Lincoln is a mess, and has been for a long time. This is the car that could have changed that.
Maybe not in the exact size and details as the concept, which was a huge thing with a 136.6″ wheelbase and 6 liter V12. As much as the idea of a top-tier car appeals in principle, the heart of the premium market is for smaller cars; hence the Cadillac CTS. Seems to me that the Ford/Jaguar DEW98 platform, as used by the Lincoln LS and still used by the Jaguar XF would have hosted a shorter version quite appropriately, with an updated version of the design. Or maybe both, if Ford had been feeling ambitious.
The interior was certainly an inviting space, evoking the clean and sparse sensibility of the ’61 Continental. Oh well,
The 2002 Lincoln Concept was sold at auction in 2010 for $56,100. It’s nice to know someone is enjoying it. But there’s a lovely MKS waiting for us as a consolation at the Lincoln dealer. It’s going to have a long wait.
Ouch. I’d hate to get T-boned driving that car.
A modern-modified 60s car? We’ve got the Camaro.
They’d probably have to give up the frameless design, but they could make it safe:
Not bad. But I think both Lincoln and Cadillac are abandoning their heritage in search of younger buyers. I was surprised to finally see a commercial for an MK-something-or-other and hear it pronounced EM-KAY. I had just assumed it would be “Mark” The irony of course is the huge success of the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger. I see 30 on the toad here in import-land for every newer Caddy or Lincoln. They appeal to younger buyers but still fit the traditional brand image (though to me a Charger will always be a 2 door).
I could quibble with some of the proportions a bit, but not on the concept. I would have kept the Town Car chassis, but fitted with IRS and with a shortened rear section permitting more of a “wheels at the corners” look of the prototype. Add a potent new HiPo V8 and you would have a good start.
Lincoln has been bringing knives to a gunfight for quite a few years. Here’s hoping that there is something in the works that will be worthy of the name. And it must be named Continental.
The true-luxury size of the Continental concept was the best thing about it. If you want Continental styling on a small car, look no further than the Lincoln Zephyr (and the first MKZ, before they got ugly).
Me, I’d rather have this, though I’d prefer if it were a true hardtop with a bench seat. Keep the body the same but put it on a stretched 120″ Town Car Chassis and you’d fix the awkward wheelbase proportions and give it the long overhangs it so desperately needs.
Also the wheels make it look like a cheap Hot Wheels car. I wouldn’t be totally against large wheels (20″ or so), but they’d have to match the Phantom and use extra-large tires (preferably with white stripes) to make the proportions look right and add extra cushioning. And they would definitely need to be redesigned.
It really doesn’t work for me I’m afraid. Too bland, too flat.
The ’61 Continental’s slab sides worked only because of their sharp edges all around, and the “gutters” floating them out from the cabin. Not enough detail, no jewelry. The ’61 has very little but like Jackie’s jewelry it was perfect.
Feels lifeless. If you told me these pictures were a 2002 computer rendering of a car I’d believe it. Looks like the same stylist as the failed 2002 T-Bird. Sorry.
Funny, when I look at the 2002 Thunderbird, I don’t see failed. Every time I see/pass one, I stare……..and admire.
It was a beautiful car. It may have not sold well, but it was a beautiful car.
I agree. And I can see the 2002 Thunderbird as a future CC classic. Well, at least not in the condition we are often used to seeing in the subject CC’s! 🙂
I agree with you about the Continental concept being too bland and generic, but the Thunderbird is not the comparison I would have made. Except for the interior, I love the “new” Thunderbird, but then again I hate the overhyped first generation Thunderbird, the only other ones I like are the 1964-66 (best taillights of all time) 1967-68 (the four door before it gained a beak), and the 1990s models (definitely not a personal luxury car, but still a well-proportioned midsize coupe).
I agree completely. I also think this looks like a caricature stretched over hardpoints that don’t have the proportions for the look it’s trying to ape; I felt the same way about the retro ‘Bird.
I didn’t mean to imply exactly as the concept, but more in terms of a design direction in general, like Cadillac with the Arts and Science. I agree that it’s too aseptic, but then that was done over a decade ago. It would need serious updating.
It seems like the designers of the retro cars of this era were trying not to be “too retro,” and you ended up with designs that, as you said, aseptic. Think the first New Beetle, the Thunderbird, the Chevy SSR, and this Lincoln. The overall shapes were retro but they kept modern (for the time) sensibilities in the details, and it left them cold to me.
On the other hand, I think the PT Cruiser and the MINI did a much better job of getting the detailing right, and it made the designs “warmer” and more authentic feeling.
I feel like, regardless of some of the other issues of today’s retro cars, that they’ve mostly captured the detailing right. The current Beetle, the Challenger, and the Mustang all have what I would consider to be much friendlier designs. Even the Camaro, which isn’t aggressively retro, has nice retro touches in its detailing.
My Dad has one of these – black with the red accented interior. I just spent a week driving the car all over AZ. Great to look out over that hood and super comfortable road car. Enough room behind the seats and in the trunk for the two passengers. Engine doesn’t make it a hot rod but it moves good enough and the interior appointments are good for the day (especially in a Ford). Nice car that hit it’s intended market (although small) perfectly that I wouldn’t mind owning myself.
A 136″ wheelbase does seem long by today’s standards. The modern Chrysler 300 has a 120″ wheelbase.
See also the older 1996 Lincoln Sentinel concept.
Doesn’t it look like a cross between a 1961 Lincoln and a recent Cadillac?
Now look at the 1999 Cadillac Evoq, the first concept car using their “Art and Science” design language.
I looooove the Sentinel. This Continental is kind of bland, but the Sentinel was a stunner.
There is a lot of the Sentinel concept in the new for 1998 Towncar design.
This was all part of Jacques Nasser’s PAG fantasy.
No matter what Lincoln “could” have brought out at this time, it would not have saved Ford from the realization that drastic measures were required to save the company during the 2008 crisis.
Yes, it’s a beautiful car. Yes, it brings you back to classic Lincolns of the 60’s. No, it would not have saved Ford.
Then, that being the case, perhaps Ford should’ve cut Lincoln adrift in the ’08 and ’09 crisis. Instead, they’re “pouring table salt onto a snail” letting Lincoln wither and die. Sad. This design could make a difference.
It looks a lot more appealing than an MKS.Showing us this then making the MKS is like saying Pavarotti couldn’t be here tonight,never mind we got Chas and Dave
You mean “instead, we have Kim Kardashian in person.” Bloated, cheap and overpriced . . . MKS and Kim are synonymous.
I think Ford did make this car – just not with the “concept” platform. Look at the first generation Zephyr/MKZ and the overall design concept both exterior and interior is obvious. It’s the same as looking at the Ford 427 and Interceptor concepts, which became the first generation Fusion and Taurus rebirth, respectively. Ford was using these concepts to forecast their future product designs with no intention of ever really producing a RWD redo of the classic Continental or either of the RWD Fords.
Huh? The Zephyr/MKZ was a stopgap el-cheapo affair to put the Fusion in a slutty dress and try to sell it north of $40K. Fail. And please note I am NOT anti-Ford or Lincoln. MKZ is Ford’s Cimmaron.
I sort of agree but the difference is that the Fusion is good by todays standards when compared to other cars.
Look at the overall design of the Zephyr compared to this concept. Same 60s Conti inspired front end, squared up shoulders, c-pilar, taillight treatment and dash design. Fact is most concept cars are design studies used to forecast future models and not actually considered for production. Ford had no intent of making a new Continental like this concept nor a RWD 427 (Fusion) or RWD Interceptor (Taurus).
No when these were produced Ford had every intention of producing RWD vehicles. Until Mullay took over the plans were to do a new platform based heavily on the Ausie Falcon that would have replaced the Panther platform in North America. However Mullay said we ain’t got the money for that and canceled the program.
Mulally came to Ford in September 2006 four years after this concept and and three years after the Ford 427 concept. If Ford was serious about producing RWD sedans for NA (other than on the Panther or DEW98 platform), they would have been well into development by the time Mulally arrived. Ford has always consistently said the AU Falcon couldn’t be adapted to NA because it was never engineered for both LH and RH drive (like the VE/VF Commodore). The Fusion and Zephyr were new for 2006 and have design elements inside/out clearly derived from the concepts. Ford put the concepts out there to test the designs cloaked as V8 powered rear wheel drive sedans to garner as much attention as possible from the auto media. Its a Mad Man shell game all the way.
Reminds me of an Infiniti M45….
It looks a lot like an LX car, which would have been on the boards about the same time as this concept came out.
I would agree that the car sits too low and the wheels too large but it is not a bad looking go. To go along with the `65 Continental article, I do like the reemergence of the clean three box design. I do like the looks of the LX Chrysler 300 and if I was not so committed to the hand that feeds me, I would consider buying one.
As for Lincoln now, Ford is the least involved of the Big 3 for me beyond customer’s cars. Lincoln went too far into truck based models that were not distinctive enough from the regular Ford products. With Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln having 3 almost identical products going the waters were muddied quite a bit. The Lincoln LS was a far too complicated and expensive car to work on. Up until 2011, I had at least one customer that we serviced his LS with the 3.9 V8 and it was a PITA along with parts being high. Not withstanding the nomenclature, Cadillac has identified now with the Arts & Science concept but I fail to see a distinguishing theme with current Lincoln.
It had some nice concepts, especially in the middle of the car, but the front and rear is too retro for its own good. And those two’s the one that made it into the market, but (as usual) in the popularly priced segment of the market. And no, even then it’s not popular.
If it had been done by, say, 2005, I think it would have been a turning point for Lincoln. And we’d be into a second-gen interpretation now (it would have debuted about the same time as the Chrysler 300).
I always wondered why Ford, during its all out retroramma, didn’t “Continental-Up” the Town Car or the LS or something? It spent money on a retro Thunderbird(that went nowhere), the GT(which was very cool), the Mustang, also nice, but it never decided to do a 1961-1969 style Continental.
Their must have been a Chrysler mole at Lincoln because the 300 has very similar lines, albeit of more generous proportions, Also looks like a sleeker 02 Infiniti M45. Not bad at all.
This design is what could turn Lincoln around, and instead of letting it die on the vine (like the LS) – PROMOTE IT. Like Paul said, if you couldn’t adapt the XF underpinnings to it, why not use the Aussie Falcon (or borrow the Aussie Falcon’s turbo six with a Mustang GT or Boss 302 drivetrain option)??
This is unique and would certainly, at a minimum, bring a ‘halo’ effect to Lincoln/Ford showrooms. As it stands, even with the new, at least-better-disguised-Fusion MKZ, Lincoln, I’m afraid, is a dead brand walking. The Continental could bring relevance to Lincoln once again. I even told a Dearborn rep this who was present at last year’s Honolulu Car Show. I told her this as we were standing next to that bloated pig of a car, the Taurus based MKS, another recent Lincoln “fail” (Honolulu Ford has two brand new MKS’s in stock, MSRP new at $50K, being peddled at fire sale prices for $27K).
2 others concept-cars Lincoln should had stepped is the Mark IX/Mark 9 coupe http://www.diseno-art.com/encyclopedia/concept_cars/lincoln_mark_9.html and the Mark X http://www.seriouswheels.com/cars/top-Lincoln-Mark-X-Concept.htm
As many others have said, if they dialed it back a little more to “reality” and it came out in 2003-2005, I think it would have been just as successful (if not moreso) than the 300C was for Chrysler. Not developing this car was very likely the final nail……once they decided this wasn’t their direction, they sealed their fate as having no direction (and thus no raison d’etre)
Lincoln doesnt exist here and soon it will be the same for you guys.
Why didn’t they do this? Just like the 2005 Mustang, it could have re-ignited the marque and the nameplate, both for fans and for newcomers. I can just imagine the conversation in Dearborn:
Exec 1: “Let’s do a new 1961 Continental! It’s a beautiful design.”
Exec 1’s Boss: “That costs money. Do you want to waste the company’s money?”
Exec 1: “Uhh…no I guess not…”
Exec 1’s Boss: “Good. We’ll give them a bunch of bechromed lumps, and they’ll buy them. Just watch!”
Lincoln, what happened to you? Sigh…
The old adage “buy cheap, buy twice” seems to be ringing more and more true. People don’t even buy cars anymore, they lease. Keep it for a few years and get another one. If it isn’t really yours than you have no pride in ownership. Instead of going to the corner store where people have experience in the field they are selling, open huge corporate stores, keep them open for 14 hours a day and pay the people tidily winks while hocking mass produced Chinese garbage that is not made to last. I mean if it breaks, don’t waste the money repairing the item, throw it away and buy a new one. No one cares about style anymore they care about the accouterments. Put a BMW badge on KIA and I bet they wouldn’t be able to keep them in stock.
We’ve really lost our way.