by Charles Barnette
photos by Rusty Thompson

Originally published in the March/April 2002 issue of Continental Comments (Issue # 245).

“Appearing at the 2002 International Auto Show in January in Detroit was the Lincoln Continental Concept. The car had also appeared at the 2002 Los Angeles Auto Show where it was introduced for the first time. It is a formal design intended for use as an executive car. To see the return of the so called “suicide doors” from the ‘60s was uplifting. It is good to see Continental embrace the design features from Lincoln’s past. Of course, Lincoln prefers to call these four doors “center opening” doors.

The car is a fantastic vision of the future Lincoln. The wheels are 22-inch polished aluminum. A Lincoln star badge divides the large LED lamps. The cabin of the car is centered within the wheelbase. The concept vehicle is powered by a 6.0 liter V-12 engine. The four round headlamps use an innovative remote light generator technology where a single source transfers light through fiber optics to each lamp.

Inside the car, the seats are covered in reach aniline-dyed leather. Rear built-in laptop tables stow in the console. The console houses controls for the window lifts, power door openers, the display screens, and other functions. The instrument panel is built around reconfigurable screens that display vehicle systems, including the concierge services, navigation, telematics, and the THX-certified audio system.

Unique to this car is the decklid that traces a parallelogram as it opens to maintain its horizontal orientation. A large luggage tray slides out to present luggage and golf club cases. We cannot finish describing this car without mentioning the cigar humidor and umbrella holder built into the interior of each rear door. And, oh yes, a drinks cabinet dispenses water and other beverages with the cabinet being fitted between the rear seats.

The vehicle is 214 inches in length, 76.7 inches in width, and is 59 inches in height. It is a beautiful car worthy to be called a Lincoln Continental. The Lincoln designers never cease to amaze and delight Lincoln lovers.”

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