Lincoln Continental Concept: First Look

  • Looks like: A big, imposing sedan from most angles
  • Defining characteristics: Flat belt line, commanding C-pillars
  • Ridiculous features: Button-actuated doors, laser-assisted headlights
  • Chance of being mass-produced: Barring a meltdown at Ford, 100 percent

Americans haven’t seen the Lincoln Continental since the 2002 model year, but Lincoln announced plans to bring back the storied nameplate with a concept car that debuts at this week’s 2015 New York International Auto Show. The near-production concept, which blends cues from Jaguar to Saab, heralds an “all-new full-size sedan coming next year,” Lincoln says. And it will be called the Continental.

Related: More 2015 New York Auto Show News

The Continental Concept takes Lincoln in a new direction, dispatching the brand’s lined grilles and plunging hoods for a more upright stance. The grille holds a patchwork pattern of Lincoln’s vertical logos; the flat belt line hangs into the rear fenders. Profile notwithstanding, the concept still has plenty of curves, drawing elements from the Jaguar XF up front and now-defunct Saab 9-5 in back. The chunky C-pillars meet the tail in a sort of Rolls-Royce Ghost profile. From the photos, the Continental Concept looks stunning from some angles, particularly the rear-quarter and profile view. From other sides, it’s derivative of a lot of Euro-lux sedans. We’ll have to see the car in person to issue a verdict, and we should get a chance to do just that at this week’s auto show. It’s safe to say the Continental Concept looks nothing like anything else in Lincoln’s stable, however.

Lincoln says the Continental Concept gets a turbocharged 3.0-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine, plus various driver-assist technologies and 21-inch wheels.

Inside, cabin materials include Venetian leather on the seats and doors, Alcantara simulated suede armrests, light-gold gauge trim and wool carpets. The waterfall center stack is awash in chrome, and the 30-way adjustable seats pack more controls than your passengers will know what to do with.The flow-through console carries climate and audio controls to the rear passengers. Other rear amenities include a tint-adjustable moonroof, deployable tray tables and a champagne-storage compartment. The front seatbacks have detachable leather cases that passengers can bring with them.

We don’t know exactly when the concept will become a production car, how much it will cost or what features will make the cut, but it looks production-intent. Lincoln insists that luxury shoppers will see a Continental soon. Ford says it wants its premium brand to signify “quiet luxury” going forward, and the Continental Concept is “a strong indication of what’s to come next year” in a production full-size sedan. Stay tuned.

 |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
Photo of Kelsey Mays
Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price. Email Kelsey Mays

Latest expert reviews