A single of the stranger autos that arrived through the push fleets past year was the 2020 Lincoln Continental Mentor Doorway Edition. And it was odd for a extensive array of factors. It’s an particularly constrained-production product Lincoln only created 150 examples, moreover a further 80 of the 2019 80th Anniversary Edition that 1st showcased the similar rear-hinged doors. It’s also obsolete, considering that Lincoln ended generation of the base Continental previous year. And even if Lincoln retained creating Continentals, the model was properly obsolete in a earth dominated by crossovers and SUVs. In addition, as we’ll touch on in a bit, its driving dynamics were alternatively aged-university for much better and even worse. But after shelling out some time with this odd motor vehicle, it became obvious that Lincoln managed to make anything specific, and the mentor doorways should not die with the Continental.
Before we dig deep into what the motor vehicle is like and the lesson Lincoln must learn from it, here’s a speedy refresher. The rear-hinged Continental begun with the 2019 80th Anniversary Version as a run of 80 autos, adopted by the 2020 Mentor Doorway Version. To give it the fancy doors, as effectively as the additional length they expected, Lincoln partnered with Cabot Coach Builders in Massachusetts. They took a Black Label model with the twin-turbocharged 3.-liter V6, designed the physique modifications, and also additional a handful of personalized inside touches. Besides individuals improvements, it’s just like any other Continental Black Label. Properly that, and it charges nearly $40,000 a lot more.
Considering the fact that very little definitely changes mechanically, there’s nothing at all about the Mentor Door Edition’s driving working experience that sets it apart from a similarly geared up Black Label. The 400-horsepower twin-turbo V6 pulls hard all by way of the rev band and with no waiting around. It is a bit coarse for a luxurious motor vehicle motor, but the efficiency will make up for it. The rather outdated 6-speed automatic is really easy, though shifts are gradual. Experience and dealing with change rather a little bit based on irrespective of whether you’re in the usual convenience method or sport mode. Ease and comfort manner does a terrific impression of the floaty, bobbing land yachts of the past, which is accompanied by very a bit of physique roll. Pop it into activity manner, and the system roll is appreciably lessened, the steering weights up, and handle is massively enhanced. It almost feels nimble. But the ride gets rigid and bumpy, not anything befitting a mini limo. So it’s a combined bag.
The inside is far more regular, and generally for the better. Lincoln makes use of lots of nice leather all through the cabin on the seats, the sprint and the doorways. Warm wooden trim is on show, also. There are not lots of extravagant gimmicks like you are going to find on a similarly sized and priced Mercedes or Audi, even though. No wild ambient lights. No decadent infotainment screens or rear leg rests. Front passengers do get 30-way ability seat changes, though, and rear travellers have accessibility to local weather and radio controls, recline features and a console with space for tablets and a champagne holder. Alright, so that’s fairly decadent.
In holding with the concept, the Continental Mentor Doorway is, 95% of the time, just a fancier Black Label, and only by so substantially. That will make it difficult to justify the six-determine cost. But that final 5% signifies all the occasions you interact with the rear-hinged doors. And performing that is a little something distinctive you just cannot working experience on everything new besides contemporary Rolls-Royces. It harkens back again to Lincoln’s glory days and the legendary, mid-century Continental. If you were being to demonstrate up at some type of extravagant resort or gala, and your driver allow you out, absolutely everyone would change to see who you have been. And they’ve been so superbly built-in into the style of the Continental that it looks like all of them should really be this way.
Come to think of it, every Continental need to have had these doors. Perhaps it would not have been enough to transfer the revenue needle in a significant way, but it would have at minimum presented Lincoln a exceptional halo item to convey people today into showrooms. And although we’re at it, Lincoln desires to come across a way to convey coach doors to other styles. The brand’s SUVs, particularly the Navigator and Aviator, are significantly additional amazing than the Continental was. They have attractive, additional distinctive interiors and an in general grander presence that would obviously complement the grand entry presented by the custom made doors. It would also symbolize yet a different above-and-over and above aspect for Lincoln to entice potential buyers away from BMWs and Mercedes. Importantly, it would elevate Lincoln’s brand name awareness even further more.
Inevitably, the Lincoln Continental Coach Doorway Version will be remembered as a fascinating footnote of auto historical past. It really is an illustration of what might’ve been for the shorter-lived reborn Continental — and what could yet be for potential Lincolns. While it might not be an astounding car, it is really inspiration for how to make the manufacturer even far more distinctive and appealing.