“The Aviator represents the very best of our brand DNA,” says Joy Falotico, president of Lincoln Motor Company, “and signals the direction for Lincoln vehicles going forward.” Falotico could not be more accurate in her description. While the Aviator’s larger sibling, the Navigator, is certainly impressive, the Aviator is groundbreaking. Designed for electrification from the very beginning, the Aviator Grand Touring features an electric motor paired with a gasoline 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine, which, when combined, generate some 600 lb.-ft. of torque and 450 horsepower—figures that will easily make the Aviator a class leader.

The vehicle’s powertrain features “Lincoln’s most advanced hybrid technology,” adds John Davis, the Aviator’s chief program engineer. “Together with the standard twin-turbocharged gas engine and advanced electrifified Grand Touring technology, Aviator is set to defifine effortless performance.” Seven drive modes make it easy to dial in the exact characteristics that you desire, from Normal mode to Excite and Pure EV, which uses only the Aviator’s electric motors for an estimated 30- mile range before needing a recharge.

The Aviator’s dramatic lines come to life at a 2.8-million-square-foot Assembly Plant on the Southeast Side of Chicago. Lincoln Design Director David Woodhouse was inspired by the allure of flight for the Aviator’s design: “The connotations of flight are intrinsic in the lines of the Aviator,” he says. “You have the stature and presence of the grille at the front, then the body and tail taper off—creating a distinct aerofoil analogy.” The Aviator’s form is bold yet elegant; its stance is wide and purposeful, dominated up front by a unique Lincoln grille with a chrome surround and an illuminated Lincoln logo placed front and center. Woodhouse’s Aviator design demonstrates his view that “luxury is about creating something you didn’t know was possible. It requires a certain degree of mystery, seduction and allure—factors that are decidedly in play with the Aviator.”

Inside, the Aviator epitomizes Lincoln’s commitment to “quiet flight,” the notion of your vehicle being a beautifully crafted sanctuary. The Aviator’s Black Label themes elevate the idea to new heights with specially curated designer themes including Flight, Chalet and Destination. In Flight theme, the Aviator interior includes bright engine-turned-aluminum appliqués that recall the finish of early aviation instrument panels, while minimally processed tan leather seats look as supple as they feel. Available 30-way adjustable Perfect Position seats with stress- relieving massages should make long journeys feel considerably shorter, while an available 28-speaker Revel Ultima 3D audio system will immerse you in concert-quality sound.

The Aviator incorporates a slew of groundbreaking features that has raised the bar for the competition. Phone as a Key functions just as it sounds and allows you to effortlessly loan your Aviator to a friend. There’s also a new Adaptive suspension system, which uses a forward camera to constantly scan the road ahead to adjust the suspension to any road irregularities, thereby smoothing out any rough patches. For Falotico, the Aviator “arrives at this perfect intersection—where strength and beauty meet performance and technology.” The $51,100 Aviator is an example of American engineering and design at its finest.