Gearhead News

August 3, 2021
Lincoln Aviator Shinola Concept Is Detroit Luxury Writ Large

The Lincoln Aviator is a well-known luxury SUV in the midsize segment. With a cavalcade of comfort features and door chimes composed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, it’s a statement of American quality and refinement. In much the same way, Shinola represents similar values when it comes to its line of luxury watches, bicycles, and other lifestyle goods. With both brands based in Detroit, Michigan, it only makes sense that they’d one day work together. The time has now come, with the two companies teaming up to build the predictably-named Lincoln Aviator Shinola Concept.

The concept aimed to take the aesthetic and design features of the Shinola brand, and apply them to the Lincoln Aviator. In that vein, the exterior is inspired by the mother of pearl watch dials from Shinola’s luxury timepieces. Where you might typically expect chrome, however, you’ll find copper trim, a nod to the Shinola Runwell bicycle that features similar detailing around its seat. It’s a style that looks cutting-edge and classically beautiful at the same time. The rose-gold hue makes for a particularly impressive grille treatment, too, set against the silver Lincoln logo which sits proud front and center. 

Lincoln

The interior is upholstered in Shinola whiskey leather, with the rich brown material contrasted with crème suede inserts for a classic-yet-modern look. Each seat bears a stripe down the center, cribbed from the Shinola design language and accented blue in a nod to Lincoln’s favored color palette. Liam Butler, Lincoln’s color and material designer, notes that this was a particular pride point, stating “This stripe is unlike anything I’ve ever seen sewn into a vehicle, so we wanted to make sure it was done with care.”

Lincoln

The concept overall aims to hit on the rich, warm aesthetic of the Shinola label, developed from 2011 using branding from what was originally a 19th-century shoe polish manufacturer. The modern company was originally founded to produce American-made watches to rival Swiss competition. Based in Detroit, Shinola employ many former autoworkers and are based in what was once an automotive research lab in the Alfred A. Taubman building, making them all the more suited to a link-up with a company like Lincoln. 

Photos pair the Lincoln SUV with a variety of Shinola pieces, from watches to duffle bags. One could imagine the crossover being sold with a set of matching luggage and accessories to complete the look. A bespoke Shinola watch bearing the Aviator branding wouldn’t be out of the question, either. Naturally, the images also feature the vehicle parked in a hanger at dusk and with a private jet in the background, reinforcing the connection with the Aviator name. 

The collaboration will be on show at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance later in August, with events returning after last year’s raft of cancellations. The tribute to Detroit luxury will be standing amongst some of the most esteemed metal you’ll ever see at a car show. While the vehicle is strictly a concept, it seems more than possible that it could enter production if demand was high enough. Lincoln will likely be gauging audience reaction closely at the event.

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