Ford Motor officially unveils the Lincoln Continental Concept in New York. This five-passenger, luxury sedan elevates the Lincoln brand. A production version is expected to be presented in the coming months.
Media folk anticipating more information about the Lincoln Continental Concept were disappointed when those details were withheld at a press conference this morning in New York. Lincoln was the fourth brand to present its offerings at the Javits Center and the first one where the star attraction was a concept.
Unlike some other concepts, the Ford Motor Company intends to build the Lincoln Continental, a full-size sedan that likely will replace the current MKS. A production version of this five-passenger sedan will probably be introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show this November or at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this January.
Mark Fields, Kumar Galthora
Mark Fields, president and chief executive officer for the Ford Motor Company, led off the remarks. He was followed by Kumar Galhotra, president of the Lincoln Motor Company.
Fields explained Ford’s vision for the Lincoln brand, once the best-selling luxury marque in America. The company is investing $2.5 billion to revive Lincoln, with plans to add the Continental in the near term and two new (and additional) nameplates by 2020. Over the coming years, Ford Motor wants to raise Lincoln global sales to 300,000 units annually, with China and the United States providing the bulk of those sales.
As for the Continental, Fields pointed to the sedan’s visage and the “quiet luxury” mantra of the brand. That generalized term could be taken as a number of things, but as Galthora articulated, it represents — doors that open with only the slightest of touches, a driver’s seat that forms to maximize right and left leg comfort individually, and a sound experience in the optional Revel audio system that is comparable to sitting in a concert hall.
Turbocharged Lincoln Exclusive Engine
What we do know about the Continental is that it will be powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 engine. This Ecoboost motor will be exclusive to Lincoln and is based on technologies Ford Motor uses elsewhere. Specifically, the Lincoln power plant will offer a pair of turbochargers, direct injection and variable valve technologies. Together, the Lincoln engine will squeeze more power out of a smaller footprint and optimize fuel economy. An eight-speed automatic transmission will also be standard.
However, the Lincoln Continental will offer standard front-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive. In this segment, standard rear-wheel drive is preferred by driving enthusiasts, but when equipped with all-wheel drive the Continental would match what comparable Audi vehicles offer.
Toward a Production Plan
A crowded post-conference floor made it difficult to take photographs, but this writer did manage to capture a few and include those herein. Of course, Auto Trends will continue to follow the Lincoln Continental’s progress from its dazzling show floor concept to a production reality, as well as the overall push by Ford Motor to make this brand relevant again.
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Photos copyright Matthew C. Keegan and Auto Trends Magazine.