High-Tech Problem Solvers

2020 Lincoln Aviator includes company’s first pothole preview technology

The 2020 Lincoln Aviator is using technology to keep the ride smooth for passengers.

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Co.

The dips and bends of daily driving can make or break the ride experience. Lincoln is aiming to provide a luxurious journey in the 2020 Lincoln Aviator.

The automaker's new adaptive suspension technology uses 12 sensors to monitor the Aviator's motion, body movement, steering, acceleration and braking activities. It reads the road at 500 times per second and can adjust the vehicle up to 100 times per second.

"The system in Aviator is so advanced that its sensors speed-read the road ahead and adjust the system faster than a blink of an eye, with more than 23,000 inputs of data per second," said David Russell, vehicle dynamics technical specialist, Lincoln Motor Company.

All-New Lincoln Aviator: Air Glide Suspension and Adaptive Suspension with Road Preview | Lincolnwww.youtube.com

How does it work? The system senses when a wheel is dropping and it stiffens the shock absorber to lessen the harshness of the tire strike. Because each wheel has its own controls, they work independently only changing to amount needed for the terrain each wheel will be experiencing.

The company has also developed Road Preview, a technology that "sees" the road ahead and pairs with the Adaptive Suspension via the SUV's forward-facing camera. That camera reads the surface 50 feet ahead and can spot speed bumps, frost heaves, and additional height deviations between two and eight inches.

The 2020 Lincoln Aviator is now on sale. It start at $51,100 and when fully equipped sits at right around $90,000. All models are assessed a $1,095 destination and delivery fee.

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Lincoln will not make a performance variant to compete with Cadillac.

Lincoln

TheLincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade have been duking it out at the top of luxury SUV rankings for decades, but there’s one area of the Caddy’s development that Lincoln won’t touch. In a recent interview, a company executive told Ford Authority that it has no plans to create a performance variant of the Navigator to compete with the upcoming Escalade V from Cadillac.

2022 Lincoln NavigatorThe new Navigator features several upscale touches and excellent tech. Lincoln

That means the Navigator will stick with the powertrain it’s carried for years, which is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that makes 440 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a smooth ten-speed automatic and either rear- or four-wheel drive. While there’s more than enough power to get the hulking Lincoln moving, it’s not a powertrain that inspires excitement or engagement, and though beefy, it’s tuned much more for comfort and quietness than drama.

Though more than adequate, those specs are a far cry from the numbers we expect from the Escalade V. The full-size bruiser from Cadillac is expected to get a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, similar to the unit seen in the CT5-V Blackwing and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. We don’t know power numbers yet, but the engine should deliver horsepower and torque numbers in the high 600s.

Cadillac Escalade VThe Escalade V will be massively powerful. Cadillac

That Lincoln is taking a different approach isn’t surprising. The automaker has already announced its intention to go all-electric, so pouring more time and resources into creating a performance gas-powered SUV isn’t in line with its goals. Company executives have also expressed a desire to avoid imitating rivals, so the decision to leave a performance Navigator behind is not surprising.

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New luxury EV

Lexus announces all-electric RZ 450e

Lexus just announced the new RZ 450e

Lexus

Lexus and Toyota have finally jumped onto the EV train, and we’ll soon see new all-electric SUVs from both. The Lexus variant, named RZ 450e, features a reasonable range, upscale interior, and neat all-wheel drive technology. We don’t have firm pricing for the Lexus, but expect it to start in the mid-to-high $40,000 range.

2023 Lexus RZRange is expected to reach 225 miles per chage. Lexus

The RZ shares a platform and much of its underlying engineering with the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, but will take a more upscale approach. Though its size and overall shape are similar to the others, the Lexus’ exterior styling is sharper and sportier, with functional aerodynamic bodywork. A new Lexus logo is spelled out on the rear gate, instead of the traditional “L” of previous models.

The SUV comes with a 71.4-kWh battery that should deliver a range of around 225 miles on a charge. All-wheel drive is standard, and uses the RZ’s dual electric motors to shift power between the wheels that need it most.

Inside, the RZ features a minimalist, open space with controls meant to remind drivers of a horse’s reins. Ultrasuede upholstery and woodgrain trim come standard. Lexus notes the RZ’s head-up display is controllable via steering wheel-mounted buttons that handle navigation, audio, and other functions.

2023 Lexus RZThough similar to the Toyota bZ4X inside, the Lexus IS more upscale and minimalist. Lexus

Speaking of the steering wheel, the first RZs will be available with a round wheel only, but later on, Lexus will offer a yoke-style wheel like the one seen in the Toyota bZ4X concept and Tesla’s Plaid models.

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