Lincoln's surprise for the New York Auto Show is the new Aviator, a three-row, rear-wheel drive SUV with optional electrification and good proportions standard. And if you like the looks, you should be happy to hear that, according to Lincoln design boss David Woodhouse, the production version will be almost identical to the show car displayed today. That's nice, because this Aviator's body panels sure like to play with the light.
Lincoln is tight-lipped about the Aviator's platform and drivetrain, but the SUV is based on a new rear-wheel drive architecture that combines a twin-turbo engine with plug-in hybrid technology. Being one of Ford's five core platforms, this RWD base is also scalable in every dimension, which makes one wonder what sporty thing they could build on it in the future.
Ford's luxury brand knows how much people love "utility" vehicles nowadays, and they are also aware that a Lincoln has to float over bumps, tow heavier bits and seat as many as three rows can take. That's exactly what the Aviator is promising, for those who think the Navigator may not fit their driveway.
Lincoln also threw in reverse brake assist, keyless operation via your smartphone, seats offering 30-way adjustability and massage capability, a flexible second-row with easy access to the third, and a bagful of digital services accessed via a 12-inch display.
With the twin-turbo only, the Aviator will be rear-wheel drive standard, the hybrid will always come with all-wheel drive.