What Is It?
The 2017 Lincoln Continental is an all-new full-size luxury sedan. It debuts in Detroit as a production model, having first been a concept at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. Following a surprisingly intriguing MKZ that graced the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, this larger car replaces the MKS to become Lincoln’s fresh flagship and revives the old Continental badge.
One cool feature is the E-Latch door release. There are no moving parts to the handle, which is just a section of the metallic strip between the windows and the door panel. You merely have to touch a small button within the handle to gain entry. The new Continental also offers patented seats that can heat, cool, massage, recline, adjust this way and that (30 ways to relieve your lumbar) and provide extra under-thigh support.
Trim levels are Premiere, Select, Reserve and Black Label, and there are three distinct flavors of Black Label, including Chalet (inspired by ski vacations), Thoroughbred (horsey browns) and Rhapsody (blues and aluminum). The optional 20-inch wheels have tires lined with foam to reduce road noise by “up to 7 decibels,” according to Lincoln.
Motivation comes from the same twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 we saw in the face-lifted MKZ. It makes 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque and is exclusive to the Lincoln brand, not used in other Ford products so far. That approach also extends to smaller details, such as various controls being Lincoln-specific. A 2.7-liter turbo V6 and a naturally aspirated 3.7-liter V6 are also expected to be joining the range.
The Continental is built on a front-drive platform, but all-wheel drive will be available. The automatic transmission is a 6-speed unit, and there’s no mention yet of any hybrid version.
Driver-assistance and active safety features are in line with the competition, although the trend toward autonomy is not in evidence here. Nor is there anything that stands out as a piece of unique technology that could sway a buyer away from any of the excellent alternatives at this price level. Then again, it will be offering S-Class-type space for E-Class-type money.
To be announced (possibly starting somewhere in the 50s).
When Can You Get It?
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
You’re a die-hard Lincoln fan and think the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is just way too popular.
Other Cars to Consider
2016 Cadillac CT6 — The CT6 is all-new, all-American and already looking like a winner.
2016 Kia K900 — While we’re looking at less obvious luxury choices, this well-equipped car is driven by LeBron James, so there’s plenty of headroom and legroom.
Used Bentley Flying Spur — If imposing and regal are the qualities you’re after, a lightly driven Flying Spur can be acquired for the price of a 2017 Lincoln Continental.