King of Egress: Lincoln Stretches 2019 Continental, Swaps Rear Doors for a Limited Few

It’s true. You’ll soon be able to slap down a pile of hard-earned cash for a 2019 Lincoln Continental with [s]suicide[/s] coach-style doors. Well, 80 of you will.

To mark the 80th anniversary of the Continental nameplate, Lincoln Motor Company went the extra mile for heritage devotees, revealing a limited-edition model that dispenses with front-hinged rear doors and adds half a foot of wheelbase to pull it off. You’ve never had a better look at the Continental’s B-pillar.

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Lincoln Teases These, Wants Your Imagination to Run Wild

So many of us want this to be more than just a sick tease that results in nothing new on the showroom floor. Would we buy it even if it wasn’t? That’s debatable.

Regardless, all we have now is the tease, plus plenty of clues. Posted Thursday afternoon to Lincoln Motor Company’s social media accounts, an image of suicide doors — a feature that graced Lincoln Continental sedans from 1961 to 1969 — has appeared, along with a cryptic message.

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Distressed Dealers Convince Lincoln to Postpone Standalone Stores

This time last year, Lincoln was busy promoting its Experience Centers — storefronts that promote the brand and its products, but don’t serve as active dealerships. Then, in August, it asked around 80 Ford/Lincoln dealerships to commit to building separate Lincoln-only facilities by July. It was an attempt to elevate the premium brand by making it appear more exclusive, akin to what Cadillac attempted with Project Pinnacle and what Hyundai Group wants to achieve with Genesis.

Unfortunately, all of these programs garnered a “mixed response” from dealers. Many complained that the cost of building a separate showroom for higher-end models is prohibitively expensive. That has also been the case with Lincoln. The California New Car Dealers Association even wrote Ford Motor Co. last month, asking it not to punish storefronts that fail to divide their facilities, and it looks as though the automaker has acquiesced.

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What a Difference a Grille Makes?

Perusing sales data for the month of November, something popped out from the always entertaining Ford Motor Company file. While the company as a whole saw its volume fall 6.9 percent, year over year, last month, Lincoln finished November on a high note — something it hasn’t seen much of this year, Navigator sales notwithstanding.

Compared to the Ford brand’s 7.3 percent YoY drop, the Lincoln brand saw a 3 percent increase. Still down since the start of the year (a trait it shares with the Blue Oval brand), Lincoln’s November sales increase wasn’t just fueled by the hulking Navigator. A new nameplate appeared last month, tacked onto a pre-existing vehicle. Were buyers holding out for a new grille?

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2020 Lincoln Aviator - Three Rows of Tech

LOS ANGELES – A press release full of flying puns heralded the new 2020 Lincoln Aviator.

Tech is the key with this SUV – literally. One available feature is the ability to use your smartphone to unlock the doors and start the engine. Yes, that’s a very 2018 type of thing for an OEM to do.

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2018 Lincoln Navigator Black Label Review - The Family Locomotive

Do not adjust your monitor. This full-size SUV is indeed painted something other than the piano black of livery companies and Uber drivers trying to emulate livery companies. I didn’t pick anyone up at an airport while driving this beast, nor did I drop passengers at a tony downtown restaurant.

It says something about our world when large luxury SUVs have become the default conveyance for the well-heeled. But this 2018 Lincoln Navigator Black Label turns that idea on its head, as beneath the the many plush layers is a proper truck, ready to haul in style.

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Gimmicky but Grand: Lincoln's Attempt to Class Things Up Starts With Your Ears

Great things can happen when you combine something that’s already good with a symphony orchestra. Procol Harum’s 1971 live recording of Conquistador is proof of that. For Lincoln Motor Company, a marque which just suffered another disappointing sales month, the vehicle on which it has placed so much hope isn’t leaving any luxury stone unturned.

Next year’s Aviator, a rear-biased midsize SUV that makes the MKX look like a minivan, plans to woo buyers by taking them out on the town. You won’t be able to avoid a night at the symphony in this vehicle.

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Lincoln Product Boss Hangs Up His Hat

The man who oversaw the development of Lincoln’s current vehicle lineup will retire effective November 1st, the automaker claims. Scott Tobin, a Ford Motor Company veteran who hopped the pond from Europe to the U.S. in 2006, had a hand in developing a wide swath of the company’s current products.

Tobin’s departure comes at an interesting time for Lincoln. The premium brand, having returned from its near-death state in the earlier part of the decade, finds itself in need of volume-boosting new product.

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Buy/Drive/Burn: Three Big and Luxurious 2018 SUVs

Today’s subjects are ponderous, expensive, and very heavy. No, we’re not talking about state government representatives; we’re talking about full-size SUVs.

Come along, and we’ll select a big truck to burn.

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Lincoln's Used-vehicle Subscription Pilot Isn't Going As Planned

The service doesn’t receive as much press as the new-car subscription services offered by a growing list of premium automakers, but Lincoln’s pilot project did carry many of the same aspirations. It just didn’t carry new cars.

Launched in California earlier this year, Lincoln’s subscription service offers users a range of older, contemporary models — insured, with maintenance covered — for a monthly fee that, depending on where you live, could secure a decent one-bedroom rental apartment. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ford’s luxury division says demand for the service isn’t exactly red hot.

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Fear Not - a Lincoln MKT Might Still Cart You Off to the Afterlife

Seldom talked about by the teeming masses, the slow-selling Lincoln MKT crossover gets a lot of buzz among certain subsets of the population. People transporting corpses, for example, or perhaps prom-goers who’ll soon learn their tolerance for badly mixed alcoholic drinks.

The aging, whale-faced MKT fills a niche role, and Lincoln isn’t ready to ditch its livery clientele just yet, despite rumors of its imminent demise. It seems Ford Motor Company has more respect for the occupants of hearses than drivers of small passenger cars.

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Welcome to the Six-figure Club, Lincoln!

Traditionally, Lincolns served as the poster car for traditional, well-to-do Americans, just not ridiculously wealthy ones. Think successful club owner, business executive, law office partner, Vegas hashish importer, or rare antiques dealer. Regardless of model, the brand’s vehicles never ventured into the rarified pricing air occupied by European exotics — not even the Continental Mk. II, which stickered for the equivalent of $90k back in 1956.

That changes for 2019, as the Lincoln with the biggest margins — the full-size Navigator — joins its Cadillac rival in topping the six-figure mark.

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QOTD: Advice From a Wise Old Sage?

In Newfoundland, a quick rejoinder to the comment “Can’t complain,” is “No one’s listening anyway!” followed by a couple of hearty guffaws and a nod n’ wink. Hey, give us a break; we’re all loopy from the cold.

Regardless of whether people are listening or not, people — especially opinionated gearheads — are likely to complain and provide unsolicited advice. Here is today’s question: if a major OEM were to ask for and promise to implement one of your recommendations, what would you say? And to whom?

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No Ford Buyers Allowed: To Seize the Future, Lincoln Needs Fancy Stores and Personal Space

The product pipeline is already in place, but what about the dealerships? That’s where Lincoln Motor Company’s focus now lies, as it begins rolling out a plan that will see standalone Lincoln dealerships pop up in 30 high-volume markets.

As the premium brand attempts to shuffle off sliding sales with a utility vehicle onslaught, the brand wants those high-rising vehicles shown off on well-lit runways encased in glass cubes. Lincoln calls this design “Vitrine.” It’s not just important to the brand — it’s “critical.”

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2019 Lincoln MKZ Adds Tech, Ditches Black Label, Begins Probable Death March

With the future of Ford’s sedans looking rather bleak, Lincoln has made some changes to the MKZ for the 2019 model year. There’s nothing really wrong with the luxury sedan; it’s a solid performer (minus the recalls) and has become rather handsome since its 2017 facelift. But it’s too similar to its sibling car, the Ford Fusion, and has lacked some of the technology rival manufacturers have added as standard equipment.

This has caused the model to hover around 30,000 annual delivers in the United States for as far back as we can remember. Meanwhile, the Fusion went into 209,623 American driveways last year. However neither vehicle is on course for a record sales year. The Fusion has endured a major decline in popularity since 2015 and the MKZ might not even break 20,000 sales in the U.S. by year’s end.

Ford plans on dropping the Fusion eventually, which means the MKZ is likely to follow it into the grave. But the pair should stick around a little longer than the rest of the company’s passenger cars, so Lincoln wants to give customers something to remember it by while simultaneously streamlining its production.

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  • Jwee I think it is short sighted and detrimental to the brand. The company should be generous to its locked-in user base, treating them as a resource, not a revenue stream.This is what builds any good relationship, generosity to the other partner. Apple does with their products. My iPhone is 5 years old, but I keep getting the latest and greatest updates for free, which makes me feel valued as a customer and adds actual value. When it is time for a new phone, Apple past treatment towards me certainly plays into my decisions (as did BMW's - so long subscription extracting pigs, its been a great 20 years). Imagine how much good will and love (and good press) Polestar would get from their user base if they gave them all a "68 fresh horses" update overnight, for free. Brand loyalty would soar (provided their car is capable).
  • ToolGuy If I had some space I would offer $800 and let the vehicle sit at my place as is. Then when anyone ever asked me, "Have you ever considered owning a VW?" I would say "Yes."
  • ToolGuy In the example in the linked article an automated parking spot costs roughly 3% of the purchase price of the property. If I were buying such a property, I would likely purchase two parking spots to go with it, and I'm being completely serious.(Speaking of ownership vs. subscription, the $150 monthly maintenance fee would torque me off a lot more than the initial acquisition cost.)
  • ToolGuy "which will be returned as refunds to citizens of the state" - kind of like the Alaska Permanent Fund? Make the amount high enough and I will gladly move to California to take advantage (my family came close to moving there when I was a teen, and oodles of people have moved from CA to my state, so I'm happy to return the favor).Note to California: You probably do not want me as a citizen.
  • ToolGuy Nice torque figure.