Automotive

Lincoln reimagines American luxury with new Continental

Lincoln reimagines American lu...
Lincoln is planning to continue its resurgence with the new flagship Continental
Lincoln is planning to continue its resurgence with the new flagship Continental
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High-quality surfaces have been used throughout the interior
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High-quality surfaces have been used throughout the interior
Even the speaker grilles have been created with luxury design in mind
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Even the speaker grilles have been created with luxury design in mind
The Continental doesn't lack presence thanks to that huge grille
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The Continental doesn't lack presence thanks to that huge grille
30-way adjustable seats are available on the car, for a true business-class feel
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30-way adjustable seats are available on the car, for a true business-class feel
The turbine wheels aren't quite as big as the original concept's, but they are far smarter thanks to foam, noise cancelling tire linings
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The turbine wheels aren't quite as big as the original concept's, but they are far smarter thanks to foam, noise cancelling tire linings
The rear lights span the width of the boot, making the car look low and wide
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The rear lights span the width of the boot, making the car look low and wide
The design is a far cry from the last Continental's horrible styling
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The design is a far cry from the last Continental's horrible styling
Ford's SYNC 3 features inside, as do CarPlay and Android Auto
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Ford's SYNC 3 features inside, as do CarPlay and Android Auto
The materials inside are all high-quality, and the wood is real
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The materials inside are all high-quality, and the wood is real
Rear seat passengers have access to climate control and audio controls
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Rear seat passengers have access to climate control and audio controls
Heated, cooled and massage seats are a part of the car's business-class feel
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Heated, cooled and massage seats are a part of the car's business-class feel
The Continental badge has seen some dark days, but Lincoln is hoping it will headline its charge into China
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The Continental badge has seen some dark days, but Lincoln is hoping it will headline its charge into China
The car has been designed with a focus on luxury, not handling or outright performance
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The car has been designed with a focus on luxury, not handling or outright performance
The door handles are electric, and close themselves with just a soft push
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The door handles are electric, and close themselves with just a soft push
The Germans have quilting, but American seats have their own tricks
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The Germans have quilting, but American seats have their own tricks
Bentley designers have made it clear they see a lot of their own work in the Continental's design
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Bentley designers have made it clear they see a lot of their own work in the Continental's design
Because of its focus on China, the Continental's rear seat should be a quiet, comfy place to spend time
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Because of its focus on China, the Continental's rear seat should be a quiet, comfy place to spend time
LED daylight running lights give the Continental its own signature look
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LED daylight running lights give the Continental its own signature look
Lincoln is planning to continue its resurgence with the new flagship Continental
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Lincoln is planning to continue its resurgence with the new flagship Continental
Power comes from a turbocharged V6
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Power comes from a turbocharged V6
With 400 lb.ft of torque, the Continental should be punchy and smooth on the road
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With 400 lb.ft of torque, the Continental should be punchy and smooth on the road
No 0-100 km/h time is quoted, but that's not what this car is really about
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No 0-100 km/h time is quoted, but that's not what this car is really about
Lincoln has grown considerably in China this year, with 33 new dealerships opening up
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Lincoln has grown considerably in China this year, with 33 new dealerships opening up
The car has presence from any angle, even if the design is a bit derivative
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The car has presence from any angle, even if the design is a bit derivative
20-inch wheels are optional, with foam lining to cut down on road noise
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20-inch wheels are optional, with foam lining to cut down on road noise
The Continental at its launch in Detroit
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The Continental at its launch in Detroit
The Continental at its launch in Detroit
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The Continental at its launch in Detroit
The car's big grille has more than a hint of Bentley to its design
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The car's big grille has more than a hint of Bentley to its design
Bentley used a jazz band to launch the car, eschewing the dubstep and heavy music used by most other manufacturers
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Bentley used a jazz band to launch the car, eschewing the dubstep and heavy music used by most other manufacturers
The materials inside are all high-quality, and the wood is real
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The materials inside are all high-quality, and the wood is real
Ford's SYNC 3 features inside, as do CarPlay and Android Auto
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Ford's SYNC 3 features inside, as do CarPlay and Android Auto
View gallery - 31 images

Lincoln has been through some tough times in recent years, but this year's Detroit Auto Show provided some strong evidence to suggest Ford's luxury arm is well and truly alive. The new Continental takes a unique path by ignoring Nurburgring lap times and pulling out of the technology arms race kickstarted by Mercedes and BMW. Instead, Lincoln has presented the quintessential modern American luxury car.

Central to the Continental experience is the idea of "quiet luxury". While that might sound like a Grade-A piece of marketing spin, early impressions are that they've lived up to that motto.

No 0-100 km/h time is quoted, but that's not what this car is really about
No 0-100 km/h time is quoted, but that's not what this car is really about

Opening the door reveals some of the most comfortable seats we've ever had the pleasure of sitting in. With 30-way adjustment, including individual motion for your left and right thigh, they can be tweaked to fit almost any body shape perfectly. What's more, the Bridge of Weir leather on the seats has been chosen because its quality rivals that of high-end furniture, and the wood running down the middle of the dashboard is real, not the horrendous high-gloss plastic prevalent in the last Continental.

They might not have 30-way seats, but rear passengers have been looked after as well. Their seats recline, and backseat drivers have their own control panel for the climate control and audio integrated into the central armrest.

As well as sitting in leather-lined comfort, passengers should be treated to a whisper-quiet ride thanks to active noise cancelling, acoustic laminated glass and tires that are lined with foam for better acoustic performance. Just how much those tires and wheels will cost is still up in the air, but anything that can help cut down on the never-ending slap-slap from American freeway expansion joints should be the first box ticked on the options sheet.

With 400 lb.ft of torque, the Continental should be punchy and smooth on the road
With 400 lb.ft of torque, the Continental should be punchy and smooth on the road

If Lincoln has hit the mark with its interior design, the exterior isn't quite as successful. The Continental is a handsome car, but there's no details or cues that are totally unique – something pointed out by ex-Bentley designer Luc Donckerwolke, who took to Twitter to point out some, er, big similarities between the original concept and Bentley's own Flying Spur.

There's no doubting it has presence though, and we can't imagine too many buyers being turned off because the car looks a bit like a Bentley.

The Continental's exterior designers might have been channelling Bentley, but there's no W12 under the hood. Instead, there's a turbocharged V6 producing 298 kW (400 hp) and 542 Nm of torque for effortless, smooth progress. What's more, there's no 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time quoted, which is yet another hint that Lincoln is serious about the whole "quiet-luxury" mantra.

Ford's SYNC 3 features inside, as do CarPlay and Android Auto
Ford's SYNC 3 features inside, as do CarPlay and Android Auto

That said, there are a few features that should keep keen drivers happy. One of the three modes on the adaptive air suspension's options is labelled sport, and there's torque vectoring on the rear axle to shuffle the power around for good grip and go out in tight corners. If you're after a limo that can also get down and boogie, you're probably better off looking at a BMW 7 Series, but that's kind of the point with this car.

The Continental will be on sale from autumn (Northern Hemisphere), with no mention of pricing yet. We can't wait to see if the driving experience can match the new-American luxury experience promised by the interior.

Source: Lincoln

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4 comments
P17
Why would anyone waste their money on anything as fake as this car. It's a hotchpotch of ideas stolen from other more successful, and more prestigious manufacturers. Germany and Italy dominate the luxury and prestige sectors of the automotive for good reason. The reasons why the US (and Japan) are jokes in this sector are plain to see in this car.
GlassHalfEmpty
Looks like Honda Accord from side view.

That front overhangs too much over wheels.

Dash-to-axle, look it up.

Then, no RWD-only option? What kind of luxury sedan is that?
Captain Danger
Disappointing that there is no V8 but 400 hp should be more than adequate. This should be a super comfortable quiet car. Great for eating up highway miles. Sure I lust after the Boss302 and GT350 mustangs but in reality I would rather drive this car daily. I had a 79 town car a while back and it was the most comfortable ride I have had. I think would be this would be an order of magnitude better. When I am on 300-400 mile drive I am not that concerned with handling or steering feedback. I prefer a light steering smooth quiet ride as I think most people would. As to the styling I like it. It does remind me of a Rolls Royce but I can tell it is a Lincoln and I think the frond end looks better than the current Lincolns. I look forward to the magazine reviews.
IvanWashington
when I win the lotto I'm headed straight for the Lincoln dealer to get this one.