Lincoln to Use 'Grand Touring' Moniker to Make Hybrids Sound Cool

It will start with the 2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring which will make 450 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque.

TYLER GOURLEY/Lincoln

Continuing its rebellion against alphanumeric nomenclature in luxury vehicles, Lincoln will continue using words instead of letters or numbers to distinguish its models. Its latest move is to give the name “Grand Touring” to its upcoming plug-in hybrid models rather than just slapping “Hybrid” or an “e” at the end like many of its competitors.

The first example will be the 2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring. Its hybrid 3.0-liter twin turbo V-6 will make 450 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque while its non-hybrid variant will be good for 400 hp and 400 pound-feet of twist. The idea is to use the “Grand Touring” name to give a little more prestige to Lincoln’s vehicles and move them further upmarket, an ethos that has been working extremely well for the Navigator.

Lincoln’s marketing chief Robert Parker told Automotive News that to put a GT label on a hybrid is “the purest definition of Grand Touring” because the hybrid drivetrain “makes the vehicle more exciting to drive.” It appears as if Lincoln is focusing on the performance benefits of its future hybrids rather than just the green benefits.

According to Lincoln, there’s still a stigma out there that implies you’re sacrificing performance if you go with a hybrid. Lincoln President Joy Falotico told Automotive News that drivers are “afraid they’re giving up power” in exchange for improved efficiency, but with what Lincoln has planned for its electrified offerings, that won’t be the case.

Calling hybrids Grand Touring models could achieve the same effect that the Ford EcoBoost engine family has in making it easy for consumers to understand they’re getting a boost in both performance and fuel economy. This is an interesting move on Ford’s part but it might get a little confusing if this GT hybrid naming scheme ever makes its way to the Mustang.

2018 Lincoln Continental: a High-Tech Take on the Big Comfy American Luxury Sedan
The Drive