Lincoln Aviator uses Detroit Symphony Orchestra music as warning tones

The new crossover will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Jake Holmes Reviews Editor
While studying traditional news journalism in college, Jake realized he was smitten by all things automotive and wound up with an internship at Car and Driver. That led to a career writing news, review and feature stories about all things automotive at Automobile Magazine, most recently at Motor1. When he's not driving, fixing or talking about cars, he's most often found on a bicycle.
Jake Holmes
2 min read

A cacophony of strident electronic beeps is hardly conducive to a relaxed, luxurious environment -- at least according to luxury carmaker Lincoln . That's why Lincoln said Monday that its forthcoming Aviator crossover will eschew traditional alert tones and instead use "symphonic" musical tones for everything from door-ajar warnings to more serious driver alerts. 

And those aren't simply musical tones created by engineers, but rather genuine recordings of performances by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

2019 Lincoln Aviator

The Lincoln Aviator concept seen earlier this year.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The new Lincoln Aviator will be fully revealed later this month at the Los Angeles Auto Show. (A concept version was shown in March at the New York Auto Show.) A three-row crossover, the Aviator concept featured a twin-turbo V6 powertrain with an optional plug-in hybrid powertrain. Expect more details when the production model debuts.

The Aviator's new alert sounds, which you can hear in the video embedded below, fall into three categories that Lincoln calls noncritical, soft-warning chimes and hard-warning chimes. They'll be used for 25 different alerts in the Lincoln Aviator. Engineers were able to use the more detailed audio recordings because they managed to free up more space on the chip used for in-car warning tones.

The project began when Jennifer Prescott, supervisor for what Lincoln calls "vehicle harmony," emailed the Detroit Symphony Orchestra about the possibility of recording new tones for the vehicle. "I truly thought they'd think I was crazy," she said in a statement. "But we wanted to make sure every detail in this vehicle was perfect."

Lincoln engineers and DSO musicians met multiple times, initially recording 125 audio samples. Lincoln then narrowed those down to certain tones, returned to record more music with the DSO and finally settled on three alert tones. The final sound clips were performed by Adrienne Rönmark on the violin, Eric Nowlin on the viola and percussionist Joseph Becker.

"We told them the flavor of the new vehicle and gave them scenarios of the alerts," Prescott said in a statement. "We told them, basically, to design their own soundscapes. Then they just went in and started playing."

While Lincoln asserts using "symphonic chimes" is an industry-first feature, it's worth noting that recent models also use musical notes rather than electronic beeps for warnings like the parking sensors and other alerts. Still, Lincoln's decision to record a live orchestra clearly takes things a step further.

Lincoln Aviator looks to be soaring above the crowd

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