The upcoming Lincoln Aviator’s warning tones were actually recorded by a full symphony orchestra.
When a car wants to communicate a warning, most of them will emit a beep or a boop. Some will make a high-pitched tone, others a frantic ding, and still others will warn with a computerized voice telling you exactly what’s wrong.
But Lincoln is a little different. The Ford luxury brand looked at the current automotive soundscape and decided that what it needed was a bit of class. Classical class.
So they tapped the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and recorded them making 125 different sounds in order to eventually come up with a few chimes to keep every Lincoln owner from driving with their parking brake on.
“Aviator represents the true vision of the Lincoln brand,” said David Woodhouse, design director at Lincoln. “With a look this striking, we needed to have sounds that matched the beauty of this vehicle.”
From 125 different sound combinations, Lincoln sound engineers narrowed it down to 6 separate chimes. Of those 6 chimes, each will fall into one of three categories for non-critical alerts, soft-warning chimes, and hard-warning chimes. And each chime will sound more melodious than the last.
You can check out the chimes in the above video. The first chime you hear, featuring a violin, viola, and a xylophone, will sound off on soft-warning alerts like if the power liftgate is lowering or if you leave the lights on. For non-critical alerts, a simple xylophone will play a few notes, while for critical alerts you’ll hear some high plucked notes from violins.
While the sounds themselves are quite lovely, it is a sharp departure from the utilitarian tones that are featured in other vehicles. Also, it diverges from the unspoken patterns of sounds that most car manufacturers follow so that every driver knows the severity of the issue no matter what car they’re driving. Suddenly switching that to an unknown series of musical notes might be a bit confusing, at least for a little while.
To get a listen to the Aviator’s warning chimes in person you’ll need to head to the Los Angeles Auto Show at the end of the November. That’s where we’ll see Lincoln take the cover off their latest SUV.