As its primary competitors filled their model lines with crossover SUVs, Cadillac stood still as a result of shoddy product planning. The turn of events has brought the luxury brand to where it is today: Cadillac will be the last luxury automaker to add a three-row CUV – the upcoming Cadillac XT6 – to its lineup. In fact, even Ford will beat GM to the punch in offering a three-row luxury crossover – the upcoming Lincoln Aviator, which our sister site – Ford Authority – just caught undergoing testing with minimal camouflage.
The 2020 Lincoln Aviator will ride on an all-new, rear-drive platform as it takes on the front-drive-based Cadillac XT6, along with other “midsize plus” luxury CUVs with three rows – the Audi Q7, Volvo XC90, Infiniti QX60, Acura MDX and Lexus RX350L.
Though the Lincoln Aviator Concept – introduced earlier this year at the New York Auto Show – looked great, this validation prototype appears to have toned down the styling for production. Though the design is nothing to write home about, a softer approach seems to be part of Lincoln’s design direction.
These new Lincoln Aviator spy pictures also show production-intent grille, traditional door handles (unlike those on the Continental), as well as a familiar lighting theme and Lincoln design cues.
The new Lincoln Aviator is widely expected to debut this week at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. It is expected to go on sale in the 2019 calendar year as a 2020 model.
Notably, the Aviator will be the only vehicle based on a rear-drive platform with a longitudinal engine orientation. Meanwhile, Cadillac XT6 will be based on GM’s extended-length C1 platform, which is a front-drive architecture with a transverse powertrain placement that’s also capable of supporting all-wheel-drive. The C1 long platform is most directly shared with the Chevy Traverse and Buck Enclave.