A beloved element is reportedly returning to the Lincoln Continental: suicide doors. The doors, featured on the 1961 Continental, have long been a cult favorite among fans.
Automotive News (subscription required) first reported on the return of the suicide doors last Saturday following the 2018 National Automotive Dealers Association meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A handful of dealers confirmed Lincoln's plans to reintroduce the suicide doors but asked to remain anonymous. According to the unnamed dealers, the suicide doors are meant to show Lincoln's commitment to sedans amid a market hungry for crossovers and SUVs.
It's likely any modern design will maintain the car's center pillar, referred to typically as the B-pillar, due to crash safety standard. Rolls-Royce's Phantom (shown below) is a possible design Lincoln could emulate.
2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom
The Continental nameplate returned in 2016 to replace the MKS sedan, though Continental sales in the United States have fallen 30 percent in the first two months of 2018 compared to 2017. Lincoln did not confirm plans for the suicide doors itself, but iterated that the Continental nameplate remained "an important part of the Lincoln family."
Dealers also shed some light on Lincoln's future product plans through 2020, some of which we already knew. The luxury brand will add the Aviator crossover, set to debut in concept form Wednesday at the New York auto show, and a second high-riding model by the end of the decade. Post-2020, four additional vehicles are in the pipeline.
The Aviator should share plenty with the next-generation Ford Explorer, and it most likely will replace the MKT, based on the Ford Flex. Notably, the Aviator and next Explorer are likely to ride on Ford's flexible D6 platform, which is thought to support rear- and all-wheel-drive layouts.
It's definitely exciting times ahead for the brand and its fans.