MM Full-Review: 2017 Lincoln Continental

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MM Full-Review: 2017 Lincoln Continental
By multiple-requests, a Review of the all-new 2017 Lincoln Continental

http://www.lincoln.com/cars/continental/

IN A NUTSHELL: Late to the party, but almost everything the ill-fated MKS should have been, andwasn't.

CLOSEST AMERICAN-MARKET COMPETITORS: Cadillac CT6, Hyundai Genesis/Equus, Kia K900, Chrysler 300













(This is an upmarket version)



OVERVIEW:

The Continental, as we know it, began life in 1939 as a specially-designed, prototype personal vehicle for Edsel Ford, son of the company's founder, Henry Ford. Edsel ordered the car in the fall of 1938....he wanted it ready for his March 1939 vacation. It was basically a redone version of the company's Zephyr convertible, significantly lowered in ride-height some 7 inches (for better handling/stability), and minus the running-boards that were common at the time. It used the same 267 c.i. (4.1L) V12 engine as the Zephyr, and suspension was the then-standard Ford/Lincoln transverse-leaf springs. Chrome was very sparingly used (basically, only on the rille) to emphasize the general styling of the car, rather than just glitter. It used the large covered spare-tire housing on the rear bumper (where the term "Continental Kit" came from).

The early Continentals did see a limited amount of production (more so for the coupe versions, because the Cabriolet drop-tops were basically hand built, even on an assembly line)....but, for these and a number of other reasons, were not as popular as their Packard and Cadillac rivals. Edsel Ford died a premature death in 1943 (auto historians believe it was partly because of the intense pressure his father, mismanaging the company, put on him, and the pressures of war-effort production). With Edsel's passing, the company's interest in the Continental waned for several years, and the nameplate was dropped in 1948....at that time, the last American-designed car from a major manufacturer with a factory-installed V12 engine (Cadillac and Packard had dropped their V12 a number of years previously).

The Continental name was revived, in late 1955, for an all-new 1956 mega-luxury coupe (the Continental Mark II)...and, for a brief time, Continental actually became a separate Ford division, separate from the rest of Lincoln. The 1956 Continental Mark II was the most expensive car, at the time, available with an American nameplate. It listed, depending on options, for around $10,000, at a time when the average American full-size luxury car was maybe half that much. For that price, a buyer expected a lot, and the Mark II certainly delivered. Unfortunately, the separate Continental division was not able to make it on is own....it folded in a couple of years, as also did the now-infamous experimentation with the Edsel division in the late 1950s, which became one of the greatest automotive sales-flops of all time. So, by then, Ford was back down, once again, to three basic divisions...Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln.

The Lincoln Continental's reputation really took off in the 1960s, though, with the award-wining rectangular styling, inside and out. The brand became a favorite of President John F. Kennedy's White House.....and Lincoln convertibles were often in the background of the famous Camelot pictures of him, Jackie, and the two kids (Carolyn and John) as the country idolized them. (this was in the days, of course, before Presidential limos went to enclosed sedans and bulletproofing). JFK, of course, was to have his life tragically ended, at the hands of an assassin, in the back seat of a Lincoln convertible...just as famous country music singer Hank Williams died, from natural causes, in the back seat of his Cadillac Sedan de Ville, on the road from Atlanta to Cincinatti to give a concert.

I was a big fan myself of the way the 60s-vintage Lincolns rode and drove. Like most normal teens at the time, I liked the classic American muscle cars. But, unlike many teens, I also liked big, heavy, quiet, smooth American luxury cars....and the Continental, being heavier and more softly-spring than its Cadillac and Imperial rivals, was arguably the smoothest and most magic-carpet-like of the lot. My late father, upon retiring from the Army in 1969, went to work at the Philco-Ford company (Philco was a TV/electronics company then-owned by Ford). He would bring home big luxury Mercury Marquis and Park-Lanes home after work, toss me the keys, and say, "Here, Mike...try them out" (even as a young, newly-licensed teen-ager, unlike some of my friends, my driving was careful and sensible enough that I could be trusted not to abuse or wreck them). I fell in love with those big luxury-boats. One night, he brought home a real prize....a brand-new 1969 Continental that was a company Vice-President vehicle. He gave me the keys, looked me in the eye, and said...."Mike, please, be careful". I did not disappoint him. Oh my Gosh, what a smooth ride. That car was as steady as a battleship (and handled like one LOL), and was probably the most completely-isolated car from the harshness of the road surface that I have ever experienced....though the Lexus LS460 I sampled many years later was probably quieter in wind noise.

The big Continentals lasted to the end of the 1970s, being the last of the big American luxury cars to downsize (1980). I won't spend a lot of time on the later-generation Continentals, as I wasn't terribly impressed with them....the enormous Continentals of the 60s and 70s were so smooth and refined that later models, in comparison, seemed like toys. Eventually, the Continental ended up a stretched version of the FWD Taurus platform.....as the all-new 2017 version also is (more on that later). Finally, the Continental name was (once again) retired in 2002....and the larger, RWD, body-on-frame Town Car became the sole Lincoln Flagship. Eventually, the Town Car itself was dropped (which, as I had predicted, cost Lincoln some sales, as it was a mainstay of the senior-citizen, rental-limo, funeral-home, and executive-car business). The smaller, lighter, less-refined MKS, which replaced the Town Car as the new flagship did offer better handling and an AWD option for bad weather that the Town Car lacked....but it was clearly a step down from the Town Car in smoothness, refinement, and general comfort. The MKS never appealed to the public like the Town Car had done, and sales plummeted.

(Cadillac, by then, had also dropped the Town Car's rival, the DTS, and had run into more or less the same problem with its replacement....the XTS. I covered that in my CT6 review).

So now, with a big problem on its hands with the unpopular MKS, and with Lincoln's position in the luxury-car market having slid for some years (though the recent MKC and MKX SUVs have brought back some of the lost business), the company's management has decided to bring back the old Continental nameplate for (yet) another try. Unlike Cadillac 's rival CT6, the latest 2017 Continental, like the last one before it in 2002, uses what is essentially a slightly stretched version of the FWD Taurus platform, with transversely-mounted V6 engines and FWD/AWD (the CT6 uses RWD/AWD and an all-new platform with longitudinally-mounted turbo-4, V6, or V6 turbo powerplants). Neither the CT6 or Continental use a V8 any more (I'll get to that below).....a concession to ever-tightening gas-mileage/emission rules.

Continentals, for 2017, come in three different trim/price lines. Premiere 100A models ($44,560) come with a normally-aspirated 3.7L V6 of 305 HP/ 280 ft-lbs. of torque (the version I'd probably choose) and a choice of FWD or AWD (AWD adds another $2000). Select 200A ($49,745) models come with a twin-turbo 2.7L of 335 HP/380 ft-lbs. of torque, and a choice of FWD or AWD. Reserve 300A models come with a 3.7L twin-turbo V6 of 400 HP/400 ft-lbs. of torque (almost exactly equal in power to the top engine in the Cadillac CT6) and standard AWD. All Continentals come with a 6-speed Select-Shift automatic transmission with shift-paddles. As with other Lincolns, specialized, more expensive/upscale Black Label versions are available (see web-site for details), including one with the all-chrome-trimmed interior originally shown on the first Continental Concept version last year (that one will really take old Continental fans back to the 1950s juke-box era LOL). The Continental, IMO, one-ups its Cadillac CT6 competition by having a standard normally-aspirated V6 instead of a turbo four, but the CT6 responds with a more flexible standard 8-speed transmission instead of the Continental's 6-speed. Continental prices, for most versions, also significantly undercut those of comparable CT6 models....though the Black label versions, of course, add price for more unique trim and customer-perks from Lincoln.

For the review and test-drive, I sampled a lovely Select FWD version, in White Platinum Tri-Coat paint, with Cappuchino (Ivory) leather interior and the standard normally-aspirated 3.7L V6. It listed for a very reasonable (for this class) 51K.


MODEL REVIEWED: 2017 Lincoln Continental Select FWD

BASE PRICE: $47,515


OPTIONS:

White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat paint: $595

Select-Plus Package: $1255

Single-Slot CD Player: $335

Continental Climate Package: $695

Floor Mats: $120

DESTINATION/FREIGHT: $925 (Reasonable for a car of this class and size)

LIST PRICE AS REVIEWED: $51,440


DRIVETRAIN: FWD, Transversely-mouted N/A 3.7L V6, 305 HP @ 6500 RPM, Torque 280 Ft-lbs. @ 4000 RPM, 6-speed automatic with push-button or manual paddle-shifting.

EPA MILEAGE RATING: 17 City, 26 Highway, 20 Combined

EXTERIOR COLOR: White Platinum Tri-Coat

INTERIOR: Cappuchino Luxury Leather




PLUSSES:


Classy styling reminiscent of Jaguars.

Superbly-done interior.....probably the best I have ever seen on a Ford Product.

Base N/A V6 engine (and at a lower price) instead of Cadillac's turbo 4.

Silky-smooth (but not particularly flexible) 6-speed automatic.

Much quicker steering response than anticipated.

Good ride/handling combo.....but not quite as good as Hyundai's Genesis for the same money.

Brake pedal/action ideally located for large feet like mine.

Plenty of both headroom and legroom in both front and rear (without sunroof).

Stable and secure-feeling on the road.

Superb stereo sound quality.

Easy-open exterior chromed grab-bars for the doors.

Relatively nice paint color choice...and better-marketed than on the Cadillac CT6.



MINUSES:


6-speed automatic lacks a few gears compared to most of the competition.

(Slightly) more engine noise under acceleration than anticipated.

Rather shallow trunk and trunk opening.

Electric push-button inside door handles take some getting used to.

The usual very complex luxury-car video-screen system.

Cheap Ford parts-bin matte-black plastic paddle-shifters.

Poor underhood layout for easy access (except for the battery)

Relatively sparse dealer network....sold only through selected Ford dealerships.



EXTERIOR:

While styling, of course, is subjective, and opinions will vary, I am of the view that the general looks of this car, even if the front end was copied somewhat from Jaguar, are quite classy...certainly FAR better then the ho-hum MKS it replaces. The same general look to the front end was also added to a mid-generation refreshening of the MKZ sedan this year....and word from Lincoln is that we will also see it on future designs, as that will be the company's signature look. Indeed, as with Cadillac's CT6 and CTS, it is rather difficult to tell a Continental from a new 2017 MKZ sedan just by a quick look or the front end...the main difference between the Continental and MKZ is from the C-pillars rearward.

One comment I read from someone, when she looked at an early-production (or perhaps pre-production?) Continental, complained about some uneven panel gaps in the sheet metal. I examined this white Continental very carefully from stem to stern (my vision is 20/20 or better corrected with glasses), and I could find no gap-problems at all, except one VERY minor one near the top of the drivers' door, next to the front fender. That makes me think that she probably saw a pre-production model....they can sometimes have flaws in them, and that is why they are usually not for sale.

The exterior sheet metal was reasonably solid by today's standards, and the paint job was superbly-done (as noted earlier, an extra $595 cost for the White Platinum). The paint-color choice is reasonable (there were several that I found attractive), and, unlike on some GM products, Lincoln only charges extra for a couple of them. The exterior door handles are quite unlike anything I've seen before...large metal (not plastic) chromed grab-loops. When you grab them, the car's computer senses your hand and recognizes a signal from the nearby electronic fob releasing the door-latch (the inside door-releases are quite unusual, too...I'll get to that below). The doors themselves don't shut with a very solid thunk, but that appears to be one of the design-goals of this car.....very gentle closings, made as quietly as possible. All of the exterior trim and hardware was securely attached and of good quality....even the gray/silver plastic grille-teeth were reasonably solid-feeling.

So, I give the exterior an A. It would maybe have gotten a A+ if Lincoln had used the retro-styled square fender-tips they did on the show-circuit 2002 Continental Concept, but the stylists opted not to use them on this latest Continental. Still, even without them, a darn good-looking exterior in my book.


UNDERHOOD:

Pop the hood, and a single (but strong) gas strut, on the right side of the hood, holds it up for you. The usual insulation pad is on the underside of the hood, though perhaps it isn't quite large or thick enough (more on that below). The transversely-mounted 3.7L V6 is a tight fit inside, mostly hidden by a very large dark gray plastic cover, so there is very little access to reach any other components but the (thankfully) uncovered battery, to the right and back, near the firewall. Fluid reservoirs, filler-caps, and dipsticks are reasonably easy to reach. Still, like most of today's complex upmarket vehicles, this is obviously no DIY'er for shade-tree mechanics.....you will almost certainly have to take it to the shop.



INTERIOR:

IMO, the interior, like the exterior, also gets an A......arguably the best interior I have ever seen on a Ford product. There's three reasons, though. why, I don't give it an A+. First, because, after such care and effort to detail on everything else, Lincoln reached into the El Cheapo Ford parts-bin for the same cheap matte-black plastic paddle-shifters that are out of place even on a Fiesta econobox. Second, for using electronic push-buttons on the lower door-panels as interior door-release switches that function as the interior door-releases, which are nifty, but also small in size and take some getting used to (and what if the electronics fail and trap you inside)? Third, the usual complexity of the video-dash screen and trying to adjust its MANY different functions.

But that was just about it on the interior flaws. Some people may complain that there is too much bling, chrome, and flash inside (and I respect their opinions). But, conversely, this is the nameplate of a classic American luxury car being brought back after a decade and a half of absence, and, as I see it, it's about time a manufacturer started giving us interiors like that again. And, boy, does this interior load up the bling. Where the competing Cadillac CT6 is far more subdued inside, with mostly wood-tone paneling and matte-finished trim surfaces, the Continental's interior glitters like a 1950s jukebox. Chrome is used liberally throughout the cabin, even as trim-borders around the small steering-wheel controls/buttons and column-stalks (in fact, one of the Continental Concept versions at the auto shows actually had a virtually all-chrome/dark blue interior, but that version was nixed for production, in favor of the present wood/chrome version.

And, beneath the surface-bling seems to be mostly decent-quailty interior materials/trim and hardware, too, with the exception of the aforementioned paddle-shifters. Fit/finish is excellent, as are the way that the materials and patterns are harmonized. The squarish and box/rectangular theme to the trim-patterns seems to suggest the classic Continental interiors of the 1960s and 1970s....as opposed to the far more disingenuous way the CT6's patterns are organized inside. There is plenty of headroom and legroom inside, both front and rear, for all but NBA-sized guys, at least without a sunroof housing (my lower-level Continental didn't have a sunroof). My test-car had 10-way adjustable front seats......various options/packages have 22-way and even 30-way seats. The seats themselves had very nice leather, and were generally comfortable...but not the most comfortable I've sampled. The vertically-stacked buttons on the mid-dash for shifting the transmission were, IMO, a nice respite from annoying zig-zag lever-shifters, E-shifter joy-sticks on the console, and short E-stubs sticking out from the steering column. (that is a strong selling point for me, and one reason why I may seriously consider a new Lincoln in the future). The Continental's buttons are quite large and easy to use/operate. Unlike the old Chrysler transmission push-buttons from the early-mid 60s, the Continental's buttons only require a light tap...you feel a small click in the button, and Bingo, the transmission responds. Overhead, the sun-visors and ceiling headliner, at least in this Select version, were covered in decent fabric material, but nothing special for a luxury car. The all-electronic instrument panel can be set or programmed several ways. I noticed, on my test-drive, that the way it was programmed had the speed-limit for the roads I was on flashed on the screen, next to the digital speedo readout, graphically displayed with the typical black/white sign seen on the side of the road...the same graphic-display matched in the center-dash video screen. The stereo sound quality was superb, though the adjustment/tuning functions on the screen were complex, even with the chrome-ringed rotary-knobs for volume/tune on the upper-console/lower-dash. In fact, almost everything about the center-screen video display is complex.....Continental drivers who want to master these functions are going to spend a lot of time fishing through the Owners' Manual.

So......except for a couple of slip-ups and design-faults here and there, IMO, the new Continental's interior, unlike that of its last precedessor in 2002 (and the more recent Lincoln MKS), is worthy of the nameplate. Yes, American bling is back.



CARGO COMPARTMENT/TRUNK:

The trunk lid, of course, is power-operated, but the trunk itself is not one of the car's better features, at least for a sedan this size. The lid, due to the car's rear-end styling, is somewhat on the low and short side, and the trunk rather narrow and shallow, which eliminates some large, tall, or bulky items (for those, of course, Lincoln will sell you that big full-size Navigator SUV down at the other end of the showroom LOL). I did not see a First-Aid Kit anywhere in the trunk (and one was not listed on the price sticker)....some of the competition does include one as standard or an option; others don't. The floorboard was covered in a nice black carpet...the walls with a rather vague, fuzzy material I couldn't quite make out. A couple of cubby-pockets, with stretch-nets to hold small items, were built into each wall. Under the floorboard was.....yep, you guessed it......the usual temporary spare tire.



ON THE ROAD:

Start up the 3.7L V6 with a brushed-chrome engine start/stop button (it is far enough away from the transmission buttons to avoid confusion like on some earlier Lincolns) and the V6 comes to life and idles almost totally silent. Release the E-brake (the rather small button is under the left side of the dash, hit the "D" Drive button, take off, and the car accelerates with a noticeable amount of exhaust and engine...more than I expected on a car like this. Perhaps a little more insulation underhood or a more effective muffler is in order. Power level, with its 280 ft-lbs. of torque at a not-too-high 4000 RPM, is certainly adequate for most normal driving...and avoids the added turbo complexity of the CT6's base four. The 6-speed transmission generally shifted seamlessly, though, like I said previously, I wasn't impressed with the cheaply-done shift-paddles for the transmission's manual-shift mode.

The chassis and suspension was generally pretty well done, though IMO not quite as well-rounded or as comfortable as on the competing Hyundai Genesis 5.0L I had sampled previously. Steering response on the Continental's base-level suspension/tires (which my test-car had) was definitely faster than I expected for this type of car, and body roll was minimal. Wind and road noise were generally well-damped (as they should be on a car of this class), but not as tomb-silent as, say, on a Lexus LS460 or Mercedes S550. Ride comfort over bumps was borderline-soft, but a faint hint of firmness is still there for stability...and the car, despite its relative agility, did have a nice, stable feel to it, perhaps from the relatively large size, heavy weight, nose-heaviness, and the gyroscopic effect of the FWD powertrain. The brakes were generally effective, and the brake pedal was ideally located, relative, to the gas pedal, for my big Mens'-size-15 clown-shoe to have no difficulty moving off the gas to the brake without getting hung-up on the brake pedal.

All in all, well-engineered on the road...except for some engine noise when giving it the gas.



THE VERDICT:

OK, folks, I like this car.....that's obvious. But, as a reviewer, I also have to be objective. The classy but conservative exterior styling may not be for everyone....especially those that like humpback-whale designs like the Mercedes CLS. Those that feel a luxury sedan of this class should have a RWD/AWD platform, like the arch-rival Cadillac CT6, have a point if you are talking about high-speed handling and lack of torque-steer with high-powered engines. RWD with a longitudinally-mounted engine also makes for a less-complex adaption to AWD, compared to transverse-engined FWD designs, with fewer drivetrain parts to break down or wear out. I fully recognize their arguments. But, in general (unless one wants to lose his or her license) we don't drive at German Autobahn speeds here in the U.S., even on Interstates.

And, in my honest opinion, once the buyer gets past the FWD/RWD issue, the Continental provides more value for the money than the CT6. First, the base price on entry-level versions is lower. Second, on those entry-level versions, Lincoln gives you a more refined, normally-aspirated V6 instead of Cadillac's turbo in-line 4. (though, of course, if you choose to, like with the CT6, you can spend REAL money on the Black Label-grade Continentals). Third, although the CT6's interior is not cheap or poorly-done by any means, IMO it simply doesn't compare to the Continental's unique combination of traditional American bling, wood-tone trim, chrome, and retro-Lincoln styling themes. Nor does the CT6's front styling, IMO, though admittedly nice, compare with the Continental's Jaguar-type grille. The CT6 does come with a wider-range 8-speed automatic to the Continental's 6-speed, but, at typical American Interstate driving speeds, that will probably make little difference in transmission flexibility or fuel economy.

But, like any car, the Continental could use some improvement. Tone down the exhaust note a little or give it some thicker insulation underhood. Toss the interior push-button door-release....IMO nothing but a gimmick, and perhaps hazardous if power is lost. Redesign the compact-sedan-level trunk..it is too small for a car of this class. And why the El-Cheapo shift-paddles when so much time and effort went into everything else inside? (I guess the bean-counters had to strike somewhere LOL). And maybe soften up the suspension /tires just a minimal amount, though the car is not uncomfortable-riding as it is now.

But, all in all, quite an impressive car....probably more so than anything I've seen or sampled since the Hyundai Genesis 5.0L V8 review I did a couple of years ago. The Genesis 5.0L had superb road manners (better then the Continental's), and was impeccably-built, but its interior, though nice and well-made and luxurious, lacked the sheer level of looks and bling of the Continental.

And, as always......Happy car-shopping.

MM
 
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https://www.motor1.com/news/236173/lincoln-continental-already-be-cancelled/
Lincoln Continental Could Already Be Cancelled

And we were just starting to really like it.

If current rumors emanating from the folks at Ford Authority are true, the Lincoln Continental’s days are numbered. The website is reporting that Lincoln’s reborn flagship is slated to once again disappear after the current generation runs its course. As to exactly how long that might be is unclear, but with the Continental having debuted for the 2017 model year, seeing it disappear in 2019 or 2020 isn’t out of the question.

That’s especially true if sedan sales – and specifically for the Continental – continue the downward trend. December 2016 was the best month for Lincoln’s luxury sedan with just over 1,845 units sold. Sales fell to 1,167 the following month and fluxuated around the 1,000 mark for most of 2017, spiking back to 1,216 last December. 2018 hasn’t been so kind thus far, with just 815 sales in January and 758 in February – an all-time low for the sedan.

If there’s a tiny bit of light in this news, it’s that sedan sales for pretty much all brands and models are spiraling downward. That’s because more people are saying goodbye to the sedan and its traditional role as the family car in favor of the new family conveyance of choice, SUVs and crossovers. Sales for these models are way up, and it seems nothing short of a law banning such vehicles will stop them.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett has made no bones about cutting back the Blue Oval’s sedan portfolio in favor of more popular – and profitable – SUVs. Lincoln falls under the Ford umbrella, and with an updated Navigator gaining much praise, the rumors of a Continental cancellation aren’t exactly tough to believe. As purveyors of all things automotive, Lincoln’s flagship was really starting to grow on us – its style and features culminate in a refreshing luxury sedan that’s right-at-home with its German competition.
 

mmcartalk

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The Conti, sad to say, may not be alone. Several luxury/upmarket sedans, from several different manufacturers, may ultimately be on the chopping block. Nothing wrong with them per se.....the public, as a whole, is just obsessed with trucks and SUVs.
 

ssun30

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This could be a very promising comeback, I actually think the Continental is unbeatable in value. But what a shame...
 

spwolf

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This could be a very promising comeback, I actually think the Continental is unbeatable in value. But what a shame...
you have to have desirability, value for this class does not work. I wonder what are average transaction prices, as it seems easy to get $10k discount on base $46k model, making it $36k vehicle.
 
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This could be a very promising comeback, I actually think the Continental is unbeatable in value. But what a shame...
It didn't do them wonders like the Navigator...still mostly appeals to the Florida/retirement crowd unfortunately but yeah it has a lot of features.
you have to have desirability, value for this class does not work. I wonder what are average transaction prices, as it seems easy to get $10k discount on base $46k model, making it $36k vehicle.
They can option the MSRP up to $80K, so the value proposition is out. But residuals will definitely have them selling for around 40-50K. Ford is on a cost cutting spree, so not surprised it will be a victim.

http://www.autonews.com/article/20180315/OEM04/180319799/ford-launches-product-blitz-plans-to-replace-75-of-n-a-lineup-in-two
 

CIF

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Wow, so after being resurrected, the Conti will likely be cancelled? You would think that the American automakers have learned from their mistakes, but this is a boneheaded move almost straight out of the 1970s.
 

Joaquin Ruhi

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Roughly a week or two after rumors that the Continental revival would be a one-generation wonder, reports from the recent NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) convention suggest that the current Lincoln Continental's midlife facelift would include a change to rear "suicide" (or coach, as Rolls-Royce calls them) doors. This would, of course, harken back to the classic 1961-1969 Continentals.
 

mikeavelli

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Roughly a week or two after rumors that the Continental revival would be a one-generation wonder, reports from the recent NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) convention suggest that the current Lincoln Continental's midlife facelift would include a change to rear "suicide" (or coach, as Rolls-Royce calls them) doors. This would, of course, harken back to the classic 1961-1969 Continentals.
Thats what I read. If it gains that its a game changer and that will help sales a ton.

Nice review Mike, I like it as well, love the doorhandles and interior. The rear though isn't as room as I would have thought. The higher end versions really blow out the base models but they sure get pricey.
 

Ian Schmidt

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I'm not sure safety-conscious SUV buyers are gonna be swayed by "suicide" anything, but at least if the Conti's going out it'll be in style.
 

Rydo

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Roughly a week or two after rumors that the Continental revival would be a one-generation wonder, reports from the recent NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) convention suggest that the current Lincoln Continental's midlife facelift would include a change to rear "suicide" (or coach, as Rolls-Royce calls them) doors. This would, of course, harken back to the classic 1961-1969 Continentals.
Well it turns out those reports were absolutely spot on with 2019s 'Coach-door' edition (Lincoln are EXTREMELY eager to avoid the use of the word suicide on any kind of official literature).

This edition has now been continued into 2020 as an option - a bit of a bummer for those who bought it thinking it was a genuine 80-unit limited edition. the caveat? It costs $115k

Ever since I saw the concept I was in love with this vehicle, and the Navigator and it would make for a very handsome driveway. Being in the UK, obviously these would be an import job for me way down the road once the values drop significantly to justify all the import costs.

Quick questions, how does Lincoln stack up with reliability?
 

Rydo

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115k for a door!??!!?!!
Well that's selling it a little short - the bodywork has been extended significantly and the rear passengers are now treated to a passthrough centre console like the old LS600h L would get. Not just a drop down setback with stuff on it. Stowaway tables etc.

But yeah, it's clear with the price point that they aimed it at an instant collector-car/museum car type vehicle.

From what I see, Lincoln are doing incredibly well in China, so despite the rumours early on (3 years ago now) that the Continental was going to killed off again in 2021/2022, maybe they will live on in China.

@ssun30 might be able to give us more of an insight.
 

ssun30

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Ford has been in a downward spiral in China with no hope of recovery. Lincoln sells fewer cars a year than Lexus or Cadillac in a month. The continental is not a success.
They are just too late to the game and went too long without compelling products.

Lincoln offers some amazing powertrain options in China. They are the only brand to offer a six cylinder engine with over 400hp for less price than competitor's 2.0T. Unfortunately that's not the priority for most buyers.
 

Rydo

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Lincoln China

this press release is a couple of years old, but makes it sound like things are doing well. I suppose they would do as that’s the job of company media site but still. Things have got worse since then?
 

ssun30

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Lincoln China

this press release is a couple of years old, but makes it sound like things are doing well. I suppose they would do as that’s the job of company media site but still. Things have got worse since then?
Things are okay if their objective is being a niche brand and profitable. They are in no place to be a major player in the market. As I've said, Lexus and Cadillac sell more cars in a month than they do in a year. Lincoln is a 'Tier 4' premium brand, not even 'Tier 3'.
They are betting on local production of the Aviator (via JV with Chang'an Motors) to drive up sales. It kind of worked but past experience says producing a premium product in China greatly reduces brand value and prestige. This is how Infiniti/Acura/Jaguar fell into obscurity while Lexus take advantage of their downfall to become a top 'Tier 2' brand.
 

Rydo

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Things are okay if their objective is being a niche brand and profitable. They are in no place to be a major player in the market. As I've said, Lexus and Cadillac sell more cars in a month than they do in a year. Lincoln is a 'Tier 4' premium brand, not even 'Tier 3'.
They are betting on local production of the Aviator (via JV with Chang'an Motors) to drive up sales. It kind of worked but past experience says producing a premium product in China greatly reduces brand value and prestige. This is how Infiniti/Acura/Jaguar fell into obscurity while Lexus take advantage of their downfall to become a top 'Tier 2' brand.
Thanks for your insight @ssun30 , it's brilliantly appreciated as usual! It's a shame that this is the case then, as the Continental might not live on past the next couple of years.

It's funny you should mention the Chinese perception of Chinese built cars, it may have been you who wrote a long time ago about how Chinese built Honda Civics were extremely undesirable vs the Japanese built ones. It's funny that China has a somewhat poor view of its own products - people in the UK are very hurtful about new emerging Chinese car brands here like Great Wall and the China-built MG. They say it is junk and poo build quality etc.

A lot of people put Volvo's sharp drop in reliability down to the ownership by Geely.
 
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