Lincoln Aviator goes with GT instead of an ‘e’

2020 Aviator Grand Touring: Lincoln is emphasizing the plug-in’s performance.

LOS ANGELES — Lincoln Motor Co. isn’t following other brands’ lead when naming its upcoming plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Instead of using an unfamiliar acronym or attaching an “e,” it’s turning to history with a name made popular by European sports cars from the 1950s: Grand Touring.

Starting with the 2020 Aviator, on sale next summer, Lincoln will adopt the Grand Touring name for its electrified variants in an effort to emphasize their performance capabilities, prevent customer confusion and avoid any stigma associated with electric powertrains.

Officials from the brand, which recently killed its confusing “MK” naming convention in favor of actual words, such as Aviator and Nautilus, said they don’t want to confuse customers with an alphabet soup of letters or strange words that don’t directly say what the vehicle is. The Lincoln marketing teams spent countless hours debating what to call the vehicles before settling on Grand Touring, Robert Parker, the brand’s marketing chief, told Automotive News.

“Quite simply, it came down to, what does it do? And what it does is that it makes the vehicle more exciting to drive,” he said. “It’s the purest definition of Grand Touring.”

The Aviator Grand Touring will contain Lincoln’s most powerful powertrain. The electric motor paired with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine will generate 450 hp and 600 pound-feet of torque, a step up from the gasoline-only version’s ratings of 400 hp and 400 pound-feet of torque. Lincoln wants to make sure people know that distinction and don’t think of the electrified model as just an eco-friendly gas-sipper.

“When we do the research, rejecters of the technology are afraid they’re giving up power,” Lincoln President Joy Falotico said. “We took that very seriously.”



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