By on April 19, 2017

2017 Lincoln Continental

Say you’ve just gone through the hassle of buying a new Lincoln. It’s out there, sitting in the driveway, but you’ve got things to do. It doesn’t own you. You’re busy, and worthy of love.

Well, for a fee, Lincoln will set you up with someone nice. (No, not that kind of setup.) The automaker has created a pilot program called Lincoln Chauffeur, which delivers just what it states: a driver to ferry you around as you work on your tablet, drop you off at the airport and return the car home, or run out to the Safeway for sprouts.

According to WardsAuto, Lincoln Chauffeur is already set up in Miami, and the automaker has plans to move it to the San Diego area shortly.

As an introductory offer, buyers will get the first eight hours free, Lincoln president Kumar Galhotra told the publication. After that, the cost is $30 an hour. Right now, drivers are provided by third-party company RedCap, and the hourly fee could drop once the program expands further.

Lincoln claims that the drivers are screened and trained, lessening the likelihood of finding a weirdo at the helm of your Navigator or Continental. Buyers would sign up for a membership to the app-based service. Pull out your phone, open the app, and you’ll soon have a human giving you the Miss Daisy treatment as you tinker around with buttons in the back of that Black Label.

Certainly, pulling up at your destination and having a gloved driver open your door for you is a sure-fire way to add imaginary dollars to the MSRP of your chosen vehicle — at least, to uninformed onlookers. In this case, it would endow the Lincoln brand with some added clout. (And you, as well.)

The automaker already offers a valet service for Lincoln models destined for dealer servicing, making this a natural extension of that customer service push. So far, there’s no word on a nationwide launch, or whether the program will become permanent.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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20 Comments on “Lincoln is Testing a New Vehicle Option: Human Drivers That Aren’t You...”

  • avatar
    Middle-Aged Miata Man

    This seems tantamount to stating the least pleasant aspect of Lincoln ownership is actually driving one.

    That’s an… odd?… admission for a manufacturer to make.

    • 0 avatar

      They’re not really chasing BMW like every other luxury brand.

      There are the 3.0 TT models for people who want some performance, but honestly, nobody is buying a Continental or Navigator because it’s more fun than a 911. It’s supposed to be comfortable, spacious, quiet and luxurious. Doesn’t really need to be a canyon carver.

      This would be pretty much the opposite of what Cadillac has done, focus on performance and driving pleasure from a brand that has no high performance pedegry. What made Cadillac famous were big, luxurious, upper crust cars that prioritezed comfort and space over performance (in terms of more than just a big engine with lots of power/torque) and economy. The only real Cadillac that’s like this anymore is the Escalade.

      I think its nice that Lincoln has turned a page and refocused on what it means to be a respected American luxury brand. They’ll never build an M3, and that’s okay, believe it or not.

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah the 3.0TT isn’t for the Nuremberg Ring – it is the modern equivalent of when you could get a big block V8 in your top of the line luxury car. Nobody was buying a big block Caddy for raw performance.

      • 0 avatar
        Middle-Aged Miata Man

        Absolutely, and I love Lincoln’s renewed focus on distinctly “American” luxury. Lincoln (and Cadillac) would have been well-served to adopt such a philosophy a decade ago.

        It just seems weird to have ANY automaker de-emphasizing the driving experience – well, except maybe Tesla.

        • 0 avatar

          Sometimes you feel like a nut, and sometimes you don’t. I don’t want to drive my car 100% of the time.
          But isn’t it a strangely timed invention to put in actual human drivers, right on the cusp of automatic self-driving?

          • 0 avatar

            Are we really on the cusp, though?

            I imagine a flesh-and-blood driver will still be more popular than software for years to come yet.

  • avatar

    An interesting idea that would surely do well in Asia.

    $30/hr for a rich lawyer to take his own car out bar hopping without the chance that he takes out a CX-7 full of kids on the way home? Sounds like a win.

    • 0 avatar

      I think this is already a thing in Korea, but you don’t need a Lincoln or even a luxury car. Just call the service and the driver will meet you at your car, while you sleep it off in the back seat.

      • 0 avatar

        It very much is, which is what I was indicating. Its a common practice in lots of very congested Asian places.

        I was thinking the Continental might do well in Korea, for that reason alone.

        You’re right in that Lincoln probably doesn’t need this program where its already common and widely available, unless they somehow competed better on price and/or the level of service.

  • avatar

    Well, for a fee, Lincoln will set you up with someone nice. (No, not that kind of setup.)

    Hey money is money… (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

  • avatar
    Dan R

    The car looks like a Chrysler 300 with a Jaguar grille.
    Took a look at the interior of one; very bling.
    Maybe this is the point?

  • avatar

    Uber, but they drive your car instead of theirs. What could go wrong?

  • avatar

    For anyone who watched “Lincoln Lawyer” and wanted to be that cool themselves(while staying true to the movie’s brand of choice).

  • avatar

    The perfect answer for when you take your 20-something PA to Vail and break your leg.

  • avatar

    So does this mean that the guy who came up with the ridiculous Cadillac BOOK subscription service recently move over to Lincoln?

  • avatar

    Appropriate since most Lincolns are factory-assigned for livery duty anyway.

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