2017 Lincoln Continental: Performance Tested
by Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant
Our new long-term 2017 Lincoln Continental had some interesting potential at the test track. Not only was it an all-new car from top to bottom, ours has the top-of-the-line, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6. With 400 horsepower on tap, the Lincoln-exclusive engine has enough power to make even a large luxury sedan quick on its feet.
So where did the Continental excel and where did it fall flat? Check out the numbers to find out.
Vehicle: 2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve AWD
Date: January 17, 2017
Driver: Kurt Niebuhr
Drive type: all-wheel drive (AWD)
Transmission type: automatic
Engine type: twin-turbocharged conventional gasoline V6
Displacement: 3,000 cc/183 cu-in
Redline: 6,000 rpm
Horsepower: 400 hp @ 5,750 rpm
Torque: 400 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm
Brake type (front): one-piece ventilated rotors with two-piston sliding calipers
Brake type (rear): one-piece solid rotors with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension type (front): MacPherson strut dampers with aluminum control arm and stabilizer bar; continuously controlled damping (CCD)
Suspension type (rear): advanced integral-link suspension with coil springs, gas-pressurized dampers and stabilizer bar; continuously controlled damping (CCD)
Tire size (front): 245/40R20 99W
Tire size (rear): 245/40R20 99W
Tire brand: Goodyear
Tire model: Eagle
Tire type: regular
0-30 mph: 1.9 seconds (with TC on: 2.2 seconds )
0-45 mph: 3.4 seconds (with TC on: 3.7 seconds )
0-60 mph: 5.5 seconds (with TC on: 5.8 seconds )
0-60 mph with 1-ft rollout: 5.2 seconds (with TC on: 5.4 seconds )
0-75 mph: 7.8 seconds (with TC on: 8.2 seconds )
1/4-mile: 13.66 seconds @ 101.60 mph (with TC on: 13.88 seconds @ 100.98 mph)
30-0 mph: 28 feet
60-0 mph: 111 feet
Skidpad lateral acceleration: 0.84g (0.78g w/ ESC on)
RPM @ 70 mph: 2,100
Quite the punch off the line. The first three gears are well-stacked and the Continental gets through them quickly, even with some not-insignificant tugging at the wheel. While I wouldn't call them slow, the shifts feel strange, almost slurred like an old-school automatic. It's not a bad thing, as there's definitely no shift shock (befitting a luxury car); it's just different from the usual, crisp upshifting you find in most of its rivals. This car is definitely not slow, and up to about 80 mph, the Continental just trucks. This motor is very healthy, even if it sounds uninteresting. The indicated redline is meaningless — the car will shift at 6,000 rpm come hell, high water or manual selection. The quickest run was in Sport mode with traction control turned off and a quick brake torquing up to around 2,000 rpm.
While there's a lot to like about the firm pedal and the ease at which you can modulate the braking pressure, there's not a lot to like about the unmuted and crunchy sounds coming from the ABS. That's not fitting for a luxury car, or any car at this price. That said, the body control is commendable. Every stop ended with a slight drift to the right, which you might be able to chalk up to the pavement, but no other car tested that day exhibited that same tendency. Whatever the reason is for that, the distances were very consistent and stability was also very good. These brakes definitely have a lot of power.
Surprisingly quick and direct steering for a Lincoln, or anything without sporting intentions. And though the steering is fairly accurate, the massive amount of torque available at the front wheels makes it difficult to hold the Continental on the line at the limit. The slightest increase in throttle creates significant understeer. But much like the Fusion, the chassis is solid. Comfort mode maintains good control of the body, but leaving the stability control on keeps the limits low. Stability control can never be fully dismissed, but turning it off does give you a little more room to work with. The tires barely talk back, so finding the limit takes a bit of trust. Changes direction quickly enough to spill your drink which is again, surprising.
Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 2,181 miles