Once upon a time, it was arguably the most popular luxury vehicle in the U.S., driven by movie stars and presidents alike. Now, after a thirteen-year absence, the Lincoln Continental will soon be making its dramatic reappearance on American roads.
Whereas most automakers tout the flashy bells and whistles of their latest models, Ford is taking a slightly different approach in emphasizing the “quiet luxury” of its new Continental. To hear Ford President and CEO Mark Fields tell it, the automaker’s vision for the new Lincoln model can be summed up as follows: drive softly and carry a big stick.
“Luxury at its best is about simplifying and quietly exceeding expectations, rather than being the loudest statement on the road,” said Fields. “The Continental Concept showcases the promise of quiet luxury from Lincoln going forward. It also is a strong indication of what’s to come next year as we introduce our new Lincoln Continental full-size luxury sedan.”
Despite its emphasis on quiet performance, the Continental Concept offers plenty of visual delights for auto aesthetes. For instance, the full-size sedan features a sleek silhouette and a centered, rectangular chrome grille that prominently displays the iconic Lincoln logo. As a call back to its illustrious past, the Continental will be painted in its signature color of Rhapsody Blue.
In terms of creature comforts, the new Lincoln Continental will sport E-Latch door handles that tuck in the vehicle’s beltline, as well as open and close quietly with a push of a button located under the door handle wings. The vehicle’s interiors will consist of plush Venetian leather seating, satin headliner and shearling wool carpet.
Ford is betting that the revival of the Lincoln Continental will help raise Lincoln’s lagging sales in the luxury car segment and return the brand to its former glory.
The midsize luxury sedan was the vehicle of choice for the jet set for decades, with sales peaking at over 62,000 in 1990. But the Continental languished soon thereafter thanks to a number of factors, including atrophying design quality and increased competition from foreign luxury models. The last Lincoln Continental was manufactured in 2002.
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