The 2017 Lincoln Continental: Decadent, Powerful, EcoBoost

Last March, we brought you news of the reimagining of one of the most venerable names in cars: The Lincoln Continental.  The boys really outdid themselves this time.  This was a concept that perfectly captured the luxury, elegance and even decadence of “continental”.  I wondered aloud could Lincoln make the concept to showroom transition.

Well, here’s the answer, the new Lincoln Continental production car, unveiled at the 2016 North American International Auto Show.

So far, so good.

The Continental is intentionally luxurious, decadent, powerful and quiet.  As they put it:

The full-size sedan is designed to appeal to culturally progressive clients who define luxury on their own terms – craving superior quality, craftsmanship and safety.


“The Continental name has long been associated with the ultimate in Lincoln beauty and luxury,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of Lincoln. “With the all-new model, we are focusing on creating more human, personally tailored experiences for our clients – providing what we call quiet luxury.”


Quiet luxury, indeed.

The new Continental comes with a V6 twin-turbo EcoBoost engine, generating 400 hp and 400 lb.ft. of torque.  This is the same engine that comes in the new Ford Fusion, as well as the F-150 pickup truck.  So inadequate power-to weight-ratios or other thoughts of the car being underpowered should end here.  The all-wheel-drive system comes with three driving settings: Comfort, Normal and Sport.  Although I haven’t driven the car (yet), I’m really interested on how different Sport feels from Comfort.  The settings help decide how the adaptive steering and suspension react to driver input.  Collision avoidance–called Pre Collision Avoidance and Pedestrian Detection–stop the car before impact.  Pedestrian Detection works better at lower speeds, allowing you the ability to avoid hitting someone while backing up, for example.

The new Lincoln packs a lot of technology, probably more than what you’d expect.  The one thing I really like is the Auto Hold feature.  Come to a complete stop, take your foot off the brake, and the car stays there.  As the father of a 5-year old, this allows me the opportunity to reach into the backseat and pickup whatever it is the child has dropped on the floor.  Other higher profile, but (to me) less utilitarian features are a lane-keeping system–which steers your straying vehicle back into the lane.  A 360-degree camera is central to lane keeping, as well as an adaptive cruise control system that will not only allow you to come to a complete stop; it also guides you through traffic and accelerates back to the target speed once in the clear.  Incremental steps to self-driving in action. The sound system detects unwanted noise patterns and dampens them.  Does that mean I will never hear my wife talk about how fast I’m going?  If so, sign me up.  There’s a lot more tech there–these are just some of the high points.

If you looked at a few of the images or video above, it’s clear the new Lincoln Continental is a beautiful car.  It follows some of the historical Continental lines, but visually the car has been reworked from scratch.  The grille is strong, and the Lincoln mark is boldly on display.  “Continental” is proudly etched into a chrome badge leading the beltline.  Then there’s the new experience when a driver walks up to the car:

As the driver approaches the car with the key, LED signature lighting in the lower front fascia and taillamps subtly engages, while signature lighting in the headlamps awakens in a fluid motion. Lincoln mat lights then brighten the pavement around the front doors, helping show any hazards, while select interior lights warmly illuminate the cabin


Touch the recessed door handle and the door presents itself to be opened.  Give it a little push to close and hydraulic motors in the Continental finishes the job, automatically.  Inside the driver can use a 30-way seat adjustor to find the exact point of comfort–including heat, cool, and massage.  Just don’t fall asleep.  Lastly, Lincoln is offering 3 “Black Label” interior motifs for you to choose from: Rhapsody, Thoroughbred and Chalet.  Black Label interiors allow you to completely customize your cabin with a wider range of woods and leathers.

Looking forward to telling you more about it when the new Continental comes to the 2016 Chicago Auto Show.

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Sebastian James

Accept no substitutes

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