Lincoln is celebrating the Continental’s 80th birthday by producing a limited run with suicide doors.
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a car with suicide doors. Ford prefers to call them “coach doors” or “center-opening doors” rather than suicide doors, which just has a negative connotation for some reason.
The name was coined because “center-opening doors” are inherently less safe than conventional doors: if the locking mechanism fails while the car is on the highway, the wind speed would fling open the door rather than slam it shut, making it easier for a passenger to fall out.
They also tend to be harder to get out of in tight spaces like a parking lot. That’s why you only ever see suicide doors on luxury vehicles where the passenger is expected to be dropped off right at their destination.
Lincoln first introduced their venerable Continental sedan to the concept of suicide doors in 1961 back when people still bought Lincoln sedans. Ford is hoping that a limited production run will improve the beleaguered Continental’s image.
It’s called the Lincoln Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door Edition and is based off the Black Label trim level. The biggest change is 6 extra inches on the wheelbase in order to fit the coach doors which also has the added benefit of giving 6 additional inches of legroom.
As with any Black Label Continental, you get all the amenities of the best that Lincoln can produce. Highlights include a rear-seat pass-through console with stowable tray table along with a tablet holder and wireless charging pad. The driver gets a heads-up display that works even if they’re wearing sunglasses (as any chauffeur would) and it also gets special electronic doors that open and close smoothly and quietly.
Under the hood is the best engine Lincoln has: a 3.0-L twin-turbo V6 with 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque.
Ford is limiting production to just 80 units for the 2019 model year with deliveries beginning in the summer. However, Ford also mentioned they’d make a limited number of additional units for the 2020 model year, likely only if they manage to sell all of their first run of 80.
No pricing was announced from Ford, but the Detroit Free Press says each car will go for $100,000.