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Lincoln Unveils Continental Concept; Could Hint At Possible CT6 Fighter

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On: Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 1:40PM | By: Carl Malek

Lincoln Unveils Continental Concept; Could Hint At Possible CT6 Fighter

On the heels of an unintnentional leak by Ford's official marketing team, Lincoln has taken the wraps off of the Continental concept ahead of its official New York Autoshow debut. The Continental concept hints at a possible contender to the Cadillac CT6 while also serving as a compelling preview of the luxury brand's upcoming design language.

The exterior styling of the Continental represents a bold and drastic departure from Lincoln's current design language; it also embodies a classier more upscale look which should please Lincoln onwers and fans. The front fascia of the concept ditches the wing-inspired grille design in lieu of an arch shape design which features mesh inserts, a curved hood, as well as swept-back headlights which feature laser-assist technology for optimum nightime vision. This alone makes the Continental concept one of the most striking Lincoln vehicles that has ever been produced in recent years, and is a welcome improvement over the elegant but bland design language that permeates much of the current lineup. Special exterior-mounted E-Latch door handles, tucked discretely in the vehicle's beltline, contribute to the car's clean side profile. The rear styling of the concept is just as striking as the front, and features bold pronounced haunches, as well as thin taillamps that are connected by a small light bar with a set of quad exhaust tips and 21-inch alloy wheels rounding out the package quite nicely.

While the exterior favors a slightly understated look in its overall presenation, the interior aspires to be a technological- and design-oriented showpiece that bristles with new technology and style. A prominent feature that quickly stands out is the wide center console that is fitted with plenty of chrome trim and is contrasted nicely by premium-looking materials. The plush Venitian Leather/Alcantara seats feature 30-way adjustability and can be tailored to accomodate a wide range of driver settings. The sunroof, meanwhile, steals a page from the Mercedes Benz playbook of gadget gimmickry, and features a tinting system that can be activated at the push of a button (consider us impressed). Occupants who are lucky enough to have seat time in the Continental can expect a quiet ride, thanks to the comany's Active Noise Control technology, or eschew the whisper-quiet solitude for a quality audio experience, thanks to the 19-speaker Revel Ultima System stereo unit.

Rear passengers are not left out of the coddling equation and benefit from a host of luxury amenitites. For example, the center console features aircraft-inspired tablet lap trays while the built-in champagne storage compartment not only serves as an excellent conversation piece, it also helps keep that valuable bottle of bubbly cool during long drives. As a neat bonus, the rear seats can fully recline, allowing the passengers to sleep comfortably during long drives, a feature that already sees duty in select Mercedes and Hyundai offerings.

Performance for the big Lincoln comes from a 3.0-liter Ecoboost V6 which was tweaked by Lincoln engineers to meet the brand's rigorus expectations as well as the Continental’s broader purpose. Neither official horsepower figures nor official technical data were released by Lincoln execs, but the brand did claim that the car offers three distinct driving modes known as Normal, Sport, and Comfort. This is a subtle nod to the 2002 Continental which offered drivers the choice of Normal, Firm (AKA Sport), and Plush, thanks to a simpler but still effective electronic computer setup.

While the Continental makes its debut as a design study for the moment, the broader implications of this car's purpose for Lincoln are important things to consider for the long term. In addition to serving as a welcome replacement for the capable but slow-selling MKS sedan, the car will also herald new design language that will eventually influence the design of Lincoln's other models in some shape or form during the next few years. This new design could help revitalize Lincoln's sales which have declined by a whopping 53 percent since their peak back in the 1990s, though they have been slowly rising, thanks to the Lincoln MKC CUV.


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