And it has a curbside presence that manages to exude the quiet luxury that is the company’s mantra; the Continental is a beautiful ride, whether you are driving or being driven.

Los Angeles, CA – “Language!” hisses a voice from behind the hedge that divides the simply-named The Bar from the rest of the complex it resides in at the Bel Air Hotel.

Someone, or something – perhaps even the hedge itself – has found my lexicon a bit too flowery for their taste as I address a coterie of my peers. Can’t remember what I was on about. American election.

Anyway, that’s just how it is when you are a rich-and-famous lifestyler like myself, nothing but the best all the time, from a talking hedge that admonishes you for swearing too much, to a really sweet automobile to get you to and from your various exotic appointments.

Thus, it is that the 2017 Lincoln Continental is the perfect conveyance for my purposes. A complete renewal from stem to stern, with a grille that echoes the shape of the Lincoln badge (a styling touch that can also be seen in the headlamp lenses). And it has a curbside presence that manages to exude the quiet luxury that is the company’s mantra; the Continental is a beautiful ride, whether you are driving or being driven.

Approach the car and watch the Lincoln logo appear in a pool of light in front of the door, grab the raised door handle (they’ve moved the handles up to window-level to keep the body lines clean and uninterrupted) and slip into the premium sedan poised to dominate the segment, both domestic and overseas.

They have high hopes for the new face of Lincoln in the Chinese market as well as North American, and have piled quality materials and hi-tech packaging upon the smooth ride and serene cabin.

A driver’s seat with a potential of thirty different ways to adjust it wraps around me, and also provides a massage function, to keep my little one-percenter butt from falling asleep during prolonged drives. Incidentally, with the right option selection, all seats get the massage function – it is a nice touch, as presumably a car like this will be used to drive, as well as be driven by, important people.

Canada will get two trim levels of the Continental, the ‘Select’ and the ‘Reserve’, both in all-wheel drive, and a pair of engine choices: a 2.7 litre or the company’s newest 3.0L twin-turbo V6. I’ve only driven the three-litre, and presumably this would be the engine that everyone will want, with its quick response and keen performance – the 3.0 is capable of up to 400 horsepower (and 400 matching lb-ft of torque).

Paired with Ford/Lincoln driving technologies, the Continental travels the streets and highways very well, and keeps things quiet inside and out. The hedge never would have heard me swearing, had I stayed inside the car.

Like all well-to-do audiophiles, I appreciate a quality sound system in my limos; and Lincoln has incorporated a (available option) Revel sound experience into the Continental. It can be had in two configurations, the best of which is a 19-speaker implementation that I got a demonstration of outside LA’s Village Studios.

The sound complements the car perfectly, and in addition to offering presets for various sound-stage simulations, it does a good job of reinterpreting low-quality compressed signals (from, say, MP3 or satellite radio sources). Where the Revel audio really shines, however, is with high quality recordings. It will play .wav files, or FLAC, apparently, and reproduce the works perhaps better than any car-audio system I have heard.

At the end of the day, I rode back to the Bel Air in the rear of a Continental (in order to hit the Bar, and get scolded by the hedge, you see) and here is perhaps my one big nitpick with the vehicle: the rear seat headroom is not great in models with the panoramic glass moonroof, especially if you’re going to be more than six feet tall.

That, and the fuel economy, would be the major downsides of the car – the 3.0L gets a pretty unimpressive FE rating of 14.4L/100km in the city, and 9.7 on the highway.

The price, though, may make up for that, depending on how rich you are feeling. Consider that the 2017 Continental (with 2.7L engine) starts at $57,000 for a Select level model without additional packages, and ramps up to $63,500 for the Reserve trim with a twin-turbo three-litre.

wade [dot] ozeroff [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca                   

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