A decade ago, Lincoln decided to make big changes. It broomed its collection of classic nameplates, and gave almost all its cars and trucks European-sounding codes for names.
Now it's turning back time and bringing back its best-known badge.
The 2017 Continental replaces the big MKS sedan. It's a new luxury four-door spun from the same architecture as the MKZ and Ford Fusion.
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It's a flagship four-door, but it's an understated one. It's distinctive but relies on just a few details to make it memorable--details like its high-mounted door handles and big mesh grille, and the Lincoln name stretched across the trunk lid.
The cabin is where the Continental reaches deep into its bag of history. It's decorated in rich materials with lots of lovely touches, starting with the Lincoln shield embroidered on the seats. The heated, ventilated, and massaging seats are said to mimic high-end office furniture, with up to 30-way adjustment. The dash and console can be wrapped in leather, and wood or aluminum trim can be chosen.
That's just up front. In back, the Continental goes to extreme lengths to please passengers--many of whom will be chauffeured in markets like China. The back seat has heated and cooled seats that recline; separate audio and climate controls; sunshades; and acoustic glass and active noise control to damp out sound.
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For power, the Continental relies on a new twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6. It's rated at up to 400 horsepower, with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive with torque vectoring. Drivers can tailor road feel through a mode selector that changes steering, throttle, and transmission responses.
The Continental gets the latest safety technology too, including adaptive cruise control, surround-view cameras, and forward-collision warnings with automatic braking. Other features include Revel audio and Lincoln's designer Black Label trim, with color and trim themes with names like Rhapsody, Chalet, and Thoroughbred.
Pricing hasn't been release, but the Continental goes on sale in the fall.