What's New for 1999
Lincoln's luxury liner gets added safety in 1999 with the addition of standard side airbags for the driver and front passenger. There's also five new exterior colors, upgraded interior trim options, two new wheel designs and an improved audio system. Otherwise the Lincoln remains unchanged after its major rework in 1998.
It's not easy to find a rear-drive, luxury car built in America, and Lincoln's Continental is no exception. Making the jump to front-wheel drive in 1988, the Continental has been with Lincoln since 1940 but is fully modernized and features a potent 275 horsepower, 4.6-liter V8. This engine also makes 275 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,750 rpm and utilizes a new cylinder head for better engine breathing and 15 more horsepower than last year's model. Gas mileage remains in the acceptable range with a 17/24 mpg rating for city/highway driving.
A fully independent suspension and gas pressurized shocks come standard on all Continentals, but a check on the Driver's Control Package option adds three-way adjustable, semi-active suspension for plush, normal or firm ride control. There's also an Alpine Audio System option group for audiophiles, a Luxury Appearance Package with upgraded interior and exterior trim pieces, and a Personal Security Package with Michelin "Zero Pressure" tires and a programmable garage door opener. For the ultimate in secure travel, a RESCU Package is available with Lincoln's Remote Emergency Satellite Cellular Unit to call for assistance and transmit the vehicle's location within 100 feet via a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) network.
The Continental's exterior remains unchanged for the '99 model year. The wide front grille is retained as are the dual exhaust outlets and the swoopy hood line. This gives the Lincoln a .32 coefficient of drag which, as luxury sedans go, is fairly slippery. If you really want to set yourself apart from last year's model, the optional six-spoke chrome wheels can add to the Continental's classic look.
With a price tag that easily tops $40,000 after adding an option or two, the Lincoln Continental faces some pretty tough competition from at home (Cadillac) and abroad (Lexus, BMW).