Monday, March 30, 2015

New Lincoln Continental (Will be Huge In China)

If you haven't noticed yet, Lincoln is in what you might call a bit of a renaissance. They have a new brand identity, and a stellar ad campaign which some love, some hate, but everyone remembers. Possibly the best thing about the new Lincoln is its bold new designs as of late, starting with the MKZ a few years ago which had one of the sexiest rear ends in modern sedans. It's good to see that bold attitude continuing.

Today they announced a new concept for the NY Auto Show, a modern take on the classic continental. It low, wide and screams luxury. It has LED's all around, an aggressive stance, and new technology like "Light Through Chrome" taillights and an adaptive sunroof. A design cue worth noting, it has a new smaller grill; a move which hopefully indicates a future design direction.

But here's the honest truth. This car is not for US buyers and it likely won't sell well here. But in China where big american cars are luxury and status, this car is sure to be a hit. Domestic automakers are continuing to turn toward China's booming market to make a profit, and create models that appeal to this market.

The continental is no exception.

info and photos from Newspress USA

Press Release

-Elegant, effortlessly powerful and serene, the Lincoln Continental Concept signals the brand’s all-new full-size sedan coming next year and the future of quiet luxury
 -Lincoln Continental Concept integrates technologies designed to create better drivers, rejuvenate and entertain passengers, including all-new, Lincoln-exclusive 3.0-liter EcoBoost® engine, patented 30--way seats and premium Revel audio system
-New Continental Concept introduces E-Latch door handles, LED matrix headlamps with laser-assist high beams and SPD SmartGlass® tinting sunroof

NEW YORK, March 30, 2015 –Lincoln today introduces the Continental Concept, signaling an all-new full-size sedan coming next year and the future of quiet luxury.

Elegant, effortlessly powerful and serene, the Continental Concept blends meticulous craftsmanship and technologies designed to create better drivers and provide passengers with a more relaxing and entertaining environment inspired by first-class travel.

“Luxury at its best is about simplifying and quietly exceeding expectations, rather than being the loudest statement on the road,” said Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company president and CEO. “The Continental Concept showcases the promise of quiet luxury from Lincoln going forward. It also is a strong indication of what’s to come next year as we introduce our new Lincoln Continental full-size luxury sedan.”

With a sleek silhouette and a new centered chrome grille, the Continental Concept signals the arrival of a new face for Lincoln. A raised Lincoln badge is surrounded by a span of repeating polished aluminum Lincoln Star emblems.

E-Latch door handles tuck discreetly in the clean vehicle beltline. The door handle technology also provides for elegant entry. The doors open effortlessly with the touch of a button positioned on the underside of the door handle wings and close quietly.

“Some brands talk about ‘the machine,’ ” said Kumar Galhotra, Lincoln president. “Lincoln is different. For us, it is about more than the machine. It is about what our vehicles do for our clients.”

New technology is a hallmark of the vehicle. It starts with the vehicle sensing your approach and lighting up to greet you inside and out.

Outside, signature full-width tail lamps feature advanced light-through-chrome technology. Powerful LED matrix head lamps with laser-assist high beams reduce glare and improve visibility.

Rhapsody Blue metallic paint calls back Lincoln Continental’s signature color.

Inside are the brand’s most sensual materials ever, including Venetian leather seat and door panels, Alcantara® seat inserts and armrests, satin headliner and shearling wool carpet. Rose Gold trim around the instrument cluster provides warmth. Bright chrome trim on the instrument panel adds contrast.

Ambient lighting enhances the interior, creating a serene environment. Soft-gold LED lights glow from the center console and from the halo light overhead.

Patented 30-way Lincoln-designed seats use a new-to-market design that conforms to passengers’ sizes and shapes. The passenger-side rear seat can fully recline by moving the front passenger seat forward with the touch of a button.

From a panel mounted on the through-center console, rear passengers also can control climate settings and the Revel Ultima audio system, which allows passengers to select from three surround-sound modes: Stereo, Audience and On-Stage.

Rear-seat comfort is further highlighted by an SPD SmartGlass® tinting sunroof, which allows passengers to control heat from direct sunlight. With the touch of a button, the glass can cool the vehicle interior by as much as 18 degrees Fahrenheit, while blocking 99 percent of UV rays.

Rear-seat passengers also enjoy the convenience of a tablet-supporting lap tray that deploys from the through-center console. It also features a champagne storage compartment. Detachable, hand-crafted Venetian leather travel cases are mounted to the backside of the front seats.

Under the skin, the Continental Concept is powered by a Lincoln-exclusive 3.0-liter V6 EcoBoost® engine. It also features Lincoln Drive Control ride-enhancing technologies and Adaptive Steering. The car rides on polished-aluminum, painted-pocket 21-inch wheels.

Driver assist technologies include Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Enhanced Park Assist and a 360-degree camera that displays on the MyLincoln Touch™ screen.

“The Lincoln Continental name is associated with iconic beauty and elegance,” said David Woodhouse, Lincoln design director. “Capturing those qualities and building upon them drove us as we crafted this thoroughly modern sedan concept.”

The Lincoln Continental Concept is at the New York International Auto Show, which opens Wednesday for members of the news media.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Tolls going up. Again. Effective March 22nd

Once again the MTA is raising tolls on all of the river crossings in Metro NY.
Most crossings are going up about .50 cents to a dollar for cash payers, and slightly less for EZ Pass.

The new rates go into effect at 2 am ET on March 22, 2015.

Passenger car toll increases:
Throgs Neck / RFK Bridge /Midtown Tunnel 
(Cash / EZ-PAss)
$7.50 / $5.33 increased to $8 / $5.54
Verrazano Bridge (one way tolls) 
$15 / $10.66 increased to $16 / $11.08

To put this in perspective of inflation, I started commuting in about 2005, 10 years ago. At that time, the toll rates were $4 each way for the major crossing, double that for the Verrazano. That means in 10 years, we have seen a 100% increase, doubling the toll rate at the crossings. More information here.

Offical rates and more info on MTS' website here: