New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 27, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
68 ■ Herald-Zeitung ■ Friday, Jan. 27, 1995WheelsLincoln ContinentalSet to debut Super Bowl Sunday, this luxury car introduces 21 new features
The all new Lincoln Continental is not only one fine automobile, it has bells and whistles you probably haven't even thought about yet.
From a set of buttons on the dash, for instance, you select the nde and the level of steering effort . _ you prefer. Your choices DdVICl for ride are 'plush,' 'normal' or 'firm' and for steering effort they are 'low,' 'normal' or 'high.'
But that's not all.
When you make that selection, a read-out on the right sight of the instrument pod will ask if you would like to save those selections to 'Driver I' or'Driver 2.’
Many automobiles in the class of the Continental have 'memory' seat positioning for two drivers. Each sets a driver's seat position and then the car remembers and will return to that adjustment at the push of a button.
Within the last few years, that memory has come to include the positioning of the outside rearv iew mirrors in some cars and even of the steering wheel in a few.
To my knowledge, however, the Continental is the first to add steering effort and nde.
But that's not all.
The new Continental — which will debut dunng the Super Bowl Sunday, by the way — also permits its dnver to choose a number of other functions.
It invites you to tell it whether you want its outside mirrors to reposition themselves when you shift into reverse (thus letting you view the area directly behind the car).
And it will let you nim the automatic down feature of the driver's window on or off.
It will let you decide whether or not you want it to lock its doors when you start to move.
It will let you decide whether or not you want it to beep in confirmation when you lock or unlock its doors with the remote transmitter key fob.
And once youive decided all those things and probably a few I've forgotten, it asks if you would like to record those choices to 'Driver I'or'Dnver 2.’
But that's not all.
When you set the radio’s pushbuttons, the Continental will, you guessed it, ask you if you would like to record those to 'Dnver I* or 'Dnver 2.'
But that's not all.
One of the most innovative features of the new Continental is hidden in its trunk.
That feature is a pull-out bin to make loading and unloading groceries easier The bin, which contains three separate compartments, is released by operating a handle on its nght side Once released, the bin slides to the back of the trunk and latches into place there. Grocenes can then be placed in the bin and it can then be returned to its original position in the back of the trunk, leaving the most accessible part of the trunk readily accessible for more grocenes or other packages.
Our test car, a jet black Continental with gray leather intenor appointments, was also equipped with a factory-installed cellular telephone that can be dialed by voice commands and that, unless the dnver wishes to use the handset, remains concealed in the driver's side front armrest The new Continental is powered by the InTcch VB system, Lincoln’s first front-wheel-dnve VB.
The engine is a 32-valve double overhead cam aluminum block unit that achieves greater fuel efficiency than past VBs but pumps out 260 horsepower and, at 265 foot pounds at 4,750 rpm, enough low-end torque to ensure quick acceleration.
The new engine's horsepower exceeds by 62 percent that of the engine in the current Continental Teflon coated pistons are used in the In Tech engine for improved piston-to-wall fit and reduced friction The front cover of the InTech engine is a structural part of the engine, with an integral front-end accessory drive tensioner built into it. To facilitate transverse installation, the front cover was completely redesigned as part of an effort to relocate all of the direct-mount engine accessories drives, belt tensioner, power steering pump, and air conditioning compressor to the front or left bank of the engine,
A compact 130-amp alternator is mounted in the engines valley — the first application of this alternator in a high-volume program And the firewall side of the front cover has been heavily rein fore cd for improved noise reduction The InTech engine's oil pan is made of a metal-pUsOc-metaJ sandwich material that has a sound absorption improvement
over a stngk-Uyer stamped steel oil pan The new engine's induction system features the fest Feed application of an in-senes throttle body for the Continental is traction control system The in-serves throttle body mounts above the main engine throttle body and takes over air-
flow control only when large traction differentials are noted by the anti-lock braking module.
The in-senes throttle works with brake application and spark retard to restore traction as measured by the traction control system and automatically cuts torque to predetermined levels bv cutting off the engine air supply until traction is restored.
The induction system also features the first passenger car application of a high'-flow conical air cleaner design that incorporates the engine's mass air flow sensor within it The conical design is tuned to help reduce sound levels and increase power. It incorporates a resonator for intake tuning and further noise reduction.
The electronic fuel injection systemis air intake manifold uses 16 equal-length runners and new center-feed architecture that in quieter in operation at large throttle openings. And for the first time, ford engineers have used an acoustic blanket nude of a sound-absorbing fiberglass material in the valley between the fore and aft cylinder banks to improve the quietness of the engine.
The InTechis valvctrain incorporates a new intake camshaft profile that keeps the intake valves open for an additional 14 degrees of crankshaft rotation This yields higher overall fuel economy without degrading the high rpm performance fbi which 32-valve VB engines are known
Platinum-tipped sjwrk plugs are used in the In Iech engine to enable tile car to achieve 100,000 miles between tuneups Platinum is highly resistant to heat and electrical corrosion.
I he new Continental's transaxle is un all-new unit designed to cope with tire higfi levels of torque produced by the 32-valve VB and with the new engine's high rpm operating range The (ransaxle is a I our-speed automatic overdrive which incorporates a non synchronous shitting lea lure and full electronic control.
I he Continental's vuspeit-sion operates as four individual wheel systems, each con trolled by its own linear ana lug height sensor.
I he system featuics a short and long-arm rear air spring suspension which uses hydra bushings for tension strut and upper arm attachments, as well as a quad-shock system consisting of two vertical and two horizontal shtick absolute!
units to improve ride, handling and rear seat noise isolation.
At the front, the ContinentaPjssuspension is a MacPherson strut air spring design w ith automatic self leveling and ride control. The car's self-leveling air suspension system triggers an onboard air compressor whenever a nine-irul-
limeter or greater change in ride height is sensed The compressor increases or decreases air spring pressures to return the vehicle to w ithin two millimeters of the nominal height setting established by a sophisticated laser nde height calibration process at the factory.
Michelin P225 60R-16 all-season tires on
‘Our test car, a jet black Continental with gray leather interior appointments, was also equipped with a factory-installed cellular telephone that can be dialed by voice commands and that, unless the driver wishes to use the handset, remains concealed in the driver's side front armrest.’
unidirectional aluminum alloy wheels ofter an excellent combination of wet and dry' grip and braking performance while retaining a low' rolling resistance for improved fuel economy. Unidirectional chrome wheels also are available and were used on the pre-production test vehicle sent us for evaluation.
The new Continental will have a suggested retail price of $41,375, including destination and delivery charges.
That pricing makes the newest Lincoln, with 21 features offered for the first time on any car in the world, not only one of the most technologically sophisticated automobiles available today, but also one of the best values.
(David Sullens, editor and publisher of the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, has written an automotive column for the past IO years.)
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