This could be the Lincoln that makes Lincoln cool again.
While it can’t be called a success until we can count actual sales numbers, we can still look at the signs that point to the new 2017 Continental as being the most sought-after and desired Lincoln in a generation.
How has Ford, Lincoln’s parent, managed to pull off what could be the start of a turn-around for a brand that was once on the brink of death?
It all starts with design and the upscale luxury that once embodied Lincoln’s cars.
The Continentals and Town Cars of Lincoln’s past were full-size rear-wheel-drive sedans that wrapped drivers in luxury while powering down the road with fuel-thirsty engines. The last-generation Continental had a 4.6-liter V8 engine, which old-schoolers believe is the only proper engine for such a vehicle.
About 40,000 people, though, are excited for the 2017 Continental and its suite of V6 engines, including a 400-hp power plant that resides at the top of the line.
Those are people, according to Automotive News, who have expressed interest in receiving more information from Lincoln regarding availability and pricing for the car, which is due in showrooms this fall.
That number is more than the amount of people who expressed interest in the new MKZ, which has accounted for about 44 percent of Lincoln sales so far this year.
Both the Continental and MKZ share Lincoln’s bold new design, which in some lights bares a striking resemblance to Bentley. (Just ask Luc Donckerwolke). That design in itself could be enough to help turn around Lincoln’s existence, because the new cars no longer look like gussied-up Fords.
The Continental does, however, sit on a platform shared with the Ford Fusion and will come in either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive trims. That could keep former Continental drivers from returning to the brand.
Technology offerings in the Continental will lag behind the competition, which could also keep some people away. The car will come with all the expected automatic assists, but won’t feature any kind of autonomous driving feature. Car and Driver had this to say:
When the Continental goes up against the Lexus GS, Audi A6, Cadillac CT6, and friends in the North American and Chinese markets starting this fall, it won’t do so as the most tech-heavy or the sportiest offering in the class. Instead, Lincoln is espousing the idea of Quiet Luxury. It’s almost an old-school philosophy, but it may be the way forward for an old-school luxury brand trying to make a name for itself with a new generation of buyers.
Engine choices for the Continental will include a 2.7-liter turbocharged V6, a 3.7-liter naturally aspirated V6, and the 400-hp 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6.
The 2017 Continental won’t win many street races against its competitors, but it could do well in a much more important competition: the sales race.
Will you test-drive a new Lincoln Continental?