New York 2018: Lincoln Aviator concept hints next-gen Ford Explorer

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Lincoln Aviator packs plug-in hybrid tech with a luxurious twist

Back in the mid-2000's Lincoln, Ford's luxury marque, launched the Aviator and it was based on the Ford Explorer of that era. Now, it seems like history will be repeating itself with the brand pulling the covers off the new Aviator Concept in New York. Is Lincoln's latest concept also a preview to the next-generation Ford Explorer as well?

From the looks of it, it appears to be that way. Lincoln mentions that the Aviator will be using a new rear-wheel drive platform. Parent company Ford also mentioned that the next-generation Explorer will be using a rear-wheel drive based architecture as well. There are, however, some clues seen in the Aviator's exterior and the preview of the Explorer ST.

The rear section of the Aviator concept and the Explorer ST appear to be similar, as is the roofline of the two SUVs. Both also have similar upward pointing window lines towards the rear. Of course, the Lincoln gets its own unique styling at the front. At the moment, the 2019 Explorer has yet to be fully revealed with only one teaser shown to-date.

Back to the Aviator concept, it follows the look of the Navigator with a bold, wide chrome grill complemented by a pair of upswept headlights. Its upright nose sees a flat bumper with slim air intakes and defined corners. The sides see a single character line that runs from the fender, above the door handles, and all the way to the rear. As for the rear, it sees slim, wraparound tail lights, a quad exhaust pipe arrangement and an integrated tailgate spoiler. Lincoln adds that the production version will remain faithful to the concept and it's unlikely that version will have the concept's uniquely shaped side mirrors.

Powering the concept is a twin-turbocharged engine mated to a plug-in hybrid system, a first for Lincoln. The company didn't go into specifics just yet but it may possibly be the 2.7-liter Ecoboost V6 from the F-150. The road-going model may come with a plug-in hybrid option although turbocharged gas engines are more likely.

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