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2017 Lincoln Continental Overview
First built in 1939 as the personal car of Edsel Ford, the auto industry has acknowledged the Lincoln Continental as a ground-breaking marvel of design and a legitimate Rolls-Royce competitor. A modified Continental Limousine carried JFK toward Dealey Plaza on the day he was assassinated, and another held a starring role in National Lampoon’s "Animal House." Yet for all of this legacy, today the Lincoln Continental is remembered less as the low-slung, suicide-doored, pinnacle of luxury that it was, and more as your grandmother’s wallowing sedan, complete with the spare-tire hump in its trunk. With the 2017 Continental, however, Lincoln is on a mission to change that.
Lincoln hasn’t yet detailed trim levels for the 2017 Continental, but three Black Label interior themes will be available. Chalet, which uses dark woods and is inspired by ski lodges, and Thoroughbred, employing diamond stitching and rich leathers to evoke horse racing, certainly sound interesting. The third theme, Rhapsody, will be exclusive to the Continental and will incorporate bright accents against a blue interior. All Continentals are expected to use 20-inch wheels and specially designed door handles, which are built into the car’s beltline, leaving the sheet metal on the doors clean.
The Continental marque hasn’t been employed by Lincoln since 2002, so its return at the 2015 New York Auto Show spurred significant interest. The eighth-generation Continental adopted the front-wheel-drive (FWD) platform from the Ford Taurus in 1988, and that layout continued throughout the sedan’s production run. In 2017, however, the Continental will be built on a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. Powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6, the Lincoln Continental should produce 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. All of this will be available via three driving modes: Comfort, Normal, and Sport.
Surely its inclusion is to dilute the aforementioned “grandmother’s wallowing sedan” character that once plagued the later Continentals, but Sport mode still seems a bit peculiar for a car like this. The Continental has never really had a sporting heritage, and the latest model looks to continue the tradition of opulent comfort that made the original legendary. While handling and stability are focus points in the development of any vehicle worth its salt these days, the 2017 Continental’s meal ticket will be found in the interior.
Thirty-way adjustable, heated, ventilated, and massaging front seats each offer two independently adjustable thigh cushions. It's highly unlikely that these seats will be upholstered in any non-leather materials. Lincoln’s new Revel sound system will also be available.
If the supple Bridge of Weir leather and wood surrounding you become too overwhelming, simply look up; the Continental will offer a panoramic sunroof. If your rear passengers find the great outdoors offensive, they can raise the manually operated sunshades on their side windows and the power sunshade on the rear glass. Active Noise Control and laminated side glass will help stifle any tiresome road noise.
Finally, the Continental is expected to include a wide variety of safety assists. Already great at limiting fender benders, Pre-Collision Assist will also incorporate Pedestrian Detection, which we hope will keep drivers from running down innocent bystanders as well. Add a 360-degree camera and adaptive cruise control, and drivers should have no more trouble parking the flagship sedan, nor will they struggle to enjoy its comforts in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Pricing has not yet been announced for the 2017 Lincoln Continental, but the flagship sedan should be on sale in the fall of 2016, most likely with the words “opulent,” “elegant,” and “luxurious” scattered throughout the sales brochure.
When it comes to cars, Matt's curiosity extends well beyond the powertrain. From Ford to Porsche, he's as interested in the history behind the machine as he is the view behind the wheel. Matt writes exclusively for CarGurus.
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