|Manufacturer||Ford Motor Company|
|Assembly||Hazelwood, Missouri, USA|
|Class||Mid-size sport utility vehicle|
|Body style||4-door SUV|
|Layout||Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive|
|Platform||Ford U platform|
|Engine||4.6 L DOHC Modular V8|
|Wheelbase||113.7 in (2,888 mm)|
|Length||193.3 in (4,910 mm)|
|Width||73.9 in (1,877 mm)|
|Height||71.9 in (1,826 mm)|
Ford Explorer Sport Trac
The Lincoln Aviator was a mid-size sport utility vehicle (SUV) produced by the Ford Motor Company's Lincoln luxury division. It was introduced in 2002, and production ended in 2005. The Aviator was built exclusively at Ford's St. Louis Assembly plant in Hazelwood, Missouri. Its competitors included the Cadillac SRX, Lexus GX (launched at the same time as the Aviator), and Infiniti FX.
Lincoln played up the similarity to the Navigator with magazine ads that read, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Especially when it's yourself you're imitating." The Aviator seemed to have been met with relatively positive press coverage.
While the Aviator's styling borrowed cues from its big brother, the Navigator, it didn't look much different from the very widespread Ford Explorer that it was based on. Also working against the Aviator was that it was priced similar to the larger and relatively popular Ford Expedition. (The Navigator, based on and priced above the Expedition, was priced similarly to the Ford Excursion, but the Excursion was rare so the comparison did not work against the Navigator, whereas the Aviator was frequently compared to the Expedition and Explorer.) Indeed, Car and Driver magazine said in a comparison test, in which the Aviator tied for fifth place, that only the car's high price and lack of certain features held it out of contention for the top spots.
Despite the initial praise, the Aviator was a poor seller for Lincoln—with many hypothesizing that its all-too-familiar looks were to blame—and was quickly discontinued in August 2005. Originally, the Aviator was supposed to be on hiatus for the 2006 model year and reappear based on the CD3 platform the next year. However, Ford scrapped the Aviator name, and the car has been replaced by the Lincoln MKX mid-size crossover SUV, which was unveiled at the 2006 North American International Auto Show and went on sale in December 2006 as a 2007 model. Even though the Aviator only had a V8 engine, the MKX only has a V6, and in many ways such as towing and seating capacity, the MKX doesn't properly replace the Aviator. The Aviator was also sold alongside the Mercury Mountaineer, another clone of the Explorer which offered an identical equipment list to the Aviator.
The last Lincoln Aviator rolled off the assembly line on August 19, 2005
|Calendar Year||American sales|
- ↑ "Lincoln's derailed gravy train hitches to another car." Car and Driver, December 2002.
- ↑ "The Bradsher Bunch", Car and Driver, January 2003.
- ↑ "Ford's F-Series Truck Caps 22nd Year in a Row as America's Best-Selling Vehicle With a December Sales Record". Theautochannel.com. 2004-11-17. http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2004/01/05/175829.html. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
- ↑ "Ford Achieves First Car Sales Increase Since 1999". Theautochannel.com. 2004-11-17. http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2006/01/04/204860.html. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
- ↑ "Ford Motor Company 2007 sales". January 3, 2008. http://media.ford.com/article_download.cfm?article_id=27379.
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