Lincoln Aviator Lands In Miami; Mustang Mach 1 Sets The Pace At Ford 400 Race
Florida news media got their first up-close look at the all-new 2003-model Lincoln Aviator when it was unveiled here today during a drive program in advance of the South Florida International Auto Show.
Lincoln Brand Manager Mike Crowley and Lincoln Engineering Manager Graydon Reitz showed off the all-new Aviator. Lincoln Mercury Orlando Region Manager Pat Petroske also briefed the media with an overview from the local business perspective.
Aviator, the first midsize luxury sport utility vehicle from Lincoln, was designed to complement the Lincoln Navigator -- embracing Lincoln design cues such as satin nickel, American burl walnut wood, premium leather and white-light emitting-diode instrument lighting.
When media took the Aviators on the road, they also got a chance to put the new Ford Mustang Mach 1 through its paces, along with the 2003-model Lincoln LS and the 2002-model Ford Focus SVT.
Ford Division's Orlando Region Manager Jack Bennett pointed out that the two Mach 1s will serve as pace cars for the Ford 400 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 17.
Scott Clouthier, Ford Division District manager, said the Focus SVT will return in 2003 to attract new customers and the Mustang Mach 1 builds on the passion of Mustang enthusiasts across America.
"Florida has always been a hot market for Mustangs, " said Clouthier, "The Orlando Region accounts for about 10 percent of the nation's Mustang sales."
Jim Cain, Ford Division Public Affairs manager for cars, gave product "walk arounds" for the 2002-model Focus SVT and 2003-model Mustang Mach 1 -- pointing out noteworthy features.
The most visually arresting design cue on the 2003-model Mach 1 is the "shaker" scoop. The ram air scoop channels fresh air to the intake, increasing the breathing for improved power and torque. Heritage lives in the 2003-model Mustang Mach 1. In 1969, Mach 1 was one of three new Mustang models.
The smoked-glass appearance of the headlights is unique to the SVT Focus. Modifications to the SVT Focus exterior include 17-inch, five-spoke wheels, unique front and rear fascias with honeycomb grilles, distinctive rocker moldings and a small spoiler on the top of the hatch. The SVT Focus lineup adds a five-door hatchback version for 2003.
The 2003-model Lincoln LS rounded out the products highlighted at the media preview. More than 500 LS parts are new or redesigned -- for more horsepower and torque, improved refinement and greater comfort and convenience for the 2003-model. The original Lincoln LS brought world-class driving dynamics in a modern American luxury sedan when it was introduced in 1999 as a 2000 model. LS helped attract a new generation of affluent consumers to the Lincoln brand.
The Lincoln LS is one of four new Lincolns for the 2003-model year. A new Town car and Navigator were introduced in the spring. The all-new Aviator goes on sale in dealerships this fall. Lincoln Aviator is built at Ford Motor Company's St. Louis Assembly Plant. Lincoln LS is built at Wixom Assembly Plant; Mustangs are built at Dearborn Assembly Plant and Ford Focus is built at Wayne Assembly Plant, all located in Michigan.