2001 Continental New Car Test Drive
High-tech equipment is a requisite for a luxury sedan these days, but Lincoln's Continental is on the cutting edge with computer electronics applied to nearly every facet of the driving experience. We're not talking about gadgets here, although the Continental offers a reasonable share of those, we're talking about the innovative use of electronics to provide comfort and ride quality in a highly maneuverable sedan.
Suspension dampening and steering effort can be adjusted electronically by the driver, allowing owners to tailor their Continental to their driving style and environment. These whiz-bang electronics are not intrusive, however, as owners can choose to use them or ignore them. Either way, driving the Continental is a satisfying experience.
The Continental is available in just one model, which retails for $39,380. Leather is standard along with all the other goodies you'd expect in a full-size luxury car.
A 4.6-liter V8 delivers power to the front wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission. Anti-lock brakes and traction control are standard. Side-impact air bags are also standard, in addition to the dual front air bags. An optional package called RESCU automatically summons help via cellular telephone and global positioning satellite whenever an air bag deploys; the package comes with a cellular telephone, the premium Alpine Sound System and a programmable garage door opener.
The Driver Select System ($605) includes semi-active suspension with driver adjustable ride control, memory profile system, steering-wheel audio and climate controls and automatic dimming for the left outside mirror.
Continental's four-year/50,000-mile warranty is longer than the standard three-year/36,000-mile warranty. For 2001, Lincoln has further sweetened the ride with complimentary regular maintenance for the first three years or 36,000 miles, which it claims is a first for a domestic luxury brand.
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