One of many stranger automobiles that got here by way of the press fleets final yr was the 2020 Lincoln Continental Coach Door Edition. And it was unusual for a wide selection of causes. It’s a particularly limited-production mannequin; Lincoln solely constructed 150 examples, plus one other 80 of the 2019 eightieth Anniversary Edition that first featured the identical rear-hinged doorways. It’s additionally out of date, since Lincoln ended manufacturing of the bottom Continental final yr. And even when Lincoln saved constructing Continentals, the mannequin was successfully out of date in a world dominated by crossovers and SUVs. Plus, as we’ll contact on in a bit, its driving dynamics have been slightly old-school for higher and worse. However after spending a while with this odd car, it turned clear that Lincoln managed to make one thing particular, and the coach doorways shouldn’t die with the Continental.
Earlier than we dig deep into what the car is like and the lesson Lincoln should be taught from it, right here’s a fast refresher. The rear-hinged Continental began with the 2019 eightieth Anniversary Edition as a run of 80 vehicles, adopted by the 2020 Coach Door Edition. To present it the flamboyant doorways, in addition to the additional size they required, Lincoln partnered with Cabot Coach Builders in Massachusetts. They took a Black Label mannequin with the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, made the physique modifications, and in addition added just a few customized interior touches. Moreover these adjustments, it’s similar to every other Continental Black Label. Nicely that, and it prices practically $40,000 extra.
Since nothing actually adjustments mechanically, there’s nothing in regards to the Coach Door Edition’s driving expertise that units it other than a equally outfitted Black Label. The 400-horsepower twin-turbo V6 pulls onerous all by way of the rev band and with no ready. It’s a bit coarse for a luxurious car engine, however the efficiency makes up for it. The comparatively previous six-speed automated is kind of clean, although shifts are gradual. Experience and dealing with change fairly a bit relying on whether or not you’re within the regular consolation mode or sport mode. Consolation mode does an ideal impression of the floaty, bobbing land yachts of the previous, which is accompanied by fairly a little bit of physique roll. Pop it into sport mode, and the physique roll is considerably diminished, the steering weights up, and management is massively improved. It virtually feels nimble. However the experience turns into stiff and bumpy, not one thing befitting a mini limo. So it’s a combined bag.
The interior is extra constant, and largely for the higher. Lincoln makes use of loads of good leather-based all through the cabin; on the seats, the sprint and the doorways. Heat wooden trim is on show, too. There aren’t many fancy gimmicks such as you’ll discover on a equally sized and priced Mercedes or Audi, although. No wild ambient lighting. No decadent infotainment screens or rear leg rests. Entrance passengers do get 30-way energy seat changes, although, and rear passengers have entry to local weather and radio controls, recline capabilities and a console with room for tablets and a champagne holder. OK, in order that’s fairly decadent.
In step with the theme, the Continental Coach Door is, 95% of the time, only a fancier Black Label, and solely by a lot. That makes it onerous to justify the six-figure price. However that ultimate 5% represents all of the instances you work together with the rear-hinged doorways. And doing that’s one thing particular you may’t expertise on something new apart from fashionable Rolls-Royces. It harkens again to Lincoln’s glory days and the long-lasting, mid-century Continental. Should you have been to point out up at some kind of fancy resort or gala, and your driver allow you to out, everybody would flip to see who you have been. They usually’ve been so beautifully built-in into the design of the Continental that it seems like all of them should be this fashion.
Come to think of it, each Continental should have had these doorways. Perhaps it would not have been sufficient to maneuver the gross sales needle in a significant means, however it could have not less than given Lincoln a novel halo product to convey folks into showrooms. And whereas we’re at it, Lincoln must discover a method to convey coach doorways to different fashions. The model’s SUVs, notably the Navigator and Aviator, are considerably extra spectacular than the Continental was. They’ve lovely, extra distinctive interiors and an total grander presence that might naturally complement the grand entry provided by the customized doorways. It could additionally symbolize yet one more above-and-beyond factor for Lincoln to entice potential consumers away from BMWs and Mercedes. Importantly, it could increase Lincoln’s model consciousness even additional.
Inevitably, the Lincoln Continental Coach Door Edition will be remembered as an interesting footnote of car historical past. It is an instance of what may’ve been for the short-lived reborn Continental — and what might but be for future Lincolns. Whereas it won’t be a tremendous car, it is inspiration for easy methods to make the model much more distinctive and fascinating.
– The Lincoln Continental Coach Door Edition should be inspiration for future Lincolns –
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