When it comes to the Lincoln Continental, I must admit, my excitement was quickly diminished moments after I saw it. It is a big car for Lincoln Motor Company, but it seemed as if they weren’t taking it seriously.
The styling is nice. So was the same car 25 years ago. Nothing striking, just a neat, fresh look. I love the proportions and the silhouette it produces. I just can’t help but think that with brands like the Acura and Lexus having distinctive (even polarizing) styling, the Conti’s staid looks seem behind the times at first glance. This could be blazing a new trail, but trick door handles and a long wait do not a luxury car make these days.
Upon closer inspection, I am intrigued by some of its niceties. The seats, for example are simply a work of art. They look like sport seats with armchairs attached. While that certainly sounds like a mess, it is crafted in a very attractive way. The infotainment system is the top-notch Sync system and as it’s as stellar as ever. It is what Cadillac’s CUE system was supposed to be in my humble opinion. I just love how everything fits together and is designed from the start to be premium.
I was on the fence about the styling when I saw it at last year’s Chicago Auto Show. It seemed underwhelming to me. After hearing the hoopla, seeing the press previews and being teased by the Continental Concept, I was a little disappointed. I was looking forward to a little rounding in the corners, a more prominent stance and that pronounced rear haunch from the concept car. However, I think that with a little checking on the options list, it could be a nice looking cruiser. I paid special attention to the grille and front corners. Many in this class are going for striking shapes and advanced illumination. The Continental’s lighting is modern while being very restrained – a nice touch, indeed. When the CAS comes around this year, there will be no turntables for it to sit on. It will be on the floor and the design will have to stand for itself. I don’t think it will impress me like the Chevy Impala did. I think it will certainly hold its own with presence – more like the Genesis G90. Giving over to the opinion that it’s not all about pretty, it’s about presence. The Bentley Arnage, the M-B 600 Pullman and even the Hongqi Limousine all go for that “imposing despot” approach. I think that is what Lincoln was going for — and why not? After all, they were designing the car at the top of their food chain and its name is Continental.
This is certainly not a review, but it is an amendment to my very adamant criticisms of Lincoln in recent years (see Advice for Lincoln). The Continental surprises me and gives me hope for LMC’s future. I’m not back-peddling, I’m just admitting that this is a good start in the right direction.
By the way, LMC. Since you’re doing pretty good with concepts lately, could you take a look at this and see what you can do with it for the next MKS? Thanks.
Lincoln Continental Gallery