After discovering the Aviator mark in the Patent and Trademark Office database, we reached out to an older source inside FoMoCo regarding the company’s position on whether the Lincoln Aviator will really come back from the dead, based on the new D6 platform. Our source couldn't tell us straightforward if this will surely come to fruition but we did get a 50-50 chance “no comment, but prepare to be taken by surprise.”
We didn’t forget to also ask about what’s in store for the New York Auto Show in April. After the 2015 Ford Edge-based MKX got its 15 minutes of fame at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this month, we have learned that “an all-new large sedan” will debut at NY, underpinned by an architecture that “won’t be FWD.”
Ring ring, we have a winner - it’s the 2016 Lincoln MKS sedan without any shadow of doubt.
Further details haven’t been shared, but from what we’ve learnt, we can tell the following: the rumored Continental nameplate may not return with this all-new MKS (sorry Neil Young and Pono Music), the mysterious D6/CD6 rear and all-wheel drive platform is highly probable to debut on this full-size sedan. Our hunch is that the MKS' sister model Ford Taurus will also adopt this skeleton for the 2016 model year.
In addition to these presumptions, a numer of reports hint towards an all-new 2.9-liter EcoBoost V6 engine codenamed Nano that will replace the 3.7 Ti-VCT. If we’re lucky, a detuned version of the 2017 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor’s all-new 3.5 EcoBoost V6 motor and its 10-speed automatic transmission will also be offered with the 2016 Lincoln MKS sedan, which is expected to hit North American showrooms late this year.
UPDATE: a story by Paul Lienert and Bernie Woodall for Reuters from October 2014 suggests that "a replacement for the MKS large sedan" is coming in "spring 2016." NYIAS is this coming April, not 2016. From my point of view, the authors are referring to the date the 2016 MKS sedan arrives at dealers.
The publication's own sources suggest that the first batch of D6 models are "due in 2019," Aviator included, which leads us to believe our FoMoCo insider was referring to a lengthened and widened Fusion / Mondeo architecture (dubbed CD4.3) and an exclusively all-wheel drive drivetrain ("not RWD"). As such, the 2017 Raptor's 10-speed auto and all-new twin-turbocharged 3.5 V6 EcoBoost are definitely out of the question.
Fingers crossed we'll get the real 2016 MKS at New York, not just a concept vehicle like Lincoln did with last year's MKX Concept unveiling in China. A lot is riding on the shoulders of the 2016 model year, mainly because it's the most popular and recognizable Lincoln branded model currently in production.
UPDATE 2: H/T to autoevolution reader Alexander Carabitses for this comment: "On the New York Auto Show's website, it shows that a new Lincoln vehicle will debut. What's very likely is for Lincoln to show a concept version of the next MKS." So there you have it, dear skeptics. It wasn't a bluff as most of you labeled this story. You're welcome.