement.
For a smooth progression of power, the show vehicle boasts a six-speed
automatic transmission to deliver torque on demand.
The vehicle’s front suspension features adjustable dampers to deliver
improvements in overall ride quality. A rear multilink suspension
delivers a well-controlled ride and responsive handling.
For occupant safety, high-strength steel, monocoque construction
utilizes hydroformed components to create a rigid, safe body shell for
optimal protection. Additional safety features include dual stage driver
and passenger air bags, including side air bags, integrated seat belts
in all seats with belt pretensioners, three-point rear safety belts,
automatically monitored and adjusted tire pressure sensing system and
high performance brakes with ABS.