Coming back from the epic, sadly-filled legacy yard, the 2015 Continental Concept will arise again with Lincoln’s future expectations for massive luxury production, this time stronger than ever. The 2015 Continental Concept is about to leave behind that utopic label, one that many promising vehicles keep forever.
Lincoln is planning to bet heavily on the Continental Concept, a model that takes all the lavishness and exclusivity from another era, one that was golden for this carmaker. Those days are over and now, offering an elegant, expensive vehicle for the masses isn’t easy. Lincoln is trying to reinvent itself, as we are now seeing.
The last couple of years have has been tough for the brand. Lincoln has struggled against a fast-paced market where they cannot achieve innovation. This carmaker’s spirit seems to be bound to a more traditional approach, something that many of us appreciate. Unfortunately, the market now lives from affordable vehicles that are heavily dependant on technology.
Lincoln is something else. However, the carmaker could do things better in the past. Innovation is part of the automotive industry and remaining obsolete is dramatically dangerous. With the Continental Concept, about to become a down-to-earth production car, the situation may change for the company. We are seeing a quite futuristic, cutting-edge luxury sedan that makes serious promises.
This American maker wants to bring this model to reality, locating it at the same segment as the highly anticipated Cadillac CT6, which also promises plenty. Extreme comfort and luxury coming from a Lincoln, all this at the edge of vanguardist technology.
Now, let’s see some of the main features known to the date.
The 2015 Continental Concept packs a 3.6 L V6 from the EcoBoost technology branch. For the already confirmed production, this engine is practically bounded. It has an estimated generation of more than 350 horsepower. This is clearly the first shot to be considered as an innovative model, making the most from current Ford’s tech to benefit the environment and provide fuel efficiency to the user.
The full-size luxury sedan will go from standstill to 60 mph (100 km/h) in an estimated time of 6 seconds and will reach a probable top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h). However, we shouldn’t have big expectations here as the Continental Concept seems to be very heavy. Yet, the purpose of this sedan isn’t being fast and agile. We think that Lincoln customers may be looking for something else.
In terms of transmission, the 2016 Continental Concept will probably feature a 10-speed automatic gearbox, which is still under development. The Lincoln Drive Control technology will be available for this future model, featuring three different driving modes: Normal, Sport and Comfort. We can already imagine the capabilities of each mode.
Other important specs are still unknown. It is expected to know more about them when Lincoln or Ford Motor Co. make the official statement about when the production may start.
A Worthy Lavish Design
The 2015 Continental Concept is all about luxury and opulence. This model has a long, successful history, which starts in 1940 with the first one ever produced. The Continental has always been synonymous with comfort and upper-class vehicles. The wealthy, mainly in the US, were preferred customers of this brand and model. Another interesting fact is that Lincoln used to build the Presidential car, so they know well about comfort and luxury.
Now, its new appearance makes a renewed statement for Lincoln models, representing innovation. The iconic split grille commonly used by the maker has been revamped. We have seen already some of the design traits that are present here. Other models from the Lincoln lineup are betting on this design pattern. Is it innovative and cutting-edge enough? That’s something the market will decide.
The highly modern headlights are mainly composed by LED technology. The E-Latch door handles introduced during the presentation show are standard by now, which is good news. Just by touching a button, the door would gently open, just like in other very high-end luxury sedans.
The full-length, narrow and thin taillight is undisputedly elegant and avant-garde. Lincoln efforts are pushing the concept elements into the production stage, which is something that doesn’t happen very often. They want to make possible the futuristic-but-practical design presented. We can interpret this as an all-in effort to refresh the Lincoln name and its most iconic model.
Generally, details on concept vehicles do not get to the production model. These details are often impractical and only have the objective to impress and reflect the design team’s own creativity and capacity. However, we cannot know for sure how many of these leading-edge details based on tech are going to survive the transformation into a production model.
Four wide pipes are found in the rear, giving a bold, muscular impression. For a luxury sedan, we are seeing some non-delicate elements. Instead, the All-American spirit also has its own influence, adding brawny details that are intimidating enough. The rear design and form did maintain some trails of past models. The 2015 Continental Concept didn’t want to wipe out completely the trademark design of the maker.
The 21-inch polished wheels are gorgeous and many wish that they pass beyond the concept model. This could be hard to achieve, due to its unpracticality.
Opulence turns even more dramatic when we get into the interior of the 2015 Continental Concept. Most of its attractive is found inside, where Lincoln decided to raise the bar and provide very high-end elements within a vehicle that is going to compete with the CT6. Blue leather with black and chrome inserts are wrapping everything, providing the expected highlife class.
The 30-way adjustable seats aren’t found just in the front. These top-notch seats provide comfort both in the front and the rear. The huge center console allows the passengers to control most of the instruments and toys onboard. So, the wealthy ones looking for a new sedan to be driven by chauffeurs may consider this alternative. At the rear seats, all the luxury can be equally experienced, no conditions allowed.
Among them, we found control climate, SPG Smart Glass system for sunroof tinting, a Revel Ultima premium audio system, and even a champagne storage compartment, raising the levels of lavish style. The 2015 Continental Concept enjoys of Venetian leather and Alcantara as the main material used for decoration.
The Bottom Line
Just reading a little bit about this model, we can notice that the 2015 Continental Concept is the most luxurious and lavish model offered by Lincoln until date. Of course, it hasn’t entered the production stage yet. But, according to the maker, is just matter of time.
Behind the Continental Concept, there are many different reasons for Lincoln to move this project forward. For many years, the brand has suffered because of a serious lack in technology application and innovation. Other carmakers that once were competitors, like Buick and Cadillac, are experiencing the same.
Here, the difference is that these brands are making important efforts to change their situations. Cadillac remains as the leading GM luxury branch, even if they do not sell enough. New projects aim to reinvent the brand and bring market-dominating sedans that exploit the well-known design pattern.
On the other hand, Buick is also making massive efforts to change their current situation. While Buick models aren’t that focused on luxury and comfort, at least in comparison with Lincoln and Cadillac, they are well-known for providing an amazing experience on the road for an affordable price. However, the company made the very same mistakes as Lincoln and now it’s facing serious financial trouble.
Nevertheless, there is a golden opportunity, one that Buick has already taken. China is multiplying the number of mid-class citizens every day, something that increases the expenditure in upper-grade vehicles. And conveniently for American carmakers, the Chinese mid-class loves their vehicles. Buick is introducing with great success many models in the Asian market.
What benefits Buick is its name and what it transmits. The very same thing may occur with Lincoln, a brand that was the reflection of exclusiveness and comfort. As we mentioned before, Lincoln was the main producer of Presidential cars, something that they will probably use in their favor.
The upcoming Continental sedan may be the spearhead of Lincoln’s strategy to revive its name with the help of the Chinese market, which is now filled with money. The American spirit in this vehicle, a highly-potential production one, may do the entire hard work for the company.
Cadillac’s strategy with the CT6 may be going the same way as Lincoln and Buick. As you can see in our review, the CT6 features a very sharp design pattern, something we see more often in eastern vehicles. Sharp and abundant edges may be an advantage for Cadillac in China, one that Lincoln doesn’t enjoy right now with the Continental Concept.
The price tag could be around the US$50,000 mark. In terms of competition, the main rival in the segment is the upcoming Cadillac CT6, another gem of design and sophistication.