Well I’m feeling fortunate this week. Not only do I have another new 2017 Lincoln Continental at my disposal, but this version is even nicer than the 3.0 GTDI AWD Reserve I drove back in April. Don’t…

2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve 3.0L AWD RSP

2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve 3.0L AWD RSP
The new 2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve 3.0L AWD makes for a quick and comfortable luxury conveyance. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

Well I’m feeling fortunate this week. Not only do I have another new 2017 Lincoln Continental at my disposal, but this version is even nicer than the 3.0 GTDI AWD Reserve I drove back in April.

Don’t get me wrong, as that previous Burgundy Velvet painted example was stunning, especially inside where its Cappuccino leather-lined interior was downright opulent. This time around the exterior colour is Midnight Sapphire Blue and the cabin is once again finished in the new Cappuccino theme, which is only a shame because I’d have liked to try its saddle brown Terracotta leather, or maybe Jade Grey.

2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve 3.0L AWD RSP
It’s long like a classic Lincoln luxury sedan, but not so much that’s its cumbersome. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

More traditional luxury buyers can opt for Ebony black, but this ain’t no Town Car so why be normal? In fact, the new Continental is unlike anything Lincoln has ever produced before. Truly, I haven’t liked a Lincoln four-door as much since the opening scene of Thunderball, the Lehmann-Peterson crafted ‘64 Continental Executive Limousine being Albert R. Broccoli’s chosen ride of Colonel Jacques Bouvar’s bereaved widow (and Jacques/Spectre Number 6 himself, we’ll later learn), a car I could get used to having in my personal collection. The four-door ‘65 Continental Convertible that James pulled up to Emilio Largo’s Nassau waterfront estate in halfway through the film was even prettier, although I like the original front end design of the version used to drop 007 off to Fort Knox in Goldfinger better.

2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve 3.0L AWD RSP
There’s nothing else quite like it on the road. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

That’s how cool Lincoln used to be, and while I highly doubt we’ll see a four-door convertible version of this new Continental anytime soon (although it would be sweet), I could certainly see the likes of modern-day Don Drapers pulling up to their wannabe Manhattan offices in one of the two new Continentals I recently drove. While behind the wheel I find myself contemplating the purchase of a classic Brooks Brothers ‘60s-era styled suit of my own, and of course something along the lines of an Omega Seamaster Deville or Tudor Oyster Prince for the wrist.

While sporting a vintage watch and classic styled suit won’t likely leave you stranded on the road or cause any bodily harm if you get in an accident (unless the watch makes you late), living with a classic car might. They’re just not good daily drivers, lacking the reliability, safety, comfort, performance, and technology of today’s machinery, but the new Continental combines all of the above in a respectful homage of the early-to-late ‘60s model that previously bore its name.

2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve 3.0L AWD RSP
The Continental’s cabin is an ideal mix of old world opulence and highly advanced technology. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

Maybe homage isn’t the right word, as the new Continental’s chromed mesh grille, available bejeweled LED headlamps, single-piece LED taillight cluster, and many other finely crafted details are nothing like that early car, but its big blocky upright three-box luxury sedan lines and its commanding overall presence conjures the spirit of classic Lincolns better than anything in the brand’s recent past. In other words, I like it. I like it a lot.

Details worthy of closer attention include the artfully shaped metal side mirror posts that provide a perfectly flat base for the housings’ power-folding pirouette when approaching the car, the unique exposed hinge-like chrome fender/door trim just beneath, and the gorgeous chromed door handles that perfectly align with the side window beltline trim until protruding outward to meet your hand. It’s features like these that make this new Continental the Jaeger LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Duoface of cars.

2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve 3.0L AWD RSP
These 30-way seats are beyond incredible. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

OK, I’m having a little fun with this one, but that’s only because the new Continental makes me feel different than most others in this class. Maybe I’m a bit bored of the usual Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Lexus, etcetera, and want to spend time at the wheel of something with a little more majesty. If you feel the same, you should consider the Continental, as it pours on old world charm in a similar way as a Bentley or Rolls-Royce, albeit with better electronics and a much more approachable price tag.

The Continental Reserve interior is fabulous, with equal parts elegance and technology. Most surfaces that aren’t genuine open-pore hardwood, chromed metal, or digital interfaces are soft to the touch, whether made from composites or supple leathers. Front and rear seat adjustability borders on the ridiculous, and they’re four of the most comfortable chairs in the industry. Those in the first row of my tester are Lincoln’s $750 optional 30-way powered multi-contour type—seriously. Lincoln registered no less than 50 patents for these, whereas the two outboard passengers in back are treated to the $5,000 Rear-Seat Package (RSP) that includes 40/20/40-split folding/reclining via powered actuation, four-way powered lumbar support, airliner-style head restraints, heated and cooled cushions, side window sunshades, a twin-panel panoramic moonroof, rear-duct B-pillar registers, inflatable safety belts, and a flip-down centre armrest with an impressive set of integrated audio, climate, and sunshade controls, plus cupholders.

2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve 3.0L AWD RSP
A dual-pane panoramic sunroof adds an open, airy ambience. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

Our tester also includes the $5,500 Luxury Package boasting premium LED headlights and 19-speaker Revel Ultima audio, as well as a $4,000 Technology Package that adds a 360-degree surround parking camera, active park assist semi-autonomous parking, a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision alert and assist with pedestrian protection, active braking, brake support, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, a driver alert system, and more.

Standard features on my $63,900 Continental Reserve 3.0L tester (the base model starts at $57,400) include most anything you can think of not yet mentioned, with some highlights being a beautiful set of machine-finished 19-inch alloys with black painted pockets, auto high beams, remote start, proximity-sensing keyless access, ambient lighting, pushbutton ignition, power-cinching doors, a powered tilt/telescoping steering column with memory, a leather-wrapped heatable multifunction steering wheel, a fully configurable TFT colour gauge cluster, Lincoln’s trademark pushbutton shifter, 24-way heated and cooled front seats with independent powered thigh extenders and driver’s side memory, Bridge of Weir Deepsoft leather upholstery, tri-zone auto climate control with rear seat controls, heatable rear outboard seats, Sync 3 infotainment with a 8.0-inch LCD capacitive touchscreen featuring swipe capability, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, voice-activated navigation, and a rearview camera.

2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve 3.0L AWD RSP
The Rear Seat Package (RSP) adds this fold-down console filled with features. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

Additional Continental Reserve features include an embedded modem, Wi-Fi, 13-speaker Revel audio with HD and satellite radio, a universal garage door opener, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rearview and driver’s side mirrors, a 110-volt household-style power outlet, front and rear parking sensors, blindspot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, active noise cancellation, a powered rear window sunshade, power-folding rear headrests, a hands-free powered trunk lid, and plenty of active and passive safety features.

My tester was upgraded from the standard 2.7-litre V6, six-speed auto with paddles and torque-vectoring AWD combination, the engine good for 365 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, to a 3.0-litre V6 with 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque, plus the same gearbox and AWD.

I won’t go into any driving dynamic info in this garage overview, as that needs to be saved for my road test review, but suffice to say it feels a lot more substantive than the MKZ that shares much of its chassis architecture components. Where the MKZ is mid-size the Continental approaches full-size, which is easy to easy inside and out. Some chassis highlights include continuously controlled dampers to simultaneously improve ride quality and road holding, while its adaptive steering is designed to enhance turn-in and high-speed stability.

Come back to check out my full road test review soon…

Is the new Continental a game changer for Lincoln? Ford’s luxury brand is hardly the first choice for most of today’s high-flying execs, but its new 2017 Continental could change market perceptions…

2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve 3.0L AWD

Is the new Continental a game changer for Lincoln? Ford’s luxury brand is hardly the first choice for most of today’s high-flying execs, but its new 2017 Continental could change market perceptions as well as Lincoln’s fortunes.

2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve
The Continental’s rear styling is even more distinctive. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

How do we know? We’ve got a near top-line 400 horsepower 3.0-litre turbo V6 Reserve trimmed model in our garage this week and so far so good… or rather, so far so great!

The Continental offers a brand new face in the luxury segment, which is nothing new for Lincoln that’s been changing up its design language every half decade in a seemingly never-ending quest for a new trademark look since the classic Rolls-Royce-like waterfall radiator went out of style back in the ‘90s, along with the last car to wear the Continental nameplate. Still, Lincoln may just be onto something that sticks with the new Continental.

2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve
Lincoln takes its interior refinement to a whole new level with the Continental. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

We weren’t first to question the new model’s familiarity to Jaguar, a brand Ford Motor used to own along with Land Rover, Aston Martin and Volvo within its now defunct Premiere Auto Group division. Ford has come under fire for unabashedly borrowing key design cues from these brands in past and current models, Land Rover styling purged for the Explorer, Aston Martin for the Fiesta, Focus and Fusion, and the Jaguar E-Type’s muse previously called upon for the big oval grilles in ‘90s Taurus and Contour models. Now that the Continental is parked in our driveway, however, it takes on a look all its own.

2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve
Check out these 30-way powered seats, the closest that car seats get to first-class airline perches. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

Our Burgundy Velvet painted 3.0 GTDI AWD Reserve tester gets a Cappuccino luxury leather interior with (get this) 30-way powered multi-contour front seats! They look like they’re right out of a concept car, and are some of the most comfortable perches in the industry. Additional features include full LED headlamps with auto high beams, proximity keyless access, pushbutton start, a heatable steering wheel, a fully configurable TFT colour gauge cluster, Sync3 infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 360-degree surround parking monitor, sensational sounding 19-speaker Revel Ultima audio, heated rear outboard seats, a panoramic glass sunroof, plus a host of autonomous driving technologies like adaptive cruise control, self-parking, pre-collision assist, and more.

2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve
Rear seat legroom is Town Car like, but the seats are much more comfortable. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

We’ll leave the driving dynamics details for our upcoming road test review, but suffice to say that standard torque-vectoring AWD and electronically controlled damping makes sure this big sedan handles like Lincoln’s old LS without the ride harshness. Considering the new Continental sits on a stretched and otherwise modified version of the current mid-size MKZ platform architecture, that’s a sound bit of automotive engineering.

Come back soon for a thorough road test review, when we’ll go over the Continental’s trim lines, standard and optional features, as well as the functionality and ease of use of those features, plus a whole lot more…

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Up front, Lincoln's new winged grille is also wonderfully expressive, which together with its narrow, sharply pointed headlamp clusters form a perfect symmetry as they wrap around the front fenders, the entire frontal design like some chromed modernistic form of west coast Haida artwork, along the lines of Tom Speen's Thunderbird. Neat and tidy LED driving lights combine with a thin strip of chrome on each side of the lower valance, an understated element that doesn't take away from the more artistic upper portion of the fascia.

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