- Lincoln is celebrating its 80 anniversary by bringing “suicide doors” back for its Continental sedan.
- The design evokes the brand’s 1960s heyday.
- Just 80 of the Coach Door Edition Continentals will be produced.
The comeback of the Lincoln brand has been one of the best stories in the recent history of the car business. Lincoln was on the chopping block when parent company Ford was struggling through the financial crisis. But the decades-old marque survived and has revived its fortunes in the luxury market.
To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the brand, Lincoln is finally giving fans what they have been asking for: “coach doors” on the Continental sedan. (A lot of people actually call them “suicide doors,” and sometimes “center-opening doors.”)
The rear doors have a hinge at the back, rather that at the front. The designs recalls the legendary fourth-generation Continental, produced in the 1960s.
Almost as soon as Lincoln revived the Continental nameplate for the 2017 model year, after a hiatus of over a decade, the suave styling of the new four-door almost demanded the coach-door treatment.
“The center-opening doors became synonymous with the Lincoln Continental, even though they were only featured primarily in the ’60s,” David Woodhouse, Lincoln’s design director, said in a statement. “But they struck such a chord that they’re still remembered so fondly today.”
The Coach Door Edition Continentals will be produced as a special order in a limited run of 80 vehicles for the 2019 model year. They will be available only as “Black Label” Continentals, the most upscale trim for the brand. A plate on the door sill will indicate the run number.
As a plus, the already sizeable Continental will get a bit larger to accommodate the door design.
Installing the doors requires a few extra steps, Lincoln president Joy Falotico told Business Insider. “The cars have to go to Cabot Coach in Boston,” she explained. (Cabot is a specialist limousine manufacturer.)
She added that Lincoln had been “coy as long as we could stand it,” when it came to the much-demanded doors. “We’re pretty excited.”
Propulsion will be provided by the 3.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V6 engine, which makes 400 horsepower and has been under the Continental’s hood since its debut. The price? Around $US100,000, Lincoln expects.
Lincoln has a hit on its hands with its revamped Navigator SUV. Sedan sales in the US, meanwhile, have been on a downswing. But according to Falotico big four-doors can continue to have an important role to play: supporting Lincoln’s growth in China.
“This is the halo product for Chinese customers,” she said.
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