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Lincoln Aviator shown in Zephyr shot

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Ford has released the first shot of the 2007 Lincoln Aviator ahead of the new Aviator's launch next year. The Aviator - along with the mechanically similar Mazda CX-7 and Ford Edge crossovers - will join the luxury lineup next year as an '07 model. Ford plans a big Detroit auto show unveiling for the Aviator, which is aimed squarely at the likes of the Lexus RX and Nissan Murano. Though not confirmed by Ford, a 245-hp V-6 and all-wheel drive are the likely powertrain for the ritziest Aviators. Stay tuned to TCC for more pictures of the Aviator - and for previews of the Detroit auto show during the holiday season.

http://common.weblogsinc.com/common/images...701972093928214

If that's the production version, I think it looks great. But then, of course, this Zephyr looks unusually good:

http://common.weblogsinc.com/common/images...124599383742007
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Better article:

Posted Image

Lincoln carves out new future

Ford hopes bold design reinvents luxury brand

By Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News



NEW YORK -- With the launch of the Lincoln Zephyr sedan and the unveiling of the new Lincoln Aviator crossover, Ford Motor Co. has begun a reinvention of its luxury marque that is all about capturing the spirit of American achievement and optimism, albeit with an assist from a British designer and Japanese engineering.

Lincoln was once the best-selling luxury brand in the United States but has seen its sales decline amid the resurgence of General Motors Corp.'s Cadillac brand and fast-growing foreign brands.

Ford has struggled to make Lincoln relevant again but with little success. So far this year, Lincoln sales have fallen 10 percent.

"We've kind of lost our way," said Elena Ford, the company's director of North American product marketing, planning and strategy. "Product is always what brings you back."

The person in charge of designing that product is Peter Horbury, Ford's executive director of design and the man credited with giving Volvo its new strong-shouldered look.

Elena Ford -- great-great-granddaughter of Henry Ford and cousin of Ford Chairman Bill Ford Jr. -- said she is counting on the British-born designer to work the same magic with Lincoln.

The first step, Horbury said, was figuring out what Lincoln means as a brand. "I think first and foremost, it's American," he said.

To Horbury, that means optimism and achievement, Andrew Carnegie and Thomas Edison, the Empire State Building and the Golden Gate Bridge.

"I have to find a way of translating all these positive qualities of America into sheet metal," he said, adding that the new Aviator is a good start.

Horbury said the current Aviator -- like other SUVs with their high seats and long hoods -- evokes the Conestoga wagon and the stagecoach. He said the future Aviator was designed to conjure images of fighter jocks, poised for takeoff on the deck of an aircraft carrier.

Elena Ford admits all this talk about Americana can sound a little strange in a British accent, but she said the fact that Horbury is not American actually gives him a unique ability to distill the essence of this country and its culture.

"He sees things differently than we do," she said. "He got on this whole American Dream thing with me the other day. I'm like, 'I get it, I get it.'"

Officially, the Zephyr inaugurates Lincoln's new look and the Aviator underlines it.

Taken together, Horbury said, they point the way to Lincoln's future -- smaller, sleeker and more fuel-efficient. Horbury offers measured praise for the Zephyr, whose design was all but finished when he was asked to begin Lincoln's makeover 20 months ago. He's more enthusiastic about the Aviator, which he was able to put his imprint on.

Lincoln also has promised two new large sedans will be coming in the future. The new Aviator bears little resemblance to the current version -- a big, boxy SUV built on the same platform as the Ford Explorer. It's a curvy crossover based on the Japanese-built Mazda6.

Horbury said it was designed to capture the spirit of the "memorable Lincolns of old" in a thoroughly modern package.

The 2007 model will officially be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January and is expected to be in dealer showrooms next fall.

The Aviator breaks with many of Lincoln's styling cues, which Horbury found too restrictive.

"America is nothing if not diverse," Horbury said, adding that he wants to mirror that in his designs. "I don't see the reason why we have to keep the same design on every car."

He also wants to see Lincoln move into new market sectors.

"What's to say that's the smallest Lincoln of all?" Horbury asked, pointing to the Zephyr. "The design department is deeply involved, not just in how the vehicle should look, but in what the vehicle should be."

With the Zephyr shipping in volume and the introduction of the new Aviator, 2006 promises to be a big year for Lincoln.

"Next year is our growth year," said Lincoln Mercury President Al Giombetti.


http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0.../C01-362805.htm
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Horbury's work is impressive, IMO. His interpretation of Swedish and American design was brilliant... I loved the Fairlane concept. GM's Mauer was on a roll, too, with Saab; too bad he moved on to Porsche.
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This is bad.

[post="35020"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

could you elaborate or clarify?
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It looks decent, but I'm disappointed they couldn't keep it closer to the sexy concept. I really don't like the door handles though...those kind of handles look so bad on cars...I don't understand why everybody is using them. The chrome finishes and details are what made the concept so great...that has been lost somewhat in the production version.

Posted Image

VS.

Posted Image
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could you elaborate or clarify?

[post="35031"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



Simple - Ford is in deep financial trouble. Probably, worse then they are leading on. Lincoln is relagated to getting rebadged Fords with minor alteration because they do not have the money to make a serious attempt. I have doubts as to the long term viability of Ford, with out a full blown restructuring. This vehicle is a key indication to the troubles at Ford NA operations.
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I love the looks of it. It's sleek, and sexy, and as with the Zephyr, I'm sure the front will be all Lincoln. Infact, I think it's supposed to have a grill like the Conepts, to be used on the next Navigator too. I like the wheels, profile, everything. I agree, though, that little touches like chrome handles could have made this car even better. I love the wheels, and I'm sure they'll be for production. This whole pic (with the Zephyr) looks like a glossy promotional piece. I'd buy this over the RX anyday.
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Simple - Ford is in deep financial trouble.  Probably, worse then they are leading on.  Lincoln is relagated to getting rebadged Fords with minor alteration because they do not have the money to make a serious attempt.  I have doubts as to the long term viability of Ford, with out a full blown restructuring.  This vehicle is a key indication to the troubles at Ford NA operations.

[post="35038"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Something tells me you were referring to the fact that Lincoln got yet another rebadge, instead of dedicated product. I agree with you, on most points. I do however, think that the next few years will be far more telling than what we see now. We know the Zephyr is here, and the Aviator's around the corner. In a few more years, the E385 and E386 comes out. Those, along with the next Navigator will provide Lincoln with a full lineup (except a coupe) in very rapid order. If this new design theme is not well recieved, and Ford's finances don't improve so that Lincoln can have a dedicated line in the future, it may be Ford's demise. I understand that they're doing what they're doing now... as with GM, they're resources are stretched razor thin. I'm just happy to see Lincoln gettting new product, and atleast the Aviator won't have a Mercury clone right next to it in the showroom, as the Zephyr will have with the Milan.
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While it's a shame more of the concept did not make it into production I completely understand why. Overall, from this one picture, I think it looks classy but I still need to see the front and interior. I agree that small details like chrome on the door handles would spruce it up a bit. BTW, those door handles are used on many cars because they're more ergonomic than the ones you lift up. I'm scared that the 245HP engine is being reserved for the most upscale Aviators. Is the engine currently used in the rest of Ford's car lineup the downsized option? While they may be more fuel efficient than a 300HP engine they don't scream luxury and power.
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Milan will not hurt Zephyr. Zephyr's interior design will hurt Zephyr.
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  I understand that they're doing what they're doing now... as with GM, they're resources are stretched razor thin. 

[post="35042"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



As do I and that is why Ford is ripe for a shake up - Band aids won't patch holes for long in a sinking ship.

Products like this are sure signs of desperation. Edited by evok
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It's bad because it doesn't even look like a lincoln. If you shaved the emblems off, would any non-car enthusiast even be able to tell what make of car it is? Even my Grandmother can identify a Cadillac or Mercedes.
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I guess the part Ford fails on repeatedly is that this isn't the 60-90's anymore. No one wants to pay luxury prices for designs that belong on a plebian vehicle. The majority of appeal for luxury marks is exlusivity. If the design isn't exclusive... it isn't luxury...
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Well, I like it NOW.....especially the horizontal taillight/reflector treatment along the back below the glass.... BUT if the Ford and Mazda come out styled too closely to this Aviator, that will take alot of the enthusiasm away from me..... That's what I don't like about the Zephyr. The front end treatment is distinctive, but from the A-pillar back, it's just another Fusion (pretty much.)
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I don't think the Lambdas and RX have that much to worry about. Edited by CSpec
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Well, I like it NOW.....especially the horizontal taillight/reflector treatment along the back below the glass....

BUT if the Ford and Mazda come out styled too closely to this Aviator, that will take alot of the enthusiasm away from me.....

That's what I don't like about the Zephyr.  The front end treatment is distinctive, but from the A-pillar back, it's just another Fusion (pretty much.)

[post="35105"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



You surprise me with this one.

To answer your question, take a look at the Ford.

http://forum.thecarconnection.com/attachme...ttachmentid=245
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That's the camoed SUV crossover I saw testing here the other night! I saw it driving along Sunset late at night, around 2 probably on a weekday and I couldn't figure out which carmaker had a full horizontal strip for taillights, which were visible when they were using the brakes only. The fact that it was smaller and had the full width taillights ruled out any Lambdas for me, but now I know, it was this. I agree the concept looked nicer, I think it's time for risks like those shown on the concept to be taken....That Ford evok linked to is disgusting though; that grille and headlight design won't do too well for Ford.
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Though not confirmed by Ford, a 245-hp V-6 and all-wheel drive are the likely powertrain for the ritziest Aviators


So the high-end Aviators only get 245hp? The base Outlook (a Saturn) gets the 3.6 so that means at least 245 is not 250 standard.

Who would have thought the day would come when Saturns would outpower Lincolns and probably kick their ass at everything else? My how times have changed.

As for the Aviator... it's not bad, but nothing about it makes me want one either, it's just bland.
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You surprise me with this one.

To answer your question, take a look at the Ford.

http://forum.thecarconnection.com/attachme...ttachmentid=245

[post="35138"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Well, they're not bad.......I kinda like them, especially the Ford front end.....

:huh:

I don't like the fact that the Lincoln is just another rebadge though.....

New GM crossovers will only make things tougher for Ford though.....wonder what the difference in size is between the GM and FOMOCO entries..?
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I think the Lambdas are quite a bit bigger... like 195+ inches, while the Ford's are smaller than the Freestyle (I think).
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Untill Jaguar is made into a profitable unit or sold/killed there will be no real money for Lincoln.
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Milan will not hurt Zephyr.  Zephyr's interior design will hurt Zephyr.

[post="35055"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Did you see it in person?
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