Car and driver headlined an article about Lincoln with wording about the brand’s focus on luxury over performance. They didn’t really address the point.
I’ve been very busy so it’s taken me eleven days to get around to drawing your attention to this one. After the boiler-plate text about there not being any chance of European sales (there will never be European sales of Lincolns), the blog from Car and Driver gets down to the point and notes how luxury not performance is the main focus of the new Continental. This is a theme we like to bang on about at DTW, the by-now tiresome predominance of performance over non-quantitative aspects. You could be cynical and say Lincoln, with its FWD engineering can’t ever compete with Germany’s best.
You could be less cynical and say that it makes sense to offer something other than balls-to-the wall performance when accessing that performance becomes less and less meaningful most of the time. The counter argument is that BMW, Audi and Mercedes have comfort and luxury covered regardless of whether or not you want to access their cars’ performance potential.
For many American customers, wary as they are of German engineering (it’s seen as frightening when out of warranty), a familiar American nameplate offers comfort you can enjoy and reliably simple/simpler American mechanicals. That might be tempting for many. So, can the USicans beat the Germans on quality of fit and finish if not on sheer technological might?
I would say that if Ford is serious about offering a luxury car without the kind of cutting-edge engine technology of the imports (from Germany or Japan), they have to be deadly serious about the refinements the driver and passenger can see and feel. So far, there is no evidence either way about the Lincoln Continental. I welcome the turn to comfort over performance. Question is: can Ford deliver on this and will they?