At a preview showing of its Continental concept car on Sunday, Lincoln repeatedly stated that the car was “just a concept”. Now, however, on the eve of the 2015 New York Auto Show, the American luxury brand has confirmed that a new Continental will land in showrooms sometime next year.
"The Continental concept showcases the promise of quiet luxury from Lincoln going forward,” Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] CEO Mark Fields said. “It also is a strong indication of what's to come next year as we introduce our new Lincoln Continental full-size luxury sedan."
The news doesn’t come as much of a surprise as there has been plenty of rumors that Lincoln’s replacement for its unloved MKS would in fact be called a Continental. In fact, singer Neil Young, who is working with Lincoln to integrate his Pono digital music player and download service in its cars, pretty much let the cat out of the bag back in December.
The new Continental is expected to be offered in two sizes: standard and long-wheelbase. It’s thought the standard car is being developed for the U.S. market while the long-wheelbase car will be exclusively reserved for the Chinese market, where it will mostly be used as a chauffeur-driven vehicle.
Underpinning the car will be a stretched version of the front-wheel-drive platform underpinning the MKZ and a handful of additional Ford products. At least one powerplant we can be sure of is a new 3.0-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine, previewed in the Continental concept car. It’s possible front-wheel drive will be offered to help maximize fuel economy though we suspect most Continental buyers will seek an available all-wheel-drive setup.
Key rivals will be Cadillac’s new CT6, also debuting this week in New York, as well as, per Lincoln, the Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
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