Lincoln unveiled its vision for future EVs on Thursday during Monterey Car Week — as it commemorates its centenary — with the debut of the Lincoln Model L 100 concept, an autonomous, battery-electric grand tourer that pays tribute to the first luxury vehicle. of the brand, the 1922 Model L.
The futuristic and massive concept features an aerodynamic, low-slung body with a sweeping glass roof that opens and inverted hinged doors that raise to give a “sense of ceremony” and provide the “Lincoln Embrace,” the company said. Luxury brand Ford takes that “Lincoln Embrace” theme even further, noting that the hubcaps use lights and sensors to “communicate movement, battery life and human presence.”
The exterior color of the vehicle in “cool, open sky blue” shade is a mix of metallic paint and matte acrylic. This futuristic design sprinkles with 1920s Art Deco touches, such as the hood ornament and a Kammback or K-tail tail that slopes and then cuts off abruptly for improved aerodynamics to complete the look.
Inside, the cabin is trimmed with recycled suede fabric in amethyst. The configurable cabin is one of its most eye-catching features, with the front seats that fold to the rear passengers, and “an interactive chessboard in the center console” is placed where you would expect a steering wheel. The console features “a jewel-inspired chess piece controller that captures light and depth by redefining vehicle controls in the cabin,” the company said.
Lincoln also said the car will have a “digital floor”, but has not elaborated on what that means other than combining interior lighting to “transport passengers to tomorrow’s sanctuary”.
Bizarre concepts like the Lincoln Model L 100 are often presented as design or research exercises that allow a company to explore what its future portfolio might look like. For Lincoln, it’s a process likely to 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 unveiled concepts that represents where the entire industry is headed. Several American automakers, listing Lincoln, have released concept cars this year that recall early 20th-century nostalgia.
Chrysler unveiled a Chrysler Airflow crossover concept at the New York Auto Show in April, named after the original Chrysler Airflow, which chief designer Ralph Gilles called a “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 and a long list of technologies, including the automaker’s STLA AutoDrive system, which it is developing with BMW to provide level 3 automated driving capabilities. . .
Then there’s Cadillac InnerSpace, the electric, autonomous concept that debuted earlier this year and is inspired by the two-seat runabouts the brand produced in 1902. The concept has a two-seater loveseat, a wraparound digital screen and a built-in ottoman, but pedals or steering wheel.
The Lincoln Model L 100 makes a similar journey through memory, even as it pushes forward a sleek and forward-looking design.
The main inspiration for the concept is the 1922 Model L, a vehicle designed by Lincoln and Cadillac founder Henry Leland. The Model L was in production for a year before Ford bought the bankrupt company in 1922. The 81 horsepower V8 Model L ran for 10 years before being replaced by the Lincoln Model K in 1930.
The question is, of course, will Lincoln take a few bits and pieces from this concept or go all in? While the inverted hinged doors and opening glass roof might get the most comments, the fact that it’s a low-slung Grand Tourer deserves more attention.
Today Lincoln only sells crossovers and SUVs in the United States. Its last sedan, the Continental, was phased out in the US in 2020. Much of Lincoln’s attention is focused on China these days, which could mean that this Grand Tourer concept – or something similar – will go overseas, while a vehicle inspired by the Lincoln Star Concept crossover that debuted this spring will launch in The United States