?2017 Lincoln Continental Black Label?
The Lincoln Motor Company Flagship returns
There was a time when the Lincoln marque was revered as the luxury brand of the Ford Motor Company, and it was on par with other domestic luxury sedans. Somewhere along the line it seemed to slip from its elevated status and remained rather nondescript for a lengthy period. Lincoln and Mercury vehicles were grouped under one umbrella as a separate division and Mercury went the way of the dinosaur into extinction. As part of a resurgence plan, Lincoln sought to move away from its Ford association and renamed the division as ?The Lincoln Motor Company?. There were several models that emerged but none with the former glory associated with the marque. That period is over and flagship status is once again achieved with the rebirth of the Lincoln Continental.
The 2017 Lincoln Continental enters the luxury sedan market with a choice of three V6 engines and four levels of trim. The models offered include: the Premier; Select; Reserve; and Black Label. Available powerplants include: a base 3.7-liter V-6; a twin turbo 2.7-liter V-6 and the ?Hot Rod Lincoln? 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 with Direct Injection that cranks out 400 horsepower at 6,750 rpm along with a numbers matching 400 pound feet of torque at 2,750 rpm. Both Front-wheel drive and AWD are offered with the first two V-6s, while the 3.0-liter powered models are exclusively AWD with Torque Vectoring. All engines transfer energy to the driving wheels via a push-button operated six-speed SelectShift? automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
In terms of its exterior visual appeal, this all-new Lincoln Continental displays a certain elegance, but in a more mundane way ? more on the order of an enhanced or upscale MKZ. It is stylish enough, but not necessarily emotion stirring. It leads off with a Jaguaresque mesh grille and a center character line that runs the length of the hood and continues over the roofline. The cabin glass or greenhouse features a chrome surround with a blacked out ?B? pillar. The door handles are actually chrome handles that blend into the surround trim. The profile is rather formal with suggested fender sculpted accents. The rear end finishes off with a broad, blunt presence accented by the split dual rectangular exhaust tips that emit a pleasing, almost V-8-like growl when progressing through the gears. The 20-inch alloy wheels with 5-stylized ?V?-spokes and 5 individual separator spokes with polished face and painted inners nicely filled the wheel wells.
Slipping into the interior, which accommodates five in an elegant, plush ambience and comes in one of three available Black Label themes: Chalet, Rhapsody and Thoroughbred. There are Available Perfect Position front seats with available heating, cooling and massaging functionality as well as up to 30-way adjustability. The instrument panel is simple and functional, designed to inform rather than overwhelm, and may configured to display select gauges, providing as little or as much information as desired. Total passenger volume is106.4 cu.ft.
My test 2017 Lincoln Continental was in Black Label trim and came with a Chroma Caviar Dark Gray metallic exterior finish and the Chalet theme interior featuring Alpine Venetian leather in Black and White tone with Silverwood Black and Silver wood trim accents. The base price was set at $65,075., which rose to $74,620 after adding optional features which included: the Chroma Caviar metallic exterior paint, the 3.0-liter V-6 engine, the Continental Technology Package, Continental Climate package and Destination and Delivery charge..
SUMMARY: Piloting the new Lincoln Continental is a most pleasurable experience. Acceleration is seemingly effortless and each smooth gear change delivers a distinctive and authoritative growl that?s enough to please most V-8 fans. Lincoln Drive Control allows choosing between three suspension settings: Normal; Comfort; and Sport. An Auto Hold feature holds the vehicle at a complete stop without keeping one?s foot on the brake, making commuting in stop and go traffic easier. Parking is also easier with Self Parking.
The ride quality is most comfortable, but with a stable, planted feel and the handling characteristics are highly responsive from steering to braking.
Safety is paramount with driver assist features to enhance drive control. Included is available Lane Keep assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with stop-and-go functionality, and an available 360 degree camera.
Connectivity and Infotainment are not forgotten either, with Lincoln?s Sync? 3 allowing making calls, managing music selection and reading texts.
Trailer towing is possible with Class II Trailer Tow, but no capacity was given ? possibly a moot point, as most Continental drivers are not likely to tow anything.
In the final analysis, the new Lincoln Continental Black Label AWD is an ideal luxury sedan that represents a positive step in the right direction to return Lincoln to its former lofty status in the luxury marketplace.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Lincoln Continental Black Label
Base Price: $65,075.
Price as Tested: $74,620.
Engine Type and Size: 3.0-liter DOHC, 24-valve Twin-turbo GTDI V6.
Horsepower (bhp): 400 @ 6,750 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 400 @ 2,750 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed SelectShift automatic with paddle shifters.
Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / AWD
Suspension: Front – MacPherson strut dampers with aluminum control arm and stabilizer bar; Continuously Controlled Damping.
Rear – Advanced integral-link suspension with coil springs, gas-pressurized dampers and stabilizer bar; Continuously Controlled Damping
Brakes: Power-assisted four wheel vented discs with ABS.
Tires: Goodyear Eagle 245/40 R20 99W A/S mounted on 5 stylized ?V? spoke w/ 5 separator spokes ? polished face w/painted inners
Wheelbase: 117.9 inches
Length Overall: 201.4 inches
Width: 82.3 inches ? with mirrors
Height: 58.5 inches
Curb Weight: 4,547 lbs.
Turning Circle: 41.77 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 18 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 16 mpg city / 24 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed
0 – 60 mph: Not tested
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.