With the elegant back drop being provided by a talented jazz band that Lincoln brought out for the festivities. The company took the veil off of the last piece of its recent model blitz the 2017 Lincoln Continental, which aims to steal sales from domestic rival Cadillac as well as make a splash against established entries from German and Asian brands.
The exterior styling of the Continental changes very little from what was seen on last year’s concept car. The front end retains its slick mesh style grille, but the exotic headlight setup has been pitched in lieu of a more production ready set of eyes, which still look quite handsome. The door handles also retain their clever placement on the belt line, which helps create a clean side profile while a strip of chrome trim connects the thin LED taillights. Even though the rear end may seem a bit frumpy to some eyes, the overall styling package on display here is still quite impressive, and the Continental is perhaps the most elegant Lincoln offering that we have ever seen in recent memory.
The interior of the Continental also reflects the enormous amount of time and effort spent on making its cabin an enviable place to spend time in, and the high level of luxury it exudes makes us forget all about the slow selling MKS sedan. The seats for example offer 30 way power adjustability, and even feature separate adjustments for each of the thigh supports which is a good example of how Lincoln designers thought of every possible detail. Soft leather trim is found on the steering wheel, seats, and the dashboard with buyers being able to choose from either warm wood accenting, or sporty aluminium trim. The Continental doesn’t leave passengers out in the cold when it comes to luxury, and coddles them with power reclining seats that feature a massage function, as well as having seat heat and cooling. The rear passengers also have their own audio controls, and the ability to move the front seats forward or backward to ensure a perfect fit.
Performance for the Continental will come from a 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged V6 which was developed specifically for the Lincoln brand. First debuting in the recently unveiled Lincoln MKZ, the engine is capable of producing 400 horsepower and the grunt is routed to all four wheels via an automatic transmission. This potent engine will initially be the only offering available, but Lincoln did reveal that other engine offerings (including a possible hybrid) are on the way to help broaden the Continental’s appeal especially after it has time to settle into the marketplace. Lincoln will also equip the Continental with the brand’s Drive Control technology which will allow drivers to tailor the big luxury laden sedan to their tastes with Comfort, Normal, and Sport modes. All-wheel drive versions of the Continental feature torque vectoring technology, and Lincoln will also offer an adaptive steering system as a piece of optional equipment.
Befitting its role as a flagship vehicle, the list of optional extras for the 2017 Continental is extensive and includes driving aides such as adaptive cruise control, pre-collision assist with built in pedestrian detection, and a 360 degree camera that helps with parking especially in tight downtown boulevards. Look for the Continental to eventually offer customers a high degree of customization with bespoke options, as well as the release of a Black Series model that crams even more luxury and performance goodies into its elegantly shaped package.
Look for the 2017 Lincoln Continental to go on sale here in the U.S. later this fall, with its launch in China taking place at the same time. China will be a key market in particular for Lincoln as it tries to eat away at the strong market share currently enjoyed by Cadillac and Audi. Unlike those rivals, Lincoln will have to work hard for sales since the brand is still relatively new in China, and the company also missed out on the initial wave in purchases that helped push sales figures up in China, especially those that were generated by domestic rival Cadillac.