2020 Lincoln Aviator adaptive suspension scans the road for potholes

Lincoln is trying to move on from selling gussied-up Fords to making genuine luxury vehicles, so it’s focusing on one of the most important aspects of a luxury car: Ride quality. Lincoln’s new adaptive suspension system, debuting in the 2020 Aviator SUV, is one of the most sophisticated the brand has ever offered. It’s so smart, it can scan the road ahead for potholes and bumps and adjust settings accordingly.

The Aviator boasts an adaptive suspension system with optional air springs, which isn’t unusual in the luxury segment these days. The system relies on 12 sensors to monitor things like body motion, acceleration, and braking, as well as road conditions. They take readings 500 times per second and adjust suspension settings up to 100 times per second, according to Lincoln.

The way the Aviator’s suspension system uses data is what sets it apart. A “pothole mitigation” feature detects when a wheel is about to hit a pothole, and stiffens the shock absorber on that wheel to limit the distance it drops into the hole. That, in turn, lessens the severity of the impact.

The Aviator also gets a feature called “road preview,” which uses a front-facing camera mounted near the top of the windshield to read the road surface. It can scan nearly 50 feet ahead, detecting speed bumps, frost heaves, and other undulations between 2.0 inches and 8.0 inches in height, according to Lincoln. It then adjusts the suspension in order to keep the ride as smooth as possible, Lincoln claims.

Like other vehicles equipped with air springs, the Aviator can kneel while stationary — like a bus — to make entry/exit or the loading and unloading of cargo easier. At speeds above 70 mph, the Aviator hunkers down in “aero height” to improve aerodynamic efficiency. It’s unlikely that the average Aviator owner will take their vehicle off road, but the SUV does have a “deep conditions” mode that jacks up the ride height to clear obstacles.

The 2020 Lincoln Aviator shares a basic platform with the 2020 Ford Explorer, but Lincoln is working hard to differentiate it from the Ford. In addition to the adaptive suspension system, the Aviator also gets a model-specific plug-in hybrid powertrain making 450 horsepower, as well as a more upscale interior. As with the 2020 Lincoln Navigator, Aviator drivers can also use a smartphone in place of a traditional key fob. The 2020 Lincoln Aviator goes on sale later this summer, with pricing to be announced closer to launch.


BMW shows us how advanced tech help make you a better driver

We wanted to understand how the alphabet soup of safety system acronyms in a modern car work together to keep the driver in control. To learn how it all works, we went to a place where we could safely take a car well past the edge of…

Discover the engineering Easter eggs in the new 2020 Ford Explorer

The 2020 Ford Explorer received a ground-up overhaul, with major changes that include a new hybrid powertrain option. But even the engineering details of the new Explorer are worth checking out.

The best family cars you can buy combine practicality, tech, driving pleasure

The perfect family car should exude value, without sacrificing practicality. Thankfully, there are a host of family cars that do just that, including a three-row SUV and one of the best stations wagons ever built.
Product Review

This Porsche has a turbo, a hybrid system, and enough room for your whole family

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid is the most powerful Porsche Cayenne SUV model you can buy. It’s also a plug-in hybrid. Who said electrification was only about saving fuel?

This 717-horsepower Dodge Charger is the ultimate family sedan

The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat gets a 10-horsepower boost, but only for a limited-edition model. The special Charger commemorates the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona -- one of the wildest American muscle cars.

2020 Honda Civic hatchback keeps the manual-transmission faith

The 2020 Honda Civic hatchback was treated to a subtle exterior facelift. Honda also expanded the availability of both the manual transmission and 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

2019 Audi E-Tron is the first electric car to earn top IIHS safety rating

The 2019 Audi E-Tron is the first electric car to earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating. But the IIHS hasn't tested the Audi's two main rivals -- the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X.

UPS partners with TuSimple to test self-driving semi-trucks

UPS has been carrying truckloads of goods in self-driving semi-trucks since May. The vehicles are being tested in Arizona routes between Phoenix and Tucson for better service and efficiency for UPS delivery.

Vintage Electric readies the Roadster Speed Merchant, a souped-up ebike

Vintage Electric introduced the latest in its line of retro-styled premium performance ebikes for fall 2019. The Vintage Roadster gets styling cues from board track racing motorcycles and its power from a 1,123-watt battery.

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are some of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.

Infiniti’s Formula One-inspired Project Black S may enter production

The Infiniti Project Black S is a Q60 luxury coupe enhanced with a Formula One-inspired hybrid powertrain. The 563-horsepower car can sprint from zero to 62 mph in under four seconds, according to Infiniti.

Toyota raises the curtain on 2020 Corolla Nightshade Editions

The 2020 Toyota Corolla SE sedan and hatchback with a CVT (continuously variable transmission) will be available in Nightshade Editions, joining the Toyota 4Runner, Camry, Highlander, and Sienna with the blacked-out trim style option.

Here’s why your Uber or Lyft car always seems to be a Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry is one of the most popular cars sold in the United States, and not just with retail buyers. Uber and Lyft drivers love the Camry for its reliability, according to a new report.

The electric Volkswagen ID Buggy makes even Ferrari drivers stop and stare

Volkswagen traveled to the 2019 Geneva Auto Show to introduce an electric dune buggy named ID Buggy, and Digital Trends drove it in California. It's a modern-day tribute to the 1960s Meyers Manx.