Detroit Symphony chimes in with Lincoln Aviator warning sounds

Ian Thibodeau
The Detroit News
This is the pre-production version of the new Lincoln Aviator. The production version will debut at the Los Angeles auto show.

Lincoln Motor Co. will debut the all-new Aviator at the Los Angeles Auto Show this month ahead of its 2019 launch, and the SUV comes with its own Detroit soundtrack.

Lincoln partnered with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra to develop and record chimes to replace the beeps or dings that would typically notify a driver of an open fuel cap, unlatched seat belt or open door. All told, the orchestra developed "non-critical, soft-warning chimes and hard-warning chimes" for 25 features on the Aviator.

The DSO worked through multiple sessions to develop the alerts. Lincoln narrowed the chime sounds down from 125 recorded options. It's a first-ever feature for Lincoln.

"Aviator represents the true vision of the Lincoln brand," Lincoln design director David Woodhouse said in a statement. "With a look this striking, we needed to have sounds that matched the beauty of this vehicle."

The Aviator continues a string of launches or redesigns for Ford Motor Co.'s luxury brand during an ongoing rebranding effort. Its return brings a much-needed three-row SUV to Lincoln's small lineup, and that meant designers paid special attention to detail with the vehicle Lincoln hopes will compete with Acura, Cadillac and other premium brands.

The Aviator takes styling cues from the Lincoln Navigator, which launched in its current iteration last year to praise for its design. If the Aviator sees even part of the success that the Navigator and Ford’s new Expedition have had since their introduction, it will boost Lincoln’s bottom line, officials have said. The automaker is currently in a sales slump — along with much of the rest of the industry — as it moves to start selling a new MKC and the Nautilus crossover SUV.

Lincoln has said it will debut five other new SUVs over the next few years in addition to the Aviator. The Aviator will have a plug-in hybrid option when it goes on sale in 2019, a first for the company. Lincoln is also debuting new technology on the vehicle, namely a keyless entry system that allows users to unlock and start the SUV with smartphones and leave the key fobs in the house.

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau