Upon further inspection, however, we’ve come to the conclusion that we can’t be at all certain in our identification of the camouflage-clad prototype vehicle. In fact, if you look at the photograph that contains the rear hatch of the vehicle (by clicking here), you can clearly see what looks like a taillight panel that spans the entire width of the hatch. Save for the Ford Edge, there isn’t a Ford-brand model around with that feature, while every Lincoln under the sun boasts a hatch-width taillight shape.
For that reason, we have to consider the possibility that the spied vehicle isn’t the 2019 Ford Explorer at all, but rather the forthcoming Lincoln Aviator.
The Lincoln Aviator, which was discontinued after a brief three-year stint in the early 2000s, is our pick for the defunct nameplate most likely to be resurrected. In an interview with Edmunds back in late-2015, Matt VanDyke – then Director of Marketing, Sales & Service at Lincoln – openly remarked that the brand was looking at reviving the “Aviator” name. We’ve been keeping an ear to the ground ever since.
Of course, there’s still the possibility that the spied SUV was, in fact, the 2019 Ford Explorer, and that the model is simply to gain a full-width taillight design like on modern-day Lincolns. Time will tell.