Lincoln is bringing back the grace to celebrate its 80th birthday, transforming the 2019 Lincoln Continental sedan into an extremely-limited edition with center-opening doors, called coach doors (or suicide doors, as they are more commonly known by the masses).
“The center-opening doors became synonymous with the Lincoln Continental, even though they were only featured primarily in the ’60s,” says David Woodhouse, design director, The Lincoln Motor Company. “But they struck such a chord that they’re still remembered so fondly today. It was truly a watershed moment for us in terms of iconic design.”
A vintage Lincoln advertisement highlighted the unique door layout with the copy “Notice the doors. And notice how they open. From the centre, to make everyone’s entrances graceful,” conveying the elegance of a luxury brand, and adding a touch of Hollywood glamour.
Roughly six decades after they were introduced on the Continental, and five decades since they were discarded, the rear-hinged full-size doors are back, now opening at 90 degrees to the bodyside, allowing rear passengers to sit and turn, when entering, and then step directly out (making celebrity upskirt paparazzi shots a thing of the past).
“People appreciate elegance and glamour,” says Woodhouse. “And they want the easiest way to get in and out of a vehicle. These doors answer to both.”
The grace and glamour is on display as the occupants approach the car — puddle lamps illuminate the ground around the car, and an innovative electronic door system that makes door unlatching smooth, quiet and effortless for entry and exit.
Limited to just 80 units, the Lincoln Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door Edition not only offers a nod to the iconic side design, but makes the rear seat passengers considerably more comfortable because of the lengthening of the wheelbase by 152 mm to accommodate the larger doors. That not only provides class-leading legroom, but piggy-backs on that with ultra-luxury items such as tray tables, console control centre, wireless-charging pad and tablet holders, in keeping with the features of the Lincoln Black Label interior.
Now available for order through Lincoln Black Label dealers, the 80 units will also have a special door sill plate with the number of the car in the build-series, when the sedans start deliveries in summer 2019. Lincoln has also committed to following the limited run with more Coach Door Edition sedans for 2020.