Automotive

Lincoln breaks out the suicide doors for 80th Anniversary Continental

Lincoln breaks out the suicide...
2019 80th Anniversary Lincoln Continental: bang shoulders with the driver as you both get out together
2019 80th Anniversary Lincoln Continental: bang shoulders with the driver as you both get out together
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Suicide doors were a signature element of Lincoln luxury cars of the 1960s
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Suicide doors were a signature element of Lincoln luxury cars of the 1960s
The whole car looks oddly hollow with all the doors open, doesn't it?
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The whole car looks oddly hollow with all the doors open, doesn't it?
A very welcoming back seat
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A very welcoming back seat
Extra-wide coach doors add a touch of elegance to the 80th Anniversary Lincoln Continental
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Extra-wide coach doors add a touch of elegance to the 80th Anniversary Lincoln Continental
The back seats get their own center console 
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The back seats get their own center console 
Music and climate controls for back seat passengers
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Music and climate controls for back seat passengers
Limited edition nameplate
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Limited edition nameplate
Stepping forward out of a forward-opening door is a much nicer way to exit a car than through regular doors
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Stepping forward out of a forward-opening door is a much nicer way to exit a car than through regular doors
2019 80th Anniversary Lincoln Continental: 400-horsepower twin turbo V6 engine
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2019 80th Anniversary Lincoln Continental: 400-horsepower twin turbo V6 engine
2019 80th Anniversary Lincoln Continental: forward-opening rear "suicide" doors
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2019 80th Anniversary Lincoln Continental: forward-opening rear "suicide" doors
2019 80th Anniversary Lincoln Continental: a luxury throwback to the Continentals of the 60s
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2019 80th Anniversary Lincoln Continental: a luxury throwback to the Continentals of the 60s
2019 80th Anniversary Lincoln Continental: bang shoulders with the driver as you both get out together
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2019 80th Anniversary Lincoln Continental: bang shoulders with the driver as you both get out together
View gallery - 12 images

Shy of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, we haven't seen a whole lot in the way of forward-opening doors in recent times. But they're still the nicest way to enter and exit a back seat, and Lincoln has tricked up a limited-edition Continental with them.

Continental would prefer we called them "coach doors," but since the 60s – the era when Lincoln first rolled them out on their luxury saloons and convertibles, folk have been calling them suicide doors. Why? Well, if you get sideswiped while getting out of a roadside door and it's a regular door, you might lose a door and some arm. If you get sideswiped while you're getting out of a coach door, that door's closing on whatever bits of you are poking out.

Such things don't happen all that often, though, and it's definitely nicer to hop in and step out of a back seat through a forward opening door than a rearward one, so they should add a nice elegant feeling for folk being driven in the new Limited Edition 80th Anniversary Continental.

Stepping forward out of a forward-opening door is a much nicer way to exit a car than through regular doors
Stepping forward out of a forward-opening door is a much nicer way to exit a car than through regular doors

The car has been extended six inches in the wheelbase to accommodate those doors and make the back row a first class space, including its own armrest and center console, complete with climate and music controls.

The back seats get their own center console 
The back seats get their own center console 

The interior is all leather, and looks lovely. And it should be a decent car to drive, too, with a 400-horsepower, 3-liter twin turbo V6 engine delivering 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft (542 Nm) of torque.

Only 80 will be made for 2019, with the possibility of more in 2020, and Lincoln is open for orders now. No pricing has been announced.

Source: Lincoln

Shy of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, we haven't seen a whole lot in the way of forward-opening doors in recent times. But they're still the nicest way to enter and exit a back seat, and Lincoln has tricked up a limited-edition Continental with them.

Continental would prefer we called them "coach doors," but since the 60s – the era when Lincoln first rolled them out on their luxury saloons and convertibles, folk have been calling them suicide doors. Why? Well, if you get sideswiped while getting out of a roadside door and it's a regular door, you might lose a door and some arm. If you get sideswiped while you're getting out of a coach door, that door's closing on whatever bits of you are poking out.

Such things don't happen all that often, though, and it's definitely nicer to hop in and step out of a back seat through a forward opening door than a rearward one, so they should add a nice elegant feeling for folk being driven in the new Limited Edition 80th Anniversary Continental.

Stepping forward out of a forward-opening door is a much nicer way to exit a car than through regular doors
Stepping forward out of a forward-opening door is a much nicer way to exit a car than through regular doors

The car has been extended six inches in the wheelbase to accommodate those doors and make the back row a first class space, including its own armrest and center console, complete with climate and music controls.

The back seats get their own center console 
The back seats get their own center console 

The interior is all leather, and looks lovely. And it should be a decent car to drive, too, with a 400-horsepower, 3-liter twin turbo V6 engine delivering 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft (542 Nm) of torque.

Only 80 will be made for 2019, with the possibility of more in 2020, and Lincoln is open for orders now. No pricing has been announced.

Source: Lincoln

View gallery - 12 images
3 comments
paul314
I thought they were called suicide doors because if the door opens during travel and you do anything but cower on the other side of the seat you're pretty much dead. (Remember, this was from the era before seatbelts and auto-locking doors)
Suicide doors were also common in pre-WW2 vehicles. When I was a kid, a friend of my parents described surviving an open-door incident. Serious road rash.
Nibblonian
I used to have a '68 Lincoln MKIV, with a single huge door on each side (must've been close to 6 feet long). When I mentioned having had an older Lincoln to people, they always asked if it had suicide doors. I've heard more than a few theories as to why they're called suicide doors, but whenever I asked anyone why they're called that, they either guess or have to confess they don't really know. I lean toward the open during travel hazard that exists as paul314 mentions, but that's just another theory/opinion.
Also, however real the hazard is, why the term "suicide?" I'm guessing again here, but I suppose the term is used even when someone willfully does something hazardous without intent to harm themselves. By so doing, they may be accused of being suicidal, but was there ever a case where someone willfully did something so dumb? I've heard reports of accidents (as in earlier comment), but "suicide?" That seems harsh.
ljaques
Mom had a '63 Lincoln Continental with the suicide doors very much like the white one in the pics. I called them kidnapping doors. If bad guys ever wanted to kidnap a person, they'd just drive by real close, swing the door open, and pull 'em inside as the door swept them off their feet.
Dad was a stickler for safety and he had installed seat belts (care of J.C.Whitney & Co, Chicago) in it, so it wasn't a suicide car anyway.
Detroit sure is gritting their teeth with Teslas all over now. They're losing sales, so they go back to a controversial door config and gas guzzling 400hp engines? Give me a break. That's spurring on Tesla X sales.