Could Aviator, Not Continental, Begin the End of Lincoln's Alphabet Soup Naming Scheme?

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
could aviator not continental begin the end of lincoln s alphabet soup naming

Updated with statement from Lincoln at bottom.

If rumors prove true, Lincoln could end its love affair with MK alphabet soup names with a new Aviator based upon the new Ford Explorer.

According to a second-hand source, TTAC has been told Ford engineers are working on a project internally called ‘Aviator’ based on the new Explorer. The source also stated there will not be a next-generation Ford Flex and will kill off the Lincoln MKT in the process.

A switch to the Aviator name, supported by recent trademark filings for the name, could be the first in many name changes at Lincoln. In April, Ford President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs said he was “ very excited about the Continental name and the attention it’s gotten.” However, it could be the Aviator – not the Continental – to get the name change ball rolling.

In addition to the Aviator information, our source also stated the next Expedition and Navigator would get the 10-speed automatic transmission and an all aluminum body, making the full-size SUVs more efficient and lighter than their key competitors at General Motors.

In an email, Stéphane Cesareo, spokesman for Lincoln, said, “We do not comment on speculation. MKT continues to be present in our lineup, with a new model in 2015. By 2020, we expect to expand the segments that we participate in by adding two new nameplates to the Lincoln brand. We have not provided any indications about the products or their names.”

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6 of 67 comments
  • Jeff S Jeff S on Jun 04, 2015

    Instead of Aviator how about the Lincoln Avatar. That would be a name to remember and it would be a fresh start for Lincoln in the 21st century.

    • APaGttH APaGttH on Jun 04, 2015

      Aviator was already used by Lincoln, and it was a flop - the only thing that makes it fresh is that it is largely forgotten, like the Blackwood pickup truck.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Jun 05, 2015

    For a start these vehicles need to look different. Why can't the US design large and beautiful SUVs? The best looking pickup truck based SUVs are the Tahoes. Even then those animated grilles do look out of place. This thing, the Aviator, looks like a Skoda Superb and a F-150 had a big night out without any protection. As for naming conventions, Ford uses "E" for it's SUVs an CUVs, with one exception, the Ford Territory. "A" isn't the best letter to use, unless you could call it the Lincoln Abortion. But, it appears the Skoda and F-150 made it. Also, Lincoln doesn't sound very good. Ford names like Mercury had a ring to it. Ford should kill off the Lincoln name and just use Ford. I would call this call this retro, old tech Lincoln Aviator, the "Ford F-150 Estate Ghia". But,this sounds like a boardroom name. Better still call it the, "Ford Badacz". Check out what "badacz" means in Polish. I do think this is butt fugly. Why would you buy one, when a 200 Series Landcrusier or Range Rover are far better vehicles? I suppose it's only real NA competition is the overpriced Silverado Estate sold as a Caddy Escalade. Another stupid name. Landcruiser even sounds the part, just as Range Rover does.......Aviator, WTF are Ford (Lincoln) thinking?

    • STS_Endeavour STS_Endeavour on Jun 06, 2015

      Not long ago, Lincoln made a variant of the Explorer called the Aviator. They are simply doing that again, and calling it the same thing. The picture displays the generation 1 Aviator. An adequate product for its day. I expect the new Aviator to be an adequate product as well. Lincoln doesn't need to be killed off... It needs to be consolidated into just one (and maybe the MKZ as an also ran) special, great vehicle. Everything else seems to be classified as 'really posh Fords' Not bad per se, but not worthy of the Lincoln name.

  • Smapdi Smapdi on Jun 06, 2015

    I break the trend of lincoln bashing in that I both like the MK naming AND the style of the sedans (the style DOES NOT transfer to SUV's though... ugh). I would hope they at least keep the MK moniker as maybe a high end or performance variation of each model.

  • 05lgt 05lgt on Jun 07, 2015

    It's not about the names. Demanding a price premium over a comparable ford when the ford is at least as available with the same stuff.... Not going to be many takers and the pool will shrink. If they want the badge to mean something special, it has to in some way BE SPECIAL.