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All-New 2003 Lincoln Aviator Pricing Will Start at Under $40,000

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IRVINE, Calif., Aug. 26 Lincoln today announced that its all-new Aviator sport-utility vehicle (SUV) will be priced from $39,995 (manufacturer's suggested list price), which includes a destination charge of $740. The Lincoln Aviator will be on-sale in Lincoln dealerships nationwide beginning in October.

"Aviator brings Lincoln-luxury to the extremely popular and competitive mid-sized SUV segment," said Darryl Hazel, president, Lincoln Mercury. "Think of Aviator as a seven-eighths scale Navigator, and you get an idea of the design. Think of Aviator as a Lincoln, and you get an idea of the level of luxury and value this vehicle brings to the market."

Aviator will be priced from: Rear-wheel drive, Luxury trim: $39,995 All-wheel drive, Luxury trim: $42,915 Rear-wheel drive, Premium trim: $42,945 All-wheel drive, Premium trim: $45,865 (Note: all prices include $740 delivery and destination charge) All Aviators include, as standard, an aluminum 4.6-liter V8 engine producing a best-in-class 302-horsepower, a five-speed automatic transmission, an AM/FM/Cassette/CD sound system, leather-trimmed seats, fold-flat-to-the- floor third-row seating and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Premium trim adds unique 17-inch seven-spoke machined aluminum wheels, high-intensity discharge headlights, heated and cooled seats and an in-dash six-CD changer. Options on all models will include a power moonroof ($1,515), rear-seat DVD entertainment system ($1,295) and a class III towing package rated for 7,300-pounds ($295).

The fastest-growing segment of the luxury auto market is represented by premium SUVs. With the Navigator -- launched earlier this year -- and the all-new Aviator, Lincoln now has two vehicles in this market. Premium SUV sales growth has been extraordinary: a ten-fold increase between 1996 and 2001, to more than 350,000 units. Three-quarters of those sales were in the mid-size segment, where Aviator will compete.

Aviator will attract customers to Lincoln who may never before have considered one of the company's products. Nearly 85 percent of Aviator customers are expected to be new to the brand, with fully half of those customers new to any Ford Motor Company vehicle.

Lincoln expects to sell approximately 30,000 Aviators in the first full model year of production.

Lincoln, based in Irvine, Calif., is introducing a series of new products throughout 2002 that will transform the company's retail showrooms. Already introduced are the redesigned Navigator and new Town Car. Coming soon is an updated LS sports sedan.