Re: Lincoln Aviator Trademark Hints at a Posher 2016 Ford Explorer
Right now I have a very hard time accepting that Lincoln has an all-new RWD/AWD platform ready to go for the MKS/Continental in the next 2 years. That's a massively expensive undertaking and they simply don't have the funds or expertise unless Ford is doing it for them ahead of their own products (and we've seen no evidence of this product near). And the MKS has been seen muling on the Fusion platform for years now and the Taurus is about ready to launch. I'm still inclined to believe that the next MKS is what we expect it to be, a Taurus-based Lincoln, potentially with a more sophisticated AWD system that puts more power to the rear (but it's still a FWD platform and engine layout). Ultimately this is a non-crtical segment in the US but a big one in China. The premium SUV is a much bigger deal here.
Lincoln's timeline has placed new products at the end of the decade which is still quite distant, and with a small budget it's very likely that Ford will continue to be the lead developers on any Lincoln platforms.
But clearly the name Continental is being used to describe a large car, which is in the late stage of development. So I'm going to assume the MKS is going to be called Continental, at least in some markets or in some configuration (if not flat-out renamed). Lincoln's timeline does refer to a new MKS in a year (specifically by that name).
The Aviator will not be based on the current Explorer so we have a long wait on that one. It's also why we have an Explorer Platinum with many features previously treated as Lincoln exclusives in the US.