Ford is bringing back its storied nameplate the Lincoln Continental after a 13-year hiatus.
The automaker is unveiling a prototype of its luxury division’s future sedan Monday ahead of this week’s New York Auto Show. Lincoln’s flagship will drop the MKS name of currently used on Lincoln’s top model and show a completely new look. But you can’t help but think of a bygone era when you think of this car, especially given the concept’s signature Rhapsody Blue metallic paint color.
“Luxury at its best is about simplifying and quietly exceeding expectations, rather than being the loudest statement on the road,” said Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company president and CEO. “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.”
Lincoln says a production version of the Continental, with an exclusive 3.0 liter EcoBoost engine, will be available next year. The automaker isn’t messing around with the technology either. It will be a showcase for it. The vehicle will be able to sense your approach and even light up to greet you.
“Some brands talk about ‘the machine,’ ” said Kumar Galhotra, Lincoln president. “Lincoln is different. For us, it is about more than the machine. It is about what our vehicles do for our clients.”
Other technology features include E-Latch door handles that open with the touch of a button, LED matrix headlamps with laser-assist high beams and a SPD SmartGlass tinting sunroof that allows passengers to control heat from direct sunlight. Oh, and yes it blocks 99 percent of UV rays.
As for as seating goes, Lincoln’s obsessed with making customers comfortable during their ride, to the point of designing patented 30-way seats. Yes, 30-way seats that will conform to passengers’ sizes and shapes. The passenger-side rear seat can even fully recline by moving the front passenger seat forward. As you might imagine, it comes with a top notch stereo system, too. A Revel Ultima audio system comes with three surround-sound modes.
“The Lincoln Continental name is associated with iconic beauty and elegance,” said David Woodhouse, Lincoln design director. “Capturing those qualities and building upon them drove us as we crafted this thoroughly modern sedan concept.”
Driver assist technologies include Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Enhanced Park Assist and a 360-degree camera that displays on the MyLincoln Touch screen.
The Continental has a long history. It first hit the road in 1938 after being developed specifically for Edsel Ford. The car got so many compliments from his friends, Ford decided to mass produce it and it had several successful production runs over the years before sales peaked in 1990. Lincoln finally gave up on it in 2002 when Ford acquired other luxury brands such as a Jaguar and Volvo. Plus, Lincoln’s own midsize LS and Town Car models both helped edge the Lincoln out, too.
As for the future of the new Continental, stay tuned!
Photo Courtesy: Lincoln