Lincoln unveiled its vision for electric vehicles of the future Thursday at Monterey Car Week, as it marked its 100th anniversary, with the debut of the Lincoln Model L 100 concept, a self-driving, battery-electric grand tourer that pays homage to the first luxury vehicle of the brand, the 1922 Model L.
The massive, futuristic concept has a low-slung streamlined body that features a wide opening glass roof and reverse-hinged doors that lift to lend a “sense of ceremony” and provide the “Lincoln Hug,” the company said. company. Taking the “Lincoln Embrace” theme even further, luxury brand Ford notes that the wheel covers use lighting and sensors to “communicate movement, battery life and human presence.”
The “fresh outdoors blue” hue of the vehicle’s exterior combines metallic paint and frosted acrylic. This futuristic design sprinkles in some 1920s Art Deco touches, like the hood ornament, as well as a Kammback rear, or K-tail, that slopes down and then abruptly cuts off for improved aerodynamics to complete the look. .
Inside, the cabin is trimmed in amethyst-colored recycled suede fabric. The configurable cabin is one of the most striking features, in which the front seats are rotated to face passengers in the rear seats, and “an interactive chessboard is placed in the center console” where one might expect a steering wheel. The console features “a jewel-inspired chess piece controller that captures light and depth by redefining vehicle controls within the cockpit,” according to the company.
Lincoln also said the car will have a “digital floor,” but didn’t elaborate on what that means beyond combining interior lighting to “transport passengers to the sanctuary of tomorrow.”
Wacky concepts like the Lincoln Model L 100 are often couched as research or design exercises that allow a company to explore what its future portfolio might look like. For Lincoln, it’s a process that will likely be used to determine interest in certain features or designs as it moves forward with plans to fully electrify half of its offerings by 2050.
The Lincoln Model L is also part of an emerging trend among recently revealed concepts that hints at where the entire industry is headed. Several American automakers, a list that includes Lincoln, have released concept cars this year that harken back to early 20th-century nostalgia.
Chrysler revealed at the New York Auto Show in April a Chrysler Airflow Crossover Concept is named after the original Chrysler Airflow, which design director Ralph Gilles called “catastrophic failure” of the mid-1930s. Chrysler said the concept can travel up to 400 miles on a single charge and comes with fast-charging functionality, as well as a long list of technologies, including the automaker’s STLA AutoDrive system, which it is developing with BMW to offer charging capabilities. level 3 automated driving.
then there is Cadillac interior spacethe electric, self-driving concept that debuted earlier this year takes inspiration from the two-passenger runabouts the brand made in 1902. The concept features a loveseat, wraparound digital display and built-in ottoman, but no pedals no steering wheel .
The Lincoln Model L 100 takes a similar trip down memory lane, even as it pushes forward-looking, sleek design.
The primary inspiration for the concept is the 1922 Model L, a vehicle designed by Lincoln and Cadillac founder Henry Leland. The Model L spent a year in production before Ford bought the company out of bankruptcy in 1922. The 81-horsepower Model L V8 ran for 10 years before being replaced in 1930 by the Lincoln Model K.
The question is, of course, will Lincoln take some parts of this concept or do it all? While the reverse-hinged doors and openable glass roof may get most of the buzz, the fact that it’s a low-slung grand tourer deserves more attention.
Lincoln currently only sells crossovers and SUVs in the United States. Its latest sedan, the Continental, was phased out in the US in 2020. Much of Lincoln’s attention these days is China, which may mean this grand tourer concept, or something like it, will be heading to the abroad while a Lincoln-inspired vehicle star concept crossover that debuted this spring launches in the US