Lincoln will lift the wraps off its new luxury SUV later at the 2018 LA Auto Show.
After a long 13-year hiatus, the Lincoln Aviator is making a comeback. The three-row SUV is expected to go on sale next year as a 2020 model with an elegant design, luxurious interior, and, for the first time in a Lincoln model, an optional hybrid powertrain.
First previewed at this year's New York Auto Show, Lincoln has now confirmed it will be lifting the wraps off the all-new Aviator at the LA Auto Show on November 28. Details are still scarce, but the automaker has revealed a unique new feature that adds an additional air of luxury inside the cabin.
While the audio alert chimes in most cars are forgettable, the all-new Aviator will have a symphonic soundscape recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Unique orchestral chimes will inform the driver of everything from an open fuel door to an unlatched seat belt. Three levels of informational chimes: non-critical, soft-warning chimes, and hard-warning chimes will provide musical alerts for around 25 features in the vehicle.
"Aviator represents the true vision of the Lincoln brand," said Lincoln's design director, David Woodhouse. "With a look this striking, we needed to have sounds that matched the beauty of this vehicle."
"This is quite a departure for us – introducing music into the informational chime world," said Vehicle Engineering Supervisor, Jennifer Prescott. But we're always thinking about luxury, and this was a way to take Lincoln to an even higher level."
Initially, Lincoln was skeptical the musicians at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra would respond to the request to record music for the Aviator's in-car alerts. "I truly thought they'd think I was crazy," Prescott said. "But we wanted to make sure every detail in this vehicle was perfect."
"As the hometown orchestra of the Motor City, we were definitely interested when Lincoln contacted us about work that brought together music, cars and technology," Anne Parsons, president and CEO of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. "The DSO has historically valued the use of technology to increase access to classical music, from radio to recordings to the internet, and we are very excited about this new project."
Through multiple sessions, musicians from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra recorded several variations of the car's alerts. Selecting the right mix of sounds proved to be a daunting task, however. More than 125 options were initially recorded, which were then narrowed down to a single chime. The musicians then recorded chimes around that particular note that will be used in the all-new Aviator. The final selection is played by three renowned musicians from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra: Adrienne Rönmark, violin; Eric Nowlin, principal viola; and Joseph Becker, principal percussion.
"One of the really interesting parts of this is we're changing language into music," Becker said. "There's a list of words that they would like to convey, and we have a bunch of sounds, and we just have to experiment to have those two match up so that the experience is good for the driver."
Using natural sound alerts instead of digital will also enhance the in-car experience according to Becker. "I feel like we all have enough technology with our phones and our computers every day," he added. "People want to get away from that sometimes, so it's kind of nice to have actual instruments. I think the concept of incorporating it into the car in a different way is very cool."