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After decades languishing in the shadow of European and Japanese luxury car companies, Lincoln is back with a vengeance. Its renaissance began in force with the launch of the all-new, world-class Navigator, followed in short succession by the fresh Nautilus, the spectacular new Aviator and the new Corsair. Add in an unconventional ad campaign starring an actor engaged in his own McConaissance, and you have the recipe for resurrection.
So far, however, this Lincolnaissance™ has largely been dominated by SUVs. The sole new sedan added to the lineup in recent years was the Continental — a stylish four-door with an elegant interior and two smooth, potent twin-turbo V6 powerplants. In spite of its advantages, though, it’s never quite caught on with buyers, never selling more than around 12,000 units a year here in the United States.
But for 2020, Lincoln has a plan to try and grab some more attention (and ideally buyers) for its biggest sedan: Give it wild doors.
The Lincoln Continental Coach Door Edition, as it’s formally known, takes the top-tier Conti — the Black Label version with the 400-horsepower twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 — and gives it a set of reverse-opening rear doors, much like the Rolls-Royce Phantom or the fourth-generation Continental of the ’60s. (“Suicide doors,” the colloquial name for such portals, is far too gauche for a car company in 2019.) Those back doors open a full 90 degrees, making entry and exit delightfully easy so long as you remember to factor in the added distance those doors will stretch out into the path of passing traffic.
A flow-through rear console between the roomy rear seats provides two USB plugs and a 110-volt outlet, as well as places to stash notebooks and iPads, a wireless charging pad, and controls for the climate control and stereo, in case you want to mess with the driver’s mood by constantly switching his Springsteen to Yanni. There are also a pair of custom door-mounted umbrella holders with Lincoln-branded umbrellas in them, because while some would argue time is the ultimate luxury, it’s hard not to make the case for staying dry.
The interior comes in two of Lincoln’s Black Label “themes” — Alpine/Chalet, designed to make you think of hot cocoa and snowy peaks with its brown-and-white trim, and Jet Black/Thoroughbred, with a black-and-tan pairing designed to make horse lovers think of a saddled Black Beauty and beer lovers think of a Black and Tan. The exterior comes in Infinite Black, Pristine White and the Chroma Crystal Blue seen above; the latter can’t be paired with either the Jet Black/Thoroughbred interior or the Monochromatic Package also found on the Navigator, which seems likely to leave some would-be blue Conti buyers feeling bluer than Tobias Fünke at an Eifel 65 concert.
If this feels vaguely like deja vu, no, it’s not a glitch in the Matrix: Lincoln revealed a very similar car called the 80th Anniversary Coach Door Edition late last year, offering a mere 80 examples at a price tag quoted as “slightly north of $110,000.” All four score of those Lincolns sold out within 48 hours, however, paving the way for the 2020 model to walk the same path almost a year later in greater numbers.
Higher production doesn’t mean a lower price, however; the 2020 Coach Door Edition starts at $115,470. Sure, that’s $35,000 more than a loaded Continental with conventional doors, $11,00 more than the base price of an all-wheel-drive Mercedes-Benz S560 and $6,000 less than a loaded Lexus LS 500 AWD with the hand-cut kiriko glass interior trim. But it’s also one-third the price of a Rolls-Royce Ghost, which is the next-cheapest car with those coach doors. So it’s kind of a bargain, right?
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