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What Should a Luxury Car Be? | Let's Drive! - Lincoln Town Car

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Irony: giving Lincoln the gears for replacing the LS sedans with what they describe as a fancy Fusion, then closing the video with a look at the Continental Concept, which is... well, you know.

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True. However, some counterpoints:

-There's also a world of difference between some concepts and their production counterparts.

-There was NOT a lot of difference between a Town Car and a gussied-up Grand Marquis, with which IT shared a platform.

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme." -Mark Twain

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True. However, some counterpoints:

-There's also a world of difference between some concepts and their production counterparts.

-There was NOT a lot of difference between a Town Car and a gussied-up Grand Marquis, with which IT shared a platform.

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme." -Mark Twain

 

I would argue that the 3-Panthers were as equally badge engineered as the 3 Fusions based cars.  

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I wouldn't argue that at all. In fact, I'd use it to underline my point.

If all you need to make a luxury car are cubic feet of space, a suspension that eats potholes, and torque as opposed to horsepower, then I already own the ultimate luxury car. That is actually a truck.

I enjoy these vids because I do enjoy these old cars, in an ironic fashion (one of my fondest hopes is that someday a restomod outfit will do a frame replacement/big block package for a '92 Fleetwood Brougham). But you really can't go back, and if you do you usually discover you shouldn't have.

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Thank you NER, for the flashback videos.  I really enjoy them.

 

As for the new Conti, I think this will put Lincoln back on the luxury map.  Through the styling alone I think they have a big hit on their hands, certainly far better than the MKS.  But what they will deliver with that new 400hp (I am hearing about 415hp in current tune) coupled through their advanced new AWD and suspension and tech alone riding on massive wheels and features and space and quiet luxury to spare…..will all buy guarantee that Lincoln’s new sedan will start moving people away from CUV’s for the first time in years.  Something Cadillac has not been able to do with their ATS and CTS.

 

And since I am never one to shy away from a prediction, my guess, 4K monthly sales within 6 months of launch. 

 

Lincoln……Let’s get it ON!!!!

 

Hey, that could be their tagline J

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Thank you NER, for the flashback videos.  I really enjoy them.

 

As for the new Conti, I think this will put Lincoln back on the luxury map.  Through the styling alone I think they have a big hit on their hands, certainly far better than the MKS.  But what they will deliver with that new 400hp (I am hearing about 415hp in current tune) coupled through their advanced new AWD and suspension and tech alone riding on massive wheels and features and space and quiet luxury to spare…..will all buy guarantee that Lincoln’s new sedan will start moving people away from CUV’s for the first time in years.  Something Cadillac has not been able to do with their ATS and CTS.

 

And since I am never one to shy away from a prediction, my guess, 4K monthly sales within 6 months of launch. 

 

Lincoln……Let’s get it ON!!!!

 

Hey, that could be their tagline J

 

 

You are most welcome!  I hope you and others will continue to enjoy the videos I post.  I like to see people's responses to the videos and if they provoke conversation, that is a plus... 

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I wouldn't argue that at all. In fact, I'd use it to underline my point.

If all you need to make a luxury car are cubic feet of space, a suspension that eats potholes, and torque as opposed to horsepower, then I already own the ultimate luxury car. That is actually a truck.

I enjoy these vids because I do enjoy these old cars, in an ironic fashion (one of my fondest hopes is that someday a restomod outfit will do a frame replacement/big block package for a '92 Fleetwood Brougham). But you really can't go back, and if you do you usually discover you shouldn't have.

 

There are plenty of luxury trucks out there. 

 

My point is that most platforms these days are already so very good that there doesn't need to be a giant distinction between the luxury version and the plebeian version so long as the rest of the car is worthy of the luxury badge. 

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See, I can't agree with you on that, although I get the logic behind the statement. Overall, cars are really good these days.

But there has to be something about luxury cars that make them, well, luxurious. They have to be capable of something that is of value to the owner that comes at uncommon cost.

Frankly, it is not an expensive proposition to tune a suspension for comfort at North American highway speeds. Nor is it an expensive proposition to wad in huge gobs of sound insulation, slap some leather and wood on, and torque up an engine. Anyone can do that.

So then, the capability that comes at uncommon cost must come from something else. And the most easily recognizable way to achieve this is: make it fancy, quiet, and comfortable, while going faster. There are examples where making it truly tomb-like works as well (Rolls Royce, for instance), but by and large grace under fire is the true test of luxury these days. Not for no reason did Jaguar's old slogan consist of three words: "grace, space, pace."

This is why I am thoroughly unimpressed with the Continental Concept (well, that and the derivative styling). I KNOW that under the skin it's just an updated Fusion. Whereas with the CT6 I know that is really and truly a Cadillac, and a Cadillac that is more than capable of putting the boots to the German makers that invented this paradigm of luxury in the first place.

Edited by El Kabong

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All of that can be achieved regardless of the skeleton it is built on as long as that skeleton is plenty good.  

 

400hp AWD standard is not something "everybody does" - that's a luxury

As long as they keep the interior over the top sumptuous - that's luxury

The effortless doors - that's a luxury

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You can get a Taurus with AWD and 365hp. That's uncomfortably close. Up here you could get a 300/Charger with AWD until this year. That hit the mark dead-on.

If they hold the line on the fancy interior you may have a point. But that's very much in question. Doesn't the Huundai Equus offer reclining rear seats?

Effortless doors? Bit gimmicky, but ok.

Sorry man, but that's mostly superficial stuff. It works fine at 75mph... just like anything else.

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Yes. the Eqqus has reclining rear seats.  It's also a $62,000 car. 

 

but I'm still confused. Luxury is gimmicky, fluffy stuff.   So what you seem to be saying is the luxury stuff doesn't matter if it hangs on a skeleton that is shared with lesser cars?

 

The CT6 has that rear camera mirror... how is that not equally gimmicky to the effortless doors?  

 

If it all works fine at 75mph, then why buy a luxury car at all?  Just get yourself a pre-owned Sonic and be done with it.... everything else is just superficial, right?

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I wouldn't argue that at all. In fact, I'd use it to underline my point.

If all you need to make a luxury car are cubic feet of space, a suspension that eats potholes, and torque as opposed to horsepower, then I already own the ultimate luxury car. That is actually a truck.

I enjoy these vids because I do enjoy these old cars, in an ironic fashion (one of my fondest hopes is that someday a restomod outfit will do a frame replacement/big block package for a '92 Fleetwood Brougham). But you really can't go back, and if you do you usually discover you shouldn't have.

 

There are plenty of luxury trucks out there. 

 

My point is that most platforms these days are already so very good that there doesn't need to be a giant distinction between the luxury version and the plebeian version so long as the rest of the car is worthy of the luxury badge. 

 

I feel like that summed this whole thing up.. Great line.

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Drew: your last three paragraphs are bang-on, and the last one is pretty much the crux of the argument. I'll address the Equus in a sec.

You have basically stated the argument wings uses to justify why Lincoln does what it does. To be honest, if all you're looking for is a rolling electronics lab you can enjoy at Interstate speeds then go buy a fancy Ford, Chevy, Dodge, whatever. If GM decides to drop the XTS' AWD driveline in an Impala in a year or two and you get the package with frontal radar, ON PAPER you've got yourself a viable luxury car.

...and you've got yourself a Chevrolet.

The Equus costs $62 large. Most reviews say it offers a decent V8, with decent suspension, a decent ride, and decent interior quality. That's a lot of "decent" for that sticker price, and I'm betting that is reflected in sales numbers, fancy seats or not. It needs a great engineering foundation as well as reclining seats. Then give it time for word to get around and a bit of persistence. Good things will happen.

Now, take that recipe, SUBTRACT two cylinders, and throw in a bit of PR bravado on sticker price, and explain to me what makes the Continental special.

Edited by El Kabong

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See, I can't agree with you on that, although I get the logic behind the statement. Overall, cars are really good these days.

But there has to be something about luxury cars that make them, well, luxurious. They have to be capable of something that is of value to the owner that comes at uncommon cost.

Frankly, it is not an expensive proposition to tune a suspension for comfort at North American highway speeds. Nor is it an expensive proposition to wad in huge gobs of sound insulation, slap some leather and wood on, and torque up an engine. Anyone can do that.

So then, the capability that comes at uncommon cost must come from something else. And the most easily recognizable way to achieve this is: make it fancy, quiet, and comfortable, while going faster. There are examples where making it truly tomb-like works as well (Rolls Royce, for instance), but by and large grace under fire is the true test of luxury these days. Not for no reason did Jaguar's old slogan consist of three words: "grace, space, pace."

This is why I am thoroughly unimpressed with the Continental Concept (well, that and the derivative styling). I KNOW that under the skin it's just an updated Fusion. Whereas with the CT6 I know that is really and truly a Cadillac, and a Cadillac that is more than capable of putting the boots to the German makers that invented this paradigm of luxury in the first place.

What styling is this(Continental) a derivative of? I know you're saying Fusion bones but it looks nothing like a Fusion at all. And to go down that route everybody makes a "4 door coupe" shaped car now.

 

I feel like you're mixing "luxury" and "sport sedan". The CT6 will not touch the S Class.That's what luxury is all about. But it will out handle it(most likely). One of those is luxry and one of those is sport sedan.

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The Lincoln looks enough like a Bentley that there was a well-publicized spat between the brands' styling teams.

I'm not confusing "luxury" with "sport sedan." I'm saying that the only way for luxury cars to realistically go to distinguish themselves in the future is to combine the two.

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You can get a Taurus with AWD and 365hp. That's uncomfortably close. Up here you could get a 300/Charger with AWD until this year. That hit the mark dead-on.

If they hold the line on the fancy interior you may have a point. But that's very much in question. Doesn't the Huundai Equus offer reclining rear seats?

Effortless doors? Bit gimmicky, but ok.

Sorry man, but that's mostly superficial stuff. It works fine at 75mph... just like anything else.

Are state of the art features all like that(gimmicky)? And real ground breaking technology is stuff that we've lived forever without but its new and fun. And they push the limits of our abilities.

 

Like Drew said, "If it all works fine at 75mph, then why buy a luxury car at all?"

 

That isn't why people buy luxury cars. They buy them for a multitude of reasons but one is they have advanced technology that can't be found on other cars.

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Like what?

Seriously: what do luxury cars have these days that you can't get elsewhere, electronics-wise?

Edited by El Kabong

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The difference for the Eqqus is that it wears the Hyundai badge.  It sells poorly for the same reason the Phaeton did... not wearing a luxury badge.  The Phaeton was in many ways a superior car to the A8 it shared with... but the badge killed it.

 

Lincoln and Continental both have a long heritage of Luxury..... if Lincoln keeps close to that luxury we saw in the concept (not all, but enough) many people will take notice.

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The Lincoln looks enough like a Bentley that there was a well-publicized spat between the brands' styling teams.

I'm not confusing "luxury" with "sport sedan." I'm saying that the only way for luxury cars to realistically go to distinguish themselves in the future is to combine the two.

Eh, I don't think that means anything. Plus, Bentley's look great and everybody things that(I don't think I've come across somebody who's said any Bentley doesn't look fantstic) so they have themselves a great looking car, right? That sounds good so far.

 

I can agree with that. It makes sense because tech will "run out" and there just won't be as many features that people crave to distinguish themselves like there were 10 years ago. Slowly the average car will have 95% of the features and it won't be worth 20-30k for more. But, like you said, make it sporty as well and there is more to distinguish them. Buuuuuut.. I still think there is room for a luxury car that isn't sporty but still has muscle - more affordable Rolls Royce.  I think that is more the market the Continental is going for. Just plain luxurious interior, soft cushy ride, yet 400+hp when you do want to stand on the right pedal.

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You're being awfully optimistic with the amount of cachet left in that Lincoln badge, man. Cadillac took TEN FREAKING YEARS to get to its (still kinda tenuous) position in the luxury car pecking order, and that's with massive, consistent investment in engineering and performance.

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Like what?

Seriously: what do luxury cars have these days that you can't get elsewhere, electronics-wise?

Look at an S Class and compare from there..

You're being awfully optimistic with the amount of cachet left in that Lincoln badge, man. Cadillac took TEN FREAKING YEARS to get to its (still kinda tenuous) position in the luxury car pecking order, and that's with massive, consistent investment in engineering and performance.

I don't THINK(key word) that they are striving for quite the same market that Cadillac and the Germans occupy though.

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Ccap: there is no such thing as an "affordable Rolls." The reason the Phantom is so stupendously quiet and smooth is because it uses a 7-Series platform, mated to a 7-Series V12, which it then mates with the best sound-deadening on the planet.

You can get MUCH of that with more plebeian bones. But not all of it.

If you want to be the best, you gotta do your best. The last real world-class luxury Lincoln was probably the Continental Mark II (which wasn't even a Lincoln, technically). Maybe a suicide-door Continental.

And if they aren't aiming for the Germans and Cadillac, they aren't doing anything discernibly better. So, save yourself a few bucks and buy a Ford Platinum instead.

Edited by El Kabong

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