It’s been about two decades since Ford Motor Company was building the Lincoln Continental, Mark VIII and Town Car in the Midwest. Fast-forward to the present day and Michigan will see the Blue Oval build the Lincoln Continental early next year. And yes, Flat Rock Assembly Plant is the place of birth.
John Fleming, FoMoCo global manufacturing chief, told the US media that the 2017 Lincoln Continental luxury sedan will be a domestic product and a posh one of those to boot. If you can get over the fact that the luxobarge will be underpinned by a modified Ford CD4 platform you also get on a simple Fusion, then the MKS’ next in line has plenty of bragging rights.
As a kind reminder, it’s genuine exciting news that the all-new Continental will be built in Michigan, more so if you consider that all of the current Lincoln models aren’t built in the state we refer to as the melting pot of the American automotive industry. For crying out loud, the Lincoln peeps build the CD4 platform-based MKZ in Mexico instead of opting for Flat Rock, where the Fusion is made in parallel with the Ford Mustang.
From our point of view, a Lincoln brand that promised it will reinvent itself with the new Continental is praiseworthy. But manufacturing the future flagship in Michigan is even more praiseworthy, especially for an American luxury automaker struggling to compete with General Motors’ Cadillac. So, did Lincoln do the right thing with the soon-to-debut Continental?
Reviving a classic nameplate is right, Michigan is right, the exterior styling of the concept is right, but there are two lil’ things we have our reservations about. For starters, a twin-turbo V6 still doesn’t sound as appealing as a N/A V8. Then there’s the interior design showcased by the concept car – don’t know about you, but we can see a lot of Fusion bits & bobs in there, which is totally not OK from our point of view.
On an ending note, nobody knows how the production-spec 2017 Lincoln Continental will look like or the quality of the materials used inside. If FoMoCo manages these details as good as possible, give the 3-liter twin-turbo V6 motor some steroids, and come up with a good marketing campaign, it’s only then that the 2017 Lincoln Continental will dream of threatening General Motors’ 2016 Cadillac CT6 flagship.