It’s been a while in the making, but Lincoln’s new flagship sedan is finally ready for prime time. Resurrecting an iconic name, the Continental takes the place of the MKS in the brand’s range, and offers buyers a more traditional take on American luxury.
As with the redesigned midsize MKZ, the Continental features Lincoln’s new styling including jewel-style LED headlamps and a grille that reminds us of another Continental – the Bentley. Though conservatively styled, there are plenty of neat touches including door handles that are integrated into the chrome window line, and tail lights that are Maserati-like in nature. As with the MKX, a bright Lincoln logo shines upon the ground upon approaching the vehicle.
The Continental rides on a modified version of the MKZ’s chassis, stretched so that its dimensions are that of a full-size sedan. The wheelbase is considerably longer, while the front and rear structures have been stretched to give it traditional sedan proportions – and traditional full-size sedan legroom and trunk space.
At launch, the Continental will be offered with one powertrain, Ford’s 2.7-litre turbocharged V6 which produces 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. Down the road, an all-new Lincoln-exclusive 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 will join the range; it will produce 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. If you happen to be in the livery car business, a 305-hp, 280 lb-ft of torque naturally aspirated 3.7-litre V6 is also an option. Regardless of which engine is selected, Lincoln’s updated all-wheel-drive system is standard and includes torque vectoring for improved agility and stability. As with the MKZ and MKX, electronically controlled damping comes standard for a smooth ride, while standard active noise cancellation ensures the ride is equally as serene.
The interior of the Continental is a nifty blend of classic materials and styling cues, combined with modern technology. There’s plenty of sumptuous leather and chrome trim, plus Lincoln’s signature push-button transmission. As with the latest Lincoln models, the Continental comes with Sync3, and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also, all climate controls feature regular buttons – there isn’t a single capacitive-touch slider in sight. Also included on every Continental is a power tilt and telescoping steering column, front and rear parking sensors with reverse camera, and proximity key with push-button start.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the new Continental is its seats. Lincoln registered 50 patents for the optional 30-way adjustable front buckets, which include multi-function massage and world-exclusive power adjustable front and left under-thigh supports. Rear-seat riders are also treated to royal thrones with heating, ventilation, massage, and power adjustments, as well as an optional arm rest with integrated LCD display.
From a technology standpoint, the Continental is available with Ford’s best technology including blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, collision warning with auto-braking, pedestrian detection, a 360-degree parking camera, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist.