Ford has introduced the full-sized luxury sedan Lincoln Continental, which is aimed at American and Chinese markets.
Lincoln stopped making the Continental in 2002 to focus on other models. However, Continental's concept car attracted many car lovers at auto shows in China and New York in 2014. And on Tuesday, the new 2017 Continental has been unveiled at the Detroit auto show.
"The Continental name has long been associated with the ultimate in Lincoln beauty and luxury," says Kumar Galhotra, president of Lincoln. "With the all-new model, we are focusing on creating more human, personally tailored experiences for our clients – providing what we call quiet luxury."
The new Continental is shorter and lower in comparison to the Lincoln MKS. Although, the wheelbase of the 2017 Lincoln is longer.
Sedan demand has been relatively low in the U.S., but Lincoln is expecting the Continental to do better compared to the MKS, which did not even touch total sales of 100,000 units in the U.S. in the last eight years.
However, the Continental is mainly targeted at the Chinese market, which is expected to appreciate the spaciousness of the car and the rear seats that can also recline.
Owners of the Continental will get heated rear seats as standard. The massaging and cooling options are also available. The controls on the car's right rear door moves the front passenger seat forward, which creates more room at the back. Customers who use chauffeur driven cars will understand the benefit of the feature.
"Re-establishing Lincoln as a world-class luxury nameplate won't happen overnight, though it will happen if Ford continues to invest in the brand with stunning results like this new Continental," says Karl Brauer, senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book, a vehicle valuation and automotive research firm. "Even in the face of rising SUV demand, a serious luxury division needs a serious luxury sedan."
Galhotra says that the company is expecting 60 percent of Continental's sales to come from China. Customers in China also can choose from different engine calibration and select from different grain patterns for the interior panels, which brings a firmer look to its leather.
The new Continental includes a 3.0 liter V6 engine with twin turbochargers, which produces up to 400 hp and 400 pound-feet of torque.
The all-wheel-drive system of the Continental is paired with Dynamic Torque Vectoring, which transfers torque whenever required to the appropriate rear wheel when driving through corners – offering confident stability and handling.
Customers can choose from three drive settings: sport, normal and comfort; which adapts suspension and steering settings to tailor handling and ride.
The adaptive steering of the Continental assists drivers in optimizing steering response and enables the car to react more precisely and smoothly to driver input.
Lincoln has designed the Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection to enhance the safety of its occupants. Sensors and cameras detect potential collision and then apply the brakes automatically, bringing the car to a halt and helps in reducing the collision impact.
The Lincoln Continental will be produced at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan. The 2017 Lincoln Continental will have a starting price tag of $50,000 and will go on sale this fall.