It was only a few years ago that Lincoln showed its handsome Continental concept car in Detroit. Taking design cues from the cult classic 1960’s Lincoln Continental and meshing them with a chiseled modern shape, the design flat out puts the Chrysler 300 to shame.
Well the concept was just that and nothing more. Since then not a single product has come out of Lincoln that even approaches the design theme or the cool factor the Continental concept had. But we can dream cant we?
There have been rumors of late that Ford has been working on a Lincoln coupe based on the Mustang’s S-197 platform architecture. It only makes sense to roll some different models out on the same platform as it’s a brilliantly cheap way to develop new products one after another. It also makes them all cheaper to build in the long run due to increased economies of scale.
So if Lincoln did build such a car, what would it be? This is where we have a blast playing with Photoshop, using virtual cutting wheels, metal shaping tools and paint guns. Starting with the 3 year old Continental concept car was a natural. The car was way ahead of it’s time and honestly a design that would fit right in with our current automotive landscape. For the sake of this conversation we will call it the 2009 MK IX.
It was actually easy to come up with a plausible coupe. We shortened the wheelbase and cabin, loosing the rear suicide doors. This put the wheelbase and overall proportions closer to the current Mustang. A Lincoln coupe would definitely have a more upright greenhouse, especially in the rear where the back seat would have to provide more head and leg room than a Mustang. A notchback profile would be a given.
With the retro style coming on strong by the decade’s end, the front end styling of the concept car is not only right on the mark, but fits well with Lincoln’s latest styling themes. No changes there.
Under the hood is the big question of what would be. It seems logical that the MK IX would share an engine with the Mustang. In 2009, we might look for this car to come standard with a 4.6 or 5.4 liter 4V V8 mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. An optional Hurricane 6.2 in multi-valve trim might be right for the MK IX, but our money would be on Ford choosing a smaller power plant for standard equipment.
Underneath, the car would share it’s mechanicals with the Mustang nearly 100%. One difference could be an air-ride suspension. But Ford has not had a good track record with them and would likely forgo air springs for more reliable steel coils. An independent rear suspension would surely be in the cards, even if Ford cheaps out on the Mustang again.
In the big picture, we have a strong belief that Ford will be spawning more cars off the Mustang architecture in the coming years that could include a sedan for both Ford and Lincoln, let alone a possible luxury coupe. It seems like the smart thing to do, but we wont stop the train waiting for it just yet.