October 28, 2016

Lincoln Continental Logs Luxury Upgrade

Frank Lloyd Wright’s son John, the inventor of Lincoln Logs, wrote of his dad arriving in heaven in his book My Father Who Is on Earth: “Dad prodded his Lincoln Continental in the upward climb, up on over the heights between the peaks; up on toward the stars; on toward the Great Silence.” The elder Wright (born Frank Lincoln Wright) was enamored of the model ever since seeing it at the 1939 Chicago Auto Show, after which he customized his own Continental in his signature Cherokee red paint—the same that he used on his houses.

It’s upon this pedigree that Lincoln design director David Woodhouse and interior design chief Soo Kang conceived of the new Continental, the brand’s fourth new vehicle in the four years since it resolved to a luxury reboot in 2012.

The latest upgrades of the vehicle—also favored by Richard Nixon, Frank Sinatra, and Elizabeth Taylor—starts with a stunner of an art deco grille at the front end and similarly styled lettering on the back. The slam-proof E-latch door release, more reminiscent of a spaceship than a sedan, opens to serene seating—modeled after private jets and high-end office furniture—with 30-way adjustability beneath a panoramic sunroof.

The back-end’s toothsome lettering is recalled in the streamlined font of the dash’s two digital displays, as well as in the one on the armrest that can fold down to cover the middle of the backseats, which also recline, heat, cool, and massage. A sunburst leitmotif—initiated when Kang heard the Beatles’ Here Comes the Sun in the midst of a long, cold Detroit winter during the conception phase—is readily apparent on the perforated metal grilles covering the speakers, part of a Revel sound system generally considered the industry’s elite.

“We weren’t trying to deliver old luxury,” concludes Woodhouse. “But not crazy avant-garde either. We had to be Goldilocks.”

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