The present-generation Lincoln Continental carries one of the storied names in luxurious vehicles. However as we speak’s Continental doesn’t actually stay as much as that nice legacy.
For one factor, it has the improper doorways.
Previous variations of the Continental had been identified for his or her center-opening “coach doorways” — higher referred to as “suicide doorways” amongst lovers. To have a good time the 80th anniversary of the Continental identify, Lincoln introduced again this distinctive function in a limited-edition mannequin named Coach Door Version that it launched in December of 2018. It took just a little over a month for consumers to scoop up all the preliminary manufacturing run of 80 vehicles.
“Response from prospects has been extraordinarily optimistic, with curiosity exceeding the deliberate manufacturing for the limited-edition run,” the corporate wrote in an announcement.
The Continental (to not be confused with the Bentley or the breakfast of the identical identify) was launched in 1939 as a standalone mannequin inside the Ford Motor Firm, not related to any present manufacturers. The mannequin ultimately grew to become a part of Lincoln’s lineup, and acquired its suicide doorways in 1961, in what’s arguably Lincoln’s most iconic design. However the Continental was progressively watered down, earlier than being discontinued altogether in 2002. Lincoln revived the identify for the 2017 mannequin 12 months.
“The middle-opening doorways grew to become synonymous with the Lincoln Continental, despite the fact that they had been solely featured primarily within the 1960s,” Lincoln design director David Woodhouse mentioned in an announcement. “However they struck such a chord that they’re nonetheless remembered so fondly as we speak.”
“If you open the doorways, it’s like a welcoming gesture,” Kemal Curic, Lincoln chief designer, advised Digital Traits on the automobile’s unveiling. Whereas the Continental identify had been used for a while earlier than then, Curic mentioned it was pure that Lincoln gravitated towards the 1961 mannequin for inspiration, because it got here from what he known as the “most glamorous time” in American historical past.
Whereas Rolls-Royce nonetheless makes use of them, suicide doorways have in any other case fallen out of trend. They acquired the “suicide” nickname as a result of the drive of air dashing previous might blow the doorways on older vehicles open. That’s probably not a problem with fashionable vehicles, but it surely’s not precisely one thing the advertising crew needs to cope with. On a four-door sedan just like the Continental, the association will also be impractical, because the solely opening is within the heart of the automobile.
But it surely’s laborious to beat the look of a automobile with suicide doorways. If Lincoln didn’t do it, it’s possible some aftermarket firm would have. Lincoln additionally famous that the 90-degree arc of the rear doorways additionally makes it simpler to get out and in of the rear seats. Backseat passengers within the 80th anniversary Continental additionally get further legroom, as Lincoln needed to prolong the wheelbase by 6.Zero inches to accommodate the trick doorways. The precise stretching of the automobile is finished by an out of doors firm, however Lincoln fabricates the entire elements in-house, Tim Sterling, chief program engineer for the Continental, advised Digital Traits.
“It was an enterprise,” Sterling mentioned. He famous that the suicide-door Continental meets all relevant crash-safety requirements, and that Lincoln used some 3D-printed elements on the automobile. That is sensible, given this Continental’s small-batch nature.
Apart from these doorways, the prolonged wheelbase, and a few upgrades to the inside (together with an expanded heart console with wi-fi phone-charging pad for rear-seat passengers), this restricted version is principally the identical as an bizarre Continental. It makes use of the identical three.Zero-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine because the top-spec mannequin, which produces 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. The V6 spins the 4 wheels by a six-speed automated transmission.
The Lincoln Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door Version debuts as a 2019 mannequin. Lincoln has completed taking orders for the preliminary batch of 80 vehicles; every one offered for an undisclosed worth rumored to hover round $110,000, a determine that makes it the corporate’s most costly automobile. These sedans had been possible bought by automobile lovers, or simply individuals who like being chauffeured round, Trevor Scott, advertising supervisor for Lincoln sedans and crossovers, mentioned. Possibly Lincoln will add suicide doorways to the Navigator subsequent.
Patrons who missed their likelihood to purchase a Continental Coach Door Version aren’t solely out of luck. Confronted with unexpectedly excessive demand, Lincoln introduced plans to deliver the mannequin again for a second mannequin 12 months, and it promised that it “can have extra to share very quickly” in an e mail despatched to Digital Traits.
Up to date on January 19, 2019: Added details about a second run of Coach Door Version vehicles.