Lincoln’s Black Label fits new Continental very, very nicely

2017 Lincoln Continental

I was almost afraid to write my review on Ford Motor Company’s new Lincoln Continental. Will my readers believe me when I say I like this car as much as I liked the 5-Series BMW I drove a few weeks ago? That’s not possible, is it?
Think about that. A Lincoln, which was known for riding like a cruise ship instead of handling like a cruise missile, is now as good as luxury sedans that have nearly always been praised. Is that real?
Yes, sir, it is. Ford bet the farm on its latest luxury car and it is going to be rewarded handsomely. The new Continental, especially in Black Label trim, can run shoulder to shoulder with the best in luxury market.

New-Think From Ford

I recently spent a week with the new Continental and was throughly impressed. Forget all that you think you know about this car company. There is a new feeling and thought at Ford’s luxury division that I think the public is going to like.
First, this car has an understated elegance that I hope trickles down to the rest of the line. I see hints of Jaguar but not as curvy. There’s a little bit of Bentley at the rear but not a direct copy. From the mesh grille to the stately rump, this car screams luxury, but not in a panicked way. I love the sculptured door pulls which are an added touch of elegance.
The interior is something to marvel. There is wood, leather, metal and suede used with such meticulous craftsmanship, such precision that you have to force yourself to remember this is an American made car. Everything feels expensive and works as if its in a luxury car.

There are three themes for Black Label – Chalet, Thoroughbred and Rhapsody. Each theme dictates the car’s exterior and interior colors. My Thoroughbred was chroma Caviar Gray metallic with Venetian black leather seats, a very handsome combination.
The rear seats may be the best seats in the house. The car doesn’t seem overly long, but there is enough room for six-footers to cross their legs. The sections are heated and power controlled. The outward seats will message you if you request such. My frat brother’s 13-year-old son loved it. He thought it was the best thing before going to basketball practice. There are also controls for climate.
Maybe I’m wrong. The fronts seats have the advantage. This Black Label version had these pillow-top seats that simply cushioned you into nirvana. Each is power operated as well, minus the message option. Each feels more like a recliner but a form-fitted recliner that grips you if you want to do spirited driving.

An Engine That Purrs 

Speaking of such, this 3.0-liter turbo V6 is the answer. It quietly makes 400 horsepower with 400 pounds-feet of torque. Coupled to a six-speed transmission and all-wheel drive, this engine purrs while navigating city streets and roars when you hit open road. Not that you hear it. The cabin is so well isolated that most engine noise is kept outside of the car. Fine, because that does not deter the cars performance. Put your foot in this engine and the Continental becomes a domesticated beast, hurtling past all those on the road if you wish to do so. Power is available at a touch and it doesn’t seem to run out of steam.
Continentals of yore felt floaty, riding like the suspension was built out of clouds. That’s something else to forget. While those older buyers that wish for a smooth ride will love this car, those who crave to carve up some highway will be pleased as well. The Continental’s suspension is well sorted, allowing the driver to press the car when needed. The steering gives you great feedback from the road and keeps the car tracking straight. There are paddle shifters mounted to the steering wheel which tells you how serious Lincoln is about this car. You can shift or the silky six-speed automatic will do the trick.
Choosing the all wheel drive version gives you Audi like, or should I say Audi-lite handling, which isn’t a bad thing. The car felt unflappable even during heavy downpours. It’s not an Audi but I like it nearly as much — high praise, indeed.

There are at least six different models to choose from before you get to the Black Label models. There are also four different engines, but not all are available throughout the range. The Black Label is Lincoln’s highest expression of opulence so it’s not cheep. The car’s base price started in the low $60’s which is well equipped. The paint job, rear-seat package, 3.0-liter engine and destination brought the car’s asking price to $78,000 and some change.
You can buy the car for far less, just don’t drive the Black Label first. I don’t think I would want this car any other way. Is it worth the money? I’ll say yes, but with everything else, this is going to be a matter of preference. Lincoln has done its job offering a wonderful sedan. It’s all on you.

2013 GS Series will make Lexus a contender

2013 Lexus GS F Sport

Las Vegas — Lexus has been working hard to revamp its image as a manufacturer of appliances and not desirable automobiles.

Sure, the company’s cars are virtually bulletproof and have great resale value, but where is the soul? Where is the passion other than the pursuit of perfection? I’m not asking these questions, mind you. I like the brand just fine, but most enthusiasts feel spunk needs to be injected.

That spunk came last year with the LFA, a $345,000 super car that proved this company can indeed do anything it wants. That type of think has trickled down to the GS series, once one of the hottest cars on the market. With the new redo, it just may be so again.

The fourth generation GS will not hit showrooms until February 2012 as a 2013 model. It’s been making the rounds at car shows and today was part of a regional introduction to about 40 automotive journalist.

The car has been reinvented from stem to stern. The chassis is still based on the Supra/SC400, but has been tweaked to bring it into this century, especially on the F sport version.

“From a design standpoint, The GS is the first car to wear the new face of Lexus,” said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “It’s highlighted by the spindle grille, the symbol for the full scale change taking place at Lexus.

The dash is more high tech.

“When we launch the GS next February. . .with this car forward. . .there’s no going back,” Templin said. “This is the new Lexus.”

New indeed. The grille is much more aggressive and is the face of a wider and more creased sedan. The length is about the same as the outgoing car, but it’s two inches wider in the rear. This provides for greater rear seat room for three across seating. Even rear legroom is up a bit.

Behind the steering wheel is where you want to be. Said wheel differs depending on the model selected. I prefer the bamboo version offered in the hybrid GS450h. It’s only available in that setup but may find its way into other versions as years pass. It has a silky feel but is easy to grip.

All the models feature sharp styling, upscale interiors and a bevy of safety, convenience and optional features which include adaptive headlights, all wheel drive, six speed transmission, paddle shifters, drive mode select, dynamic rear steering, Lexus dynamic handling, adaptive variable suspension, heads-up display and intuitive parking assist. My favorite new tech is the system which measures the distance between your eyelids. If you get drowsy and your eyes start to close, the car gives off a warning. Neat. A bit over the top but certainly useful.

Rear is more roomy.

After a thorough product briefing Lexus allowed us to drive the cars on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Not on the oval, but a timed road course and handling setup.

There are 3 GS models, the 350, 450h hybrid and the F Sport. I sampled each on the handling course and my conclusions were about what you’d expect: the base model is fine, the hybrid leans a bit in the corners and the F Sport is well suited for the track.

Put it in Sport + mode and the car comes to life as it nimbly navigates cones, curves and straightaways. The F Sport is confidence inspiring, allowing a mediocre track person as myself to feel great behind the wheel. Braking, steering and handling are top notch. The F Sport trounced the Mercedes E350 on hand in steering feel and acceleration.

The 5-Series BMW was a tougher customer. It allows a more skilled driver to feel what the car is doing a be in more control. The F Sport is no slouch with its bevy of computerized handling enhancements, which will give that well established mark some competition. Neither is a bad thing, just different approaches to achieving the same goal.

Even on a highway setting each car shines. The 450h is eerily quiet until you step on the gas. The GS has an excellent blend of power and comfortable ride. The F Sport? It will make you grin on any surface.

How will the public respond to this new GS? Very well, I think. Lexus asked more than 1,000 GS and competitor owners about what they wanted in the next GS. Templin thinks the company has given them that and more. He expects the GS to give Lexus between 12 to 13 percent of the mid-luxury sedan market.

“We do see sales growth potential for this car, but, the GS plays a much more important role for Lexus,” Templin said. “The GS signifies the new, bolder and more confident direction the brand is taking.”

Prices and fuel economy have not been set but should be available next month. One Lexus official said that because of current economic conditions the car should have “happy pricing.”

Advertising starts Superbowl Sunday. Look for Lexus to use social media as well as taking the car on a “Consumer Performance Drive Tour.”рейтинг сайтов гуглколледжи в швейцариилучшая экшн камераBTA-Workshop для Apple MacBook Air 11 Carbonsextoys vibroэлектрика ценытребуется посудомойщица киевоптимизация сайтов киевэкшн камера цена на