The iconic Lincoln Continental made a surprising comeback in 2015, 13 years after Ford’s premium brand unleashed the 2002 concept car that never made it into production. Introduced at the 2015 New York Auto Show, the new Continental is also a concept car, but, unlike its predecessor, it is scheduled to go into production over the next couple of years. It seems that Lincoln is finally ready to make a comeback as a full-fledged luxury rival for Cadillac, also set to unleash the all-new, full-size CT6 sedan.

The Continental was first introduced in 1940 as a two-door coupe, but the nameplate was discontinued in 1948. Revived in late 1955 as a separate marque, the second-gen car continued as a two-door coupe, but its expensive price tag and unprecedented luxury for a Ford product made it a rival for Rolls-Royce. FoMoCo redesigned it for 1958, when the Conti also received a four-door version. Extensive updates followed in 1961 and 1970, before the name was dropped for the second time in 1979. Revived yet again in 1982, the Continental survived for another two decades, but it never managed to become more than a rebadged and slightly fancier Ford Taurus.

Will the Blue Oval return the Continental to its former glory with the 10th-generation model? We won’t find out for sure until the production model arrives, but, until then, we have a gorgeous concept car to talk about.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Lincoln Continental Concept.

  • 2015 Lincoln Continental Concept
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Displacement:
    3.6 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    50000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:


2015 Lincoln Continental Concept
- image 624166
The chrome side sills add more elegance to the limousine, but I doubt this feature will make it onto the production car.

The exterior design of the Continental Concept is clean and striking at the same time. It doesn’t look like any vehicle Lincoln has in showrooms as of March 2015, meaning it also introduces a new face for Lincoln. And yes, the split grille the brand has been using for a few years is gone. Whether that’s good or bad news is up for everyone to decide, but I fancy the new grille, which now consists of a raised Lincoln badge and a span of "repeating polished aluminum Lincoln Star emblems." What bothers me slightly is that the grille is somewhat similar to the Kia K900’s, but I’m not pointing any fingers here. The headlamps are equally intriguing, as they feature five smaller units each, design to also look like the brand’s star badge. An hockey stick-shaped LED stripe contributes to the unique light pattern.

The clean lines continue on the sides, with only a hinge-like, chrome insert wearing "Continental" lettering interrupting the mild but elegant styling. The tall beltline, which almost becomes one with the lower window trim, raises upward toward the C-pillar in a nod to the fourth-gen cars (1961-1969). The chrome side sills add more elegance to the limousine, but I doubt this feature will make it onto the production car. On the other hand, the fancy E-Latch door handles that tuck discreetly into the beltline could become standard on the production vehicle. Through these handles, seen on the Tesla Model S in a similar form, the doors open effortlessly with the touch of a button positioned on the underside of the door handle.

Around back, Lincoln opted for a sleek, full-length taillight unit and the trademark "Lincoln" lettering on the trunk lid. Down below, the chrome apron hosts four tailpipes that are nearly as wide as the taillights. The trunk lid getting narrower toward the rear fascia is another design element Lincoln seems to have borrowed from its current lineup. The MKZ has the same feature.

I can’t help but notice the Continental’s design is as clean as the Audi A8’s. On the other hand, while I find the German sedan to be downright featureless, the Continental Concept has a range of nice sculpting to brag about, including the muscular haunches and the V-shaped engine hood. The polished, 21-inch wheels with black-painted pockets, on the other hand, aren’t very inspiring. It will be interesting to see how many of these feature survive on the production car. If you ask me, 90 percent would be a good figure for a car that wants to improve Lincoln’s shabby image.


2015 Lincoln Continental Concept
- image 624168
The vehicle is also equipped with an SPG SmartGlass tinting sunroof, which can cool the interior by as much as 18 degrees F while also blocking 99 percent of UV rays.

The interior of the Continental Concept is classy, luxurious, and very comfortable. Fresh and modern by design, the dashboard is as clean as the exterior and blends blue leather with chrome and black inserts. The digital instrument cluster hints that a more attractive gauge layout is underway. The 30-way adjustable seats provide the utmost comfort thanks to 11 inflatable bladders and four-way adjustable head rests.

As with any luxury limousine, the highlight of the Continental Concept is in the rear, where Lincoln fitted the same 30-way adjustable seats and an array of creature comforts. The passenger-side rear seat can fully recline by moving the front passenger seat forward with the touch of a button, while a panel mounted on the massive center console enables rear passengers access to control climate settings and the Revel Ultima premium audio system. The vehicle is also equipped with an SPG SmartGlass tinting sunroof, which can cool the interior by as much as 18 degrees F while also blocking 99 percent of UV rays.

A tablet-supporting lap tray deploys from the center console to turn the rear seat into a mobile office. Those looking to relax while traveling will be happy to know Lincoln also added a champagne storage compartment.

Lastly, most of the cabin is draped in fine Venetian leather and Alcantara. White contrasting stitching, a satin headliner, and Rose Gold trim make the concept car the most luxurious modern-day Lincoln. Needless to say, the interior seems as production-ready as it gets. Fingers crossed this is indeed the case here!


2015 Lincoln Continental Concept
- image 624172
The unit could mate to the 10-speed automatic transmission Ford is reportedly working on.

Under the hood of the Continental Concept lurks a 3.0-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine, which will probably find its way into the production car as well. There’s no info as to how powerful it is, but if Lincoln wants the Continental to stand a chance against luxury full-size competitors, that V-6 had better crank out in excess of 350 horsepower. That would still make it less powerful than most of its competitors, but I have a hunch it will be the most fuel efficient, which is becoming increasingly important in today’s market.

The unit could mate to the 10-speed automatic transmission for is reportedly working on. The Continental Concept also features Lincoln Drive Control ride-enhancing technologies and Adaptive Steering. The company says the Drive Control coffers three driving modes — normal, sport and comfort.


Cadillac CT6

2016 Cadillac CT6 Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 569402

The new Continental could help revive the historic rivalry between Lincoln and Cadillac. However, Caddy is already a few steps ahead of Lincoln, and the new CT6 is likely to expand that gap even more. The sedan will use the world’s most advanced body structure, making it the lightest and most agile car in its class. The Continental may have more than 50 years of heritage behind it, but I doubt Lincoln will be able to deliver a full-size to match the CT6 so soon.

The CT6 is also set to receive a new engine, as well as a hybrid drivetrain later in its life cycle, two features Lincoln has yet to mention. Sure, the Continental will probably get a hybrid version at some point, but playing catch-up could prove difficult. Read more about the Cadillac CT6 in our review here.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class High Resolution Exterior
- image 506371

New for 2015, the S-Class ditched the boring styling cues of its predecessor in favor of a classy and elegant design, which puts both the BMW 7 Series and the Audi A8 to shame. On top of being gorgeous to look at and carrying an interior than bests just about anything in this segment, the new S-Class is also a powerful machine.

The 4.7-liter V-8 in the S550 cranks out 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to push it from 0 to 60 in five seconds. Definitely the kind of performance Lincoln won’t be able to squeeze from a 3.0-liter V-6. Then there’s the S600, which comes with a massive, 6.0-liter V-12 rated at 523 horses. Need I say more? Learn more about the 2015 S-Class in our detailed review here.


2015 Lincoln Continental Concept
- image 624167

The arrival of the Continental Concept is good news. Lincoln is finally doing what it should have done in 2002, when the previous Continental Concept was shown, to bring back the nameplate that gave the brand its iconic status. Of course, we’re still at least two years away from seeing it in showrooms, and Lincoln might not be ready to compete with Cadillac on equal terms even then, but it’s good to see the Continental return rather than the luxury brand sink altogether. The new Conti is a fresh start for Lincoln and FoMoCo seems determined to do things right this time.

  • Leave it
    • * Just a concept for now
    • * Rough segment
    • * Needs a larger engine for the range-topping trim

Press Release

Lincoln today introduces the Continental Concept, signaling an all-new full-size sedan coming next year and the future of quiet luxury.

2015 Lincoln Continental Concept Wallpaper quality
- image 624162

Elegant, effortlessly powerful and serene, the Continental Concept blends meticulous craftsmanship and technologies designed to create better drivers and provide passengers with a more relaxing and entertaining environment inspired by first-class travel.

“Luxury at its best is about simplifying and quietly exceeding expectations, rather than being the loudest statement on the road,” said Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company president and CEO. “The Continental Concept showcases the promise of quiet luxury from Lincoln going forward. It also is a strong indication of what’s to come next year as we introduce our new Lincoln Continental full-size luxury sedan.”

With a sleek silhouette and a new centered chrome grille, the Continental Concept signals the arrival of a new face for Lincoln. A raised Lincoln badge is surrounded by a span of repeating polished aluminum Lincoln Star emblems.

E-Latch door handles tuck discreetly in the clean vehicle beltline. The door handle technology also provides for elegant entry. The doors open effortlessly with the touch of a button positioned on the underside of the door handle wings and close quietly.

“Some brands talk about ‘the machine,’ ” said Kumar Galhotra, Lincoln president. “Lincoln is different. For us, it is about more than the machine. It is about what our vehicles do for our clients.”

New technology is a hallmark of the vehicle. It starts with the vehicle sensing your approach and lighting up to greet you inside and out.

Outside, signature full-width tail lamps feature advanced light-through-chrome technology. Powerful LED matrix head lamps with laser-assist high beams reduce glare and improve visibility.

2015 Lincoln Continental Concept
- image 624163

Rhapsody Blue metallic paint calls back Lincoln Continental’s signature color.

Inside are the brand’s most sensual materials ever, including Venetian leather seat and door panels, Alcantara® seat inserts and armrests, satin headliner and shearling wool carpet. Rose Gold trim around the instrument cluster provides warmth. Bright chrome trim on the instrument panel adds contrast.

Ambient lighting enhances the interior, creating a serene environment. Soft-gold LED lights glow from the center console and from the halo light overhead.

Patented 30-way Lincoln-designed seats use a new-to-market design that conforms to passengers’ sizes and shapes. The passenger-side rear seat can fully recline by moving the front passenger seat forward with the touch of a button.

From a panel mounted on the through-center console, rear passengers also can control climate settings and the Revel Ultima audio system, which allows passengers to select from three surround-sound modes: Stereo, Audience and On-Stage.

Rear-seat comfort is further highlighted by an SPD SmartGlass® tinting sunroof, which allows passengers to control heat from direct sunlight. With the touch of a button, the glass can cool the vehicle interior by as much as 18 degrees Fahrenheit, while blocking 99 percent of UV rays.

Rear-seat passengers also enjoy the convenience of a tablet-supporting lap tray that deploys from the through-center console. It also features a champagne storage compartment. Detachable, hand-crafted Venetian leather travel cases are mounted to the backside of the front seats.

Glickenhaus' SCG 003 Black-Flagged And Tragedy At Nurburgring
- image 624164

Under the skin, the Continental Concept is powered by a Lincoln-exclusive 3.0-liter V6 EcoBoost® engine. It also features Lincoln Drive Control ride-enhancing technologies and Adaptive Steering. The car rides on polished-aluminum, painted-pocket 21-inch wheels.

Driver assist technologies include Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Enhanced Park Assist and a 360-degree camera that displays on the MyLincoln Touch™ screen.

“The Lincoln Continental name is associated with iconic beauty and elegance,” said David Woodhouse, Lincoln design director. “Capturing those qualities and building upon them drove us as we crafted this thoroughly modern sedan concept.”

The Lincoln Continental Concept is at the New York International Auto Show, which opens Wednesday for members of the news media.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Car Finder: