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Lincoln Aviator SUV lands in New York with powerful plug-in hybrid powertrain

It's a pre-production concept of an all-new three-row SUV arriving next year

Lincoln has brought back the Aviator nameplate in the form of a three-row, rear-wheel-drive SUV with plug-in hybrid propulsion.

Unveiled at the New York Auto Show, the Aviator is said to offer a preview not only of the upcoming production model but also of Lincoln's future lineup which will feature an increasing number of utility vehicles and electrified models.

The Aviator will slot below the Navigator in Lincoln's lineup, entering the medium luxury SUV segment that now makes up more than a quarter of all premium SUV sales. Styling-wise, the Aviator features elegant, flowing lines, as well as striking details such as the signature Lincoln grille with high-gloss black and chrome accents. It also sports aeronautical-inspired cues such as the Flight Blue exterior color, wraparound windshield, and alloy wheels in turbine design.

The main attraction point is the Aviator's spacious, airy cabin, however, that puts emphasis on horizontal lines and harmoniously combines materials such as Shearling Beige and Lunar Gray leather, machine-turn aluminum trim brushed in small circles, and piano black wood.

Interior highlights include a newly-designed multifunction steering wheel, Perfect Position seats with 30-way adjustability and massage capability, as well as flexible second-row seats that can recline and slide forward for easy access to the third row.

Connectivity-wise, the Aviator offers wireless phone charging in the front armrest, multiple power outlets, and standard Wi-Fi. The new SUV will also mark the introduction of Lincoln's Phone as a Key technology which allows users to use their smartphone as a key. Owners can activate the function through the Lincoln Way app, allowing them to lock and unlock, open the trunk as well as start and drive the vehicle — all without the need for a key fob.

Lincoln wasn't too generous with the Aviator's specs. We only know that it's based on a rear-wheel-drive platform which allows for a long wheelbase and that it features a twin-turbocharged engine paired to the brand's first plug-in hybrid technology making it "mightier than many supercars on the road today." The platform is most likely shared with the upcoming Ford Explorer.

Lincoln says the Aviator will deliver the brand's quietest, smoothest, most powerful drive yet. That will also be due to systems such as Lincoln Drive modes, Suspension Preview Technology (adjusts the suspension for upcoming road conditions), and the Lincoln Co-Pilot360 bundle of driver-assist technologies.

READ MORE: 2019 Lincoln Nautilus is another fresh SUV from Ford's luxury brand

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