The Lincoln Continental has returned to America’s highways after 15 years in cold storage. The all-new 2017 edition replaces the discontinued MKS as the Ford luxury division’s flagship sedan.
Once a large-car mainstay, the Continental has been in production for 51 of the nearly 80 years that have passed since its 1939 debut. But it was discontinued in 2002 in favor of the Town Car and the LS (remember that?), and it took two concept cars to bring it back. The winning prototype debuted at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. Lincoln lovers everywhere have been on the edge of their seats ever since.
The new Continental rides upon a stretched-out version of the same CD4 platform that underpins the Lincoln MKX and MKZ as well as Ford’s Fusion and Edge. It boasts a 117.9-inch wheelbase — a full 5 inches longer than the retired MKS — as well as three engine options with a bounty of Digital Age technology and features.
The standard engine is a 3.7-liter V-6 rated at 305 horsepower (hp) and 280 pound-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque. Next up is a 2.7-liter turbocharged V-6 that ups the ante to 335 hp and 380 lb.-ft. At the top of the lineup is a 400-hp/400-lb.-ft. 3.0-liter turbo V-8.
Fuel economy is remarkably consistent across the lineup. The 2.7 tops the list with a combined city and highway driving score of 21 miles per gallon (mpg); the 3.7 and 3.0 both come within a single mpg of that mark.
All three engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, which in turn is connected to a push-button gear selector on the center console. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available throughout the lineup.
The 3.7-liter is available only at the base Premier and Select trim levels. Fleet buyers who select the Reserve or Black Label editions can choose between the turbo V-6 and the big V-8.
Among the long list of features, options, and safety technology, Lincoln’s new “Perfect Position Seating,” offering drivers 30-way power adjustability, stands out. Other highlights include adaptive cruise control, four-zone climate control, a dual-pane sunroof, a rear-seat comfort package, and a 19-speaker Revel Ultima stereo system.
The 2017 Lincoln Continental is in showrooms now with a starting sticker of $44,720 for the base Premier model. Prices for the top-of-the-line Black Label edition start at $63,075.