We’ll come right out and say it: Ford didn’t do a very good job at maintaining its luxury Lincoln brand, so now we have badge-engineered Fords that merely show Lincoln can build a better Buick. Alas, there are many Lincoln faithful who pine for a true luxurious brand to compete against the best of the world. Could such a time be near?
The answer to that may be, “What’s in a name?”, because Motor Authority claims that the 2016 MKS may be renamed Continental. This name harkens back to 1940 when Lincoln produced Edsel Ford’s custom Zephyr for the masses, calling it Lincoln Continental, creating a design landmark that has been a strong collectible for decades. In 1956, the Continental name returned after an eight-year respite, but this time as its own brand. The Continental Mark II was the model that gave Americans a $10,000 ultra-luxury car that competed with Rolls-Royce. Eventually, the Continental reverted back to a model and gradually evolved into the now-discontinued Town Car.
The source of the rumor is none other than Neil Young, a Canadian favorite who, when interviewed by Mad Money on CNBC, happened to mention he was working with Lincoln to have his Pono music service available for a new Continental that was going to debut in 2016.
However, we wonder whether it is possible that good ol’ Neil is using Continental and Lincoln interchangeably. He famously was converting a 1959 Continental Mark IV to electric power (thereby becoming the LincVolt) until it infamously burned to the ground. Heck, it could be easy to confuse the Lincoln and Continental names, especially if you’ve owned a Continental that folks call a Lincoln.
Whatever Ford is going to call it, the upcoming Lincoln Continental/Lincoln MKS will ride on a stretched version of the CD4 platform that underpins the front-wheel-drive MKZ, Fusion/Mondeo, 2015 Edge, 2016 MKX and next-gen Taurus. The full-size sedan is expected to be unveiled sometime in 2015 for a 2016 calendar year ship date.