2017 Lincoln Continental Preview
By Christian Wardlaw, January 12, 2016
- New flagship Lincoln sedan
- Emphasis on a quiet, comfortable cabin
- New Perfect Position front-seat designs
- Optional executive-style rear seating package
- Available twin-turbocharged V-6 with all-wheel-drive
- New safety, infotainment, comfort, and convenience upgrades
- On sale in fall of 2016
Lincoln deserves credit for giving its new flagship car a classic, meaningful, easily remembered name instead of “MK-whatever.” Unlike Continentals of yore, however, this new one's proportions aren't quite right thanks to its front-drive platform.
What should be a gorgeous, new, full-size luxury sedan with an alluring dashboard-to-axle ratio and a cabin pulled back on the chassis is, instead, yet another moderately attractive luxury car. Yes, Audi takes the same approach. Somehow, though, the proportions of an A6 or A8 avoid the new 2017 Lincoln Continental’s blunt, nose-heavy, cab-forward appearance.
Regardless, it would appear that what’s on the inside of the new 2017 Lincoln Continental is more important than what’s on the outside. Based on the language the company used to describe the Continental during its official unveiling at the 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, it would appear that Lincoln envisions the primary prospects for this automobile to be “discerning” and “culturally progressive” people seeking “first-class accommodations” and “quiet luxury.”
Will the Lincoln Continental prove appealing to that demographic? If not, it won’t be attributable to a lack of effort on the part of Lincoln’s marketing department.
Lincoln hopes you like its new signature grille design, because it will be added to all of its models within the next few years, starting with the rebooted 2017 Lincoln MKZ and then followed this fall by the new Continental. The mesh grille pattern features repeating Lincoln star logos, a nice detail, though scrubbing bugs out of it likely won’t be fun.
Lincoln Embrace Approach lighting “awakens” as the owner approaches with the key fob, a thoughtful touch that other automakers should emulate. Adaptive LED headlights are available, and Lincoln star logo welcome mat lighting helps to ensure that nobody steps into a puddle while entering the car.
Clean flanks are due, in part, to the Continental’s unique E-Latch door releases, which are integrated into the vehicle’s beltline. With the touch of a button, the doors open. Also, Lincoln’s PIN code keyless-entry system remains embedded into the doorframe.
Lincoln promises a “serene” and “spacious” interior with “generous” rear legroom. To fulfill this vision, Bridge of Weir Deepsoft leather with premium stitching detail is available for the cabin, which features genuine wood and aluminum trim. The Continental is also equipped with active noise control and acoustic laminated glass. Even the optional 20-in. tires are lined with foam to absorb road noise.
New Perfect Position front-seat designs are an option for the Continental, equipping the car with heating, ventilation, and massage functions. They adjust 30 different ways and are designed to conform to individual body shapes and take into account an occupant’s weight in order to supply optimal comfort. The premium leather wrapped around these seats includes a perforation pattern in the shape of the Lincoln star logo.
A panoramic glass roof is optional, along with power-cinching doors that latch automatically. Remember: quiet luxury. An executive-style Rear Seat Amenities package is optional, supplying unique rear seats with heating, ventilation, massage, and recline functions. This upgrade also installs rear climate and stereo controls, manual rear side window shades, and a power rear window shade.
Lincoln Black Label design themes are available for the new Continental, giving the car a bespoke appearance. The themes are called Chalet, Thoroughbred, and Rhapsody.
Under the Hood
Lincoln describes the Continental as “effortlessly powerful.” Evidently, this claim is based upon the car’s optional, twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6 engine, which Lincoln projects to make 400 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque.
No details were given with regard to the Continental’s standard powertrain, or what transmission might be installed. Shift buttons are located on the dashboard to the left of the infotainment screen, and a sport mode is intended to enliven the driving experience.
As previously mentioned, the transmission will deliver power to the Continental’s front wheels. An all-wheel-drive system with Dynamic Torque Vectoring will be available, and the Continental will include Lincoln Drive Control with Comfort, Normal, and Sport settings. This system adjusts the car’s steering and its standard adaptive damping suspension accordingly.
Lincoln includes an Auto Hold feature for the braking system, to be used at intersections or in traffic. If the driver wishes not to hold a foot on the brake pedal, pushing this button will keep the car stopped until the driver presses on the accelerator pedal. Adaptive steering is an option, designed to deliver smoother and more precise response to driver input.
Details regarding the Continental’s vehicle architecture and safety systems are incomplete, but given the car’s development against current industry standards it is a safe bet to assume that Lincoln is targeting top crash-test ratings and will supply the best driver-assistance and collision-avoidance technologies at its disposal.
In addition to those two safety systems, an adaptive cruise control system with full-stop capability will be an option, as well as a 360-degree surround-view camera system and a parallel and perpendicular park-assist system with a handy “park out” function.
Lincoln will use its new Sync 3 infotainment system in the Continental, which features natural-voice recognition, intuitive smartphone-style operation, and faster response time than the company’s old MyLincoln Touch technology. A Revel Ultima premium surround audio system with 19 speakers and Stereo, Audience, and On Stage sound profiles is optional, and Lincoln says it was designed and developed specifically for the Continental’s interior acoustics.