The 2019 Lincoln Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door Edition is not exactly a driving enthusiasts dream car… or is it? Classic Continentals going right back to the start in 1939 were designed to be driven across the continent with the utmost levels of comfort and convenience. And while some Continentals since then have strayed (either in size or in lowly underpinnings), the return of the Lincoln Continental in 2017 signaled that Lincoln was finally willing to build a significant Continental… not just a re-body of another car. There had been many Continental concepts shown over the years, most of them significant, but here at last is a real Continental, in the flesh, with the features expected of a touring luxury car.
Unfortunately the new Continental arrived just as the market for full-size cars is shrinking to the point of oblivion, or at least to the point where they are no longer financially justifiable for most mainstream manufacturers. So this may or may not be the last iteration of the Continental…
The Continental is built on an enlarged Fusion chassis, also shared with the Chinese market Taurus (no relationship to the current North American Taurus, which traces it’s roots back to a shared Volvo chassis along with the current Explorer). Chassis sharing is necessary these days, it makes financial sense and allows a wider variety of cars to be built on shared budgets. It does result in some shared switch gear inside the Continental, and some is evident but is not a major issue since Ford Motor Company has good quality switch gear and ergonomic design sense. The question is what happens in the next few years to this “orphan” chassis (orphan being a chassis used by only 1 or 2 vehicles, which increases costs and reduced manufacturing flexibility considerably). Rumor has it that a new Continental might be built on the all-new CD6 chassis (2020 Explorer, 2020 Aviator, and 2022 Mustang), but that is just a rumor. But the question is if there is even a market for a sedan-style Continental.
Meanwhile, the 80th anniversary of the Continental has arrived, and with it a special model will be built with center-opening doors (labelled unrealistically by the popular press as “suicide doors” because if you could open the rear doors and step out, which you cannot do at speed, you would be hit by the door and run over). Only 80 will be built very late in the 2019 model year. And they will all be fully loaded with Lincoln’s 400 HP twin-turbo V-6 engine, torque-vectoring AWD, 30-way adjustable “Perfect Position” front seats, and Revel® Ultima Audio. We’ve tried these front seats, and there are a lot of adjustments, but once you find the perfect settings they are truly wonderful. We’d be happy to drive a new Continental across the continent – any time.
Lincoln Press Release Follows:
80th Anniversary Lincoln Continental Arrives in Style with Iconic Center-Opening Doors
NEW YORK, Dec. 17, 2018 – “Notice the doors,” the vintage advertisement for the Lincoln Continental began. “And notice how they open. From the center, to make everyone’s entrances graceful.”
With that, an enduring automotive design legend was born – the coach doors – or center-opening doors, which conveyed elegance and a touch of Hollywood glamour.
Today, six decades later, Lincoln is bringing back a modern version of these iconic center-opening doors with the introduction of the Lincoln Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door Edition. A limited run of just 80 units will be produced.
The Continental Coach Door Edition arrives as Lincoln is riding a new wave of product momentum. Following the reveal of the all-new Lincoln Aviator at the Los Angeles Auto Show, this 80th Anniversary Continental celebrates the heritage of one of America’s most beloved luxury sedans.
“This Lincoln Continental echoes a design that captured the hearts of car enthusiasts around the world,” says Joy Falotico, president, The Lincoln Motor Company. “It’s something bespoke only Lincoln can offer in a thoroughly modern way.”
Glamour and allure
Lincoln Continental began as a custom luxury vehicle hand-crafted by chief stylist Eugene T. Gregorie for Edsel Ford in 1939. Years later, the 1961 Continental introduced the unique center-opening doors and a chrome-accented upper shoulder line that established a signature look for Lincoln.
“The center-opening doors became synonymous with the Lincoln Continental, even though they were only featured primarily in the ’60s,” says David Woodhouse, design director, The Lincoln Motor Company. “But they struck such a chord that they’re still remembered so fondly today.”
Woodhouse says the element is both dramatic and distinctive. “It was truly a watershed moment for us in terms of iconic design,” he adds.
Each of the 80 units in this limited production for 2019 will have a special door sill plate featuring its number in the run. A limited number of additional Continental Coach Door Edition sedans will be available as well for the 2020 model year.
The Lincoln Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door provides the refinements and advanced features today’s luxury vehicle client desires. From the doors to the seating to the Lincoln Black Label interior, no detail has been overlooked. Rear-seat amenities are uniquely tailored, featuring an elegantly crafted pass-through console that offers a stowable tray table with tablet holder and wireless charging pad.
Rear-seat passengers will be more comfortable than ever. The six inches added to the car’s wheelbase allow for the placement of the larger coach doors, while also delivering best-in-class second-row legroom.
Celebrating form and function
The center-opening coach doors are a celebration of both form and function. Woodhouse says they showcase the interior of an exceptionally beautiful vehicle. The 90-degree opening makes for easy, graceful entry and exit by allowing passengers to turn to sit to enter, then exit the car by stepping forward and out.
“People appreciate elegance and glamour,” says Woodhouse. “And they want the easiest way to get in and out of a vehicle. These doors answer to both.”
The car is meticulously crafted inside and out, integrating technologies that both assist and entertain. This Continental senses a driver’s approach and lights up with Lincoln’s trademark sequential welcoming embrace. Its award-winning Head-Up display contributes to a custom driving experience by letting drivers choose what information is projected onto the windshield display. The feature is so innovative that it is visible even with ambient lighting and when the driver is wearing polarized sunglasses.
In keeping with the spirit of arriving in style, the 2019 Lincoln Continental’s innovative electronic door system allows doors to be unlatched in a smooth, single motion, making entry and exit both effortless and quiet.
With Lincoln’s exclusive 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine, Continental delivers the power and performance today’s luxury clients expect with an impressive 400 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. Three Drive Modes, including Normal, Sport and Comfort, allow clients to personalize their driving experience.
To complement its smooth, powerful drive, this special edition features Perfect Position seats that adjust 30 ways, plus Active Noise Control for a quiet interior. A Revel® Ultima Audio experience allows drivers to select one of three listening modes, including stereo, audience and on-stage.
Continental clients will have their choice of Lincoln Black Label themes, the brand’s most personalized level of luxury, including Chalet and Thoroughbred. Lincoln Black Label not only provides the highest quality of materials in customized designer themes, it also offers a host of membership privileges. These include annual vehicle detailing, anytime carwashes, and access to a selection of restaurants where noted chefs will provide a curated dining experience.
This limited-edition model is available to order now through Lincoln Black Label dealers. The Lincoln Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door Edition is set to arrive next summer.