In an era where most automakers have discontinued their famous models, the Lincoln Motor Company has resurrected the Continental. The top-brass at Ford have invested millions of dollars in the revitalization of their famous luxury brand. Cadillac has made big waves in recent years, mostly because GM injected them with cash to revitalize engineering and design.
It’s only natural that Lincoln be given the same opportunities because they were both founded by the same person. Henry Leland and his son started Cadillac because they were engineers who combined precise manufacturing with the art of coachbuilding. After selling to GM, they started Lincoln, and Henry Ford bought them as a way to compete with Cadillac.
Nowadays, it takes star power, like that of Matthew McConaughey, to change our notions about a brand. The Navigator has returned as the full-size SUV, albeit without a V8 option. In fact, Lincoln has pinned their hope upon the EcoBoost series of V6 and four-cylinder engines. Realizing the potential of the 3.5 liters from the Raptor and the Ford GT, engineers chose to shorten the stroke in order to achieve an even 3 liters.
A new Continental is rated at 400 horsepower and torque, and it arrives standard with torque-vectoring AWD. We had a week to spend with a new example, and it’s clear to see where the money was spent. First off, the styling is unlike anything else on the road. The brightwork is not an imitation. Stainless and billet aluminum serve to set it apart from the crowd. The graceful door handles incorporate touchpads for the locks, and they are incorporated into the beltline.
Inside you are treated to an interior that will blow your mind. Leather and Alcantara are sculpted into comfy seating for 5 adults. If it looks real, that’s because the wood and polished metal are not imitations. The only point of disagreement amongst us was the gear selector, which consists of a vertical touchpad incorporated with the infotainment screen. Speaking of shifting, if you aren’t on level ground, shifting from park is accompanied by a disconcerting “clunk” that sounds like slack in the driveline.The six-speed autobox performs without complaint, but it is at a loss when compared to more gears offered by the competition. Other interior pleasantries are powered window shades, reclining rear seats, and all the modern safety gear.
Driving the Continental, you can easily imagine their target audience. The cabin is well insulated, and the suspension is continuously tuning out the road below. No silly fake engine noise, which has become a Ford trademark these days. Power and torque are available at an instant, so the V8 argument should be forgotten. For $75,770 you will have a true, modern American luxury sedan.