The eighth generation Lincoln Continental came in two trim levels: Executive and the top-of-the-line Signature Series.
Executive models offered a choice of a front bench or buckets for 5- or 6-passenger seating, while the Signature Series seated six. Continental fought the showroom wars with the likes of Cadillac DeVille and Seville, Chrysler New Yorker and Imperial/LHS and possibly the Acura Legend, although it was somewhat smaller.
The old Continental featured a 160-horsepower, 3.8-liter ohv V6 that came with an electronically-controlled 4-speed automatic that drove the Continental's front wheels.
With room for up to six adults, Continental came standard with antilock brakes and dual airbags. A complex air-spring suspension, front and rear, was used in conjunction with a computer to maintain a soft ride on smooth and level roads. But when the road had gotten rough, or the computer senses hard cornering situations, the suspension firmed up accordingly.
Putting their engineers to the test, Lincoln designed a grocery carrier/cart for the Continental that would easily slide in and out of the trunk. It prevented groceries from rolling around in the trunk and bruising the fruit.
Cellular phone users benefited from the factory-installed, voice-activated phone that stowed in the storage arm rest in 6-passenger models.
Very few, if not none, of these cars were sold as early 1995 models before the next generation.
The all-new Lincoln Continental was ushered in as a midyear '95 model. More contemporary rounded styling and a new interior were only part of the story. The other news was the 260-horsepower 4.6-liter V8 from the Town Car that replaced the V6.
The first 1995 Continental rolled off the Wixom Assembly Plant on November 28, 1994, and the car went on sale beginning on December 26, 1994.
Continental celebrated its 75th anniversary in '96, and the event was commemorated with a special edition later this year. Special colors, badging, voice-activated cellular phone, premium audio system, power sunroof and chrome wheels were unique features.
One standard-edition Continental still vied for sales with Cadillac DeVille and Chrysler LHS (the New Yorker was discontinued). Offering a full plate of amenities as befitting a large luxury model, the new Continental sported a couple of new personal security features. First were Michelin Securitires -- tires that can run without air pressure for 20 miles at 50 mph. A monitoring system alerted the driver to a low pressure condition. The Remote Emergency Satellite Cellular Unit (RESCU) used a global-positioning receiver and cellular phone that would automatically summon roadside assistance, police or medical assistance at the touch of a button.
An optional Touring Package added a JBL audio system, all-speed traction control and auto dimming inside/outside mirrors with compass. You would also have been able to add a power sunroof to the Touring Package. Standard fare included variable power steering with driver-adjustable steering effort: light, moderate or high. Air suspension with automatic load leveling were also driver controlled for a firm, normal or plush ride.
Production of 1999 and later year models of the Lincoln Continental lasted through July 26, 2002, with only few changes made between these years.
- $33,750 (1994 Lincoln Continental Executive)
- $35,600 (1994 Lincoln Continental Signature)
As of December 8, 1994:
- $40,750 (1995 Lincoln Continental)
As of August 1, 1995:
- $41,800 (1996 Lincoln Continental)