The Lincoln Aviator, a mid-size luxury SUV from Ford's upscale Lincoln division, was produced for the 2003 to 2005 model years. The Ford Explorer-based SUV came standard with rear-wheel drive. A choice of all-wheel drive was available as an extra-cost option designed for improving safety and performance.
Lincoln offered two different all-wheel drive systems for the Aviator, depending on whether the AdvanceTrac stability-control system was equipped. The basic system was permanent; it split torque in a ratio of 35 percent to the front wheels and 65 percent to the rear wheels. Lincoln employed the use of a viscous-coupling-center differential to split torque dynamically based on traction needs.
AWD and AdvanceTrac
Aviators built with all-wheel drive -- and Ford's AdvanceTrac -- made use of a separate AWD system. This system operated in rear-wheel drive mode during standard driving, using a clutch pack to distribute torque to the front wheels when needed. Working in conjunction with AdvanceTrac, torque was split side-to-side if wheel slip was detected. Aviators equipped with this system could be driven by one wheel at a time if needed.
Both systems were set up more for bad-weather safety than off-road performance. By the 2005 model year, the second, more complicated system was fitted to all AWD Aviator vehicles. This system increased safety, and upped towing capacity to 7,100 lbs.
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