Ford’s 98-year-old Lincoln brand is bringing back the Continental full-size sedan 13 years after retiring the vehicle nameplate. After more than a decade of toying with alphabetical names such as LS and MKS to be more like foreign automakers, the company is embracing its heritage.
The AP reports that Ford CEO Mark Fields says the Continental always represented the best of Lincoln. Resurrecting it sets higher expectations, both within the company and outside of it.
"When we get a chance to work on an iconic nameplate like that, it's a mixture of pride and a mixture of fear, because when you put that name out there, it's got to deliver," Fields told The Associated Press in a recent interview.
The Continental lost a lot of ground around 2000 after Ford underestimated the threat posed by German and Japanese rivals and allowed the designs become plain. Now Lincoln isn't trying to be sporty like BMW or showy like Cadillac. Instead, the company wants to give drivers an experience that is elegant and serene.
"We want folks to get into our vehicles and — for lack of a better term — chill," Fields said.
Last year, Lincoln's U.S. sales rose 16 percent, making it one of the fastest-growing luxury brands in the market.
Here’s a look at the Lincoln Continental through the years, as well as a video preview of the next generation of the iconic vehicle:
With a champagne cooler and shearling carpet, take a look at the fanciest member of the Ford family yet.