Mid-century modern style is in right now and the folks at Ford's premium brand, Lincoln, are hoping that they can ride that same wave of nostalgia.
That's not to say that the latest crop of Lincolns to hit dealers is simply a rehash of the '60s; instead, the division hopes to rekindle some of the magic of the past. Its first major move? To reboot its Continental nameplate. With a look that is decidedly, well, continental, the new Lincoln flagship is a very large four-door with global aspirations. Lincoln needs it to be just as much of a hit in its home market as it does in China, where the brand is a few steps behind arch-rival Cadillac, not to mention Volvo. It's that latter brand that may serve as the Continental's inspiration; Volvo was once a part of Ford but is now owned by a Chinese firm that has pumped much-needed capital into the automaker.
Like Volvos of yore, the Continental is designed to be subtle outside but cosseting inside. Rear seat passengers may find the most to like since the Continental caters in part to Chinese consumers who prefer to be driven rather than to drive.
Similarly, the brand's MKZ adopts the Continental's new styling outside for 2017. Although it is still closely related to last year's MKZ, the 2017 model features numerous enhancements beneath the surface. Most notable is the new availability of a 3.0-liter V-6 rated at as high as 400 horsepower.
Elsewhere in the Lincoln lineup, there's not nearly as much to report. The MKS has been dropped in favor of the far more advanced Continental, while the rest of the range enters 2017 with minimal major changes.
2017 Lincoln Navigator
Here's a more comprehensive look at what you'll find in a Lincoln showroom this year:
- Nameplate returns after 15 year hiatus as new division flagship.
- Trio of Ford corporate engines: 3.7-liter V-6, 2.7-liter turbo-6, 3.0-liter turbo-6.
- Front-wheel drive standard; all-wheel drive optional.
- Premiere, Select, Reserve, and Black Label trim levels.
- Power liftgate now standard.
- Automatic parking brake now standard.