► Lincoln Continental concept car
► First look at new 2016 range-topper
► Name, design causes Facebook designer spat
Ford’s upmarket Lincoln brand showed the new Continental concept car at the 2015 New York motor show, giving a sneak look at the new range-topping luxury saloon due in 2016.
And that name is remarkably apposite: there are shades of Bentley Flying Spur about its side profile, wouldn’t you agree? Crewe's chief designer Luc Donckerwolke certainly did, posting on his Lincoln rival's Facebook page: 'Do you want us to send the product tooling?'
The comment was swiftly removed, but a spat among car designers always makes a motor show more interesting. Donckerwolke went on to post the following on his own Facebook page: 'I would have called it a Flying Spur concept and kept the four round lights.' Handbags at dawn...
We think there are equally hints of Audi A8 from the front three-quarters. Meet the American luxury car that thinks it's a European...
Lincoln Continental concept: the lowdown
This is a large saloon to rival the Mercedes S-class and homegrown Cadillac CT6 luxury limos and Lincoln says it sets a new template for the family’s design wardrobe, penned by the brand’s design director Briton David Woodhouse. Note in particular the raised Lincoln badge surrounded by the brand’s star logo.
And is the rear vaguely Saab-ish, with its full-width lamps? This car is full of stylistic echoes and those rear lights are notable for their ‘transparent chrome’ finish.
‘Luxury at its best is about simplifying and quietly exceeding expectations, rather than being the loudest statement on the road,’ said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. ‘The Continental Concept showcases the promise of quiet luxury from Lincoln going forward.
‘It also is a strong indication of what’s to come next year as we introduce our new Lincoln Continental full-size luxury sedan.’
Lincoln luxury spec
The Continental is dripping with labour-saving devices. Can’t be bothered to close your own doors? So-called E-Latch handles do it for you. LED headlamps dip up and down for you and the SmartGlass sunroof tints automatically to keep bright sunlight out of the cabin.
Much attention is paid to lighting inside the car: it illuminates as you approach the car and there are soft-gold LED lamps to cast a soft glow around the cabin.
It’s a shame we’re not allowed inside the Lincoln Continental yet; the 30-way seat adjustment beggars belief, and the pews are said to adjust to every body shape of their own accord.
A 3.0-litre V6 Ecoboost engine is fitted but no performance figures are quoted yet. And those massive, wave-inspired wheels? A very Lincoln-spec 21 inches in diameter.
Lincoln first used the Conti badge in the 1930s. Look out for the real thing in showrooms in 2016.