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Lincoln Aviator digs into Detroit roots with Shinola Concept

One of the newer luxury brands on the block, Detroit's Shinola partnered with Lincoln to create a unique concept for the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

Lincoln Aviator Shinola concept
The exterior looks quite nice.

Lincoln decided to keep it local when it came time to prep a special concept car for this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. On Monday, the luxury brand revealed the Aviator Shinola Concept, flush with leather and design input from local luxury marque Shinola. The Detroit-based company is best known for luxury watches but also dabbles in bags and bicycles.

When it came to the Aviator Shinola concept, Lincoln said it paid a visit to Shinola's flagship showroom in Detroit: Inspiration came directly from a duffle bag, a watch and one bike seat. The watch's inspiration comes first. The exterior of the SUV wears a soft white hue, which recalls Shinola's mother of pearl stone watch dials. There are also hints of blue, too, that look really lovely. This color pairs with copper accents, which in some cases Lincoln said aim to provide a rose gold look. Here, a Shinola bike seat provides the inspiration. Specifically, a Runwell bike and its copper-plated structural attachments.

This combo looks very good. The seats are just a little much, though.


Overall, the exterior is a lovely ode to some of Shinola's modern luxury motifs. The interior is, well, more of a mixed bag. From the driver's seat looking straight into the dashboard, things look carefully put together. There's Shinola leather and woven mesh metal patterns that help provide the cabin some texture and pop. Where the plot derails a little bit, at least for me and some of my colleagues, are the concept car's leather seats.

The seats' design is an ode to Shinola watch straps, which is fitting, but the brown leather has a sheen that makes things look quite oily. The cream insert and stitched stripe again recall Shinola's watches, as well as the concept's exterior color, but I think a softer leather color would've worked better. Lincoln said it pursued warm tones to re-create the feeling of a quality leather watch strap. At minimum, I continue to applaud Lincoln for testing out bold interior colors. The standard black, gray and beige gets mighty old. 

The brand didn't say whether it has plans to put any kind of Shinola Edition into production for Aviator customers, but it doesn't seem out of the question. For now, the Detroit-influenced SUV will sit on display at this month's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in California, where Lincoln may get more feedback on how much the public likes this collaboration.