Lincoln has, and I mean this in a totally sincere, positive way, mastered the art of masturbatory pretentiousness. This is a bit of a lost art in the world of luxury cars, but it used to be the very foundation of the segment. It’s why a Rolls-Royce doesn’t have a hood ornament, it has a “Spirit of Ecstasy”. It’s why Bugatti made a 21 foot long car and marketed it towards royalty and only to royalty. It’s why if you walk into a Toyota dealership in Japan, they’ll gladly show you a Century, and even let you test drive it, but won’t sell it to you unless you’re a high-ranking politician or a captain of industry (they do hope that the experience will either inspire you to strive to attain such status and excellence, or at the very least know your place in the world). To project the image of your car being for people who feel they exist on a higher plane of importance, you have to project that the car exists on an even higher one.
How have they done this? Here are two examples:
1: You don’t get to customize the color of every surface and the materials for every piece of trim like you can in most luxury cars. Someone buying a Hyundai chooses an interior color. In a Lincoln, you select a theme. Would you like the cabin in your Continental to be in Chalet? How about Thoroughbred? Or perhaps you would find your desires to be most accurately expressed by Rhapsody in Blue? Yes, I know we weren’t going to be discussing something as vulgar as color but we simply could not resist how deliciously and playfully the way the name hearkens back to timeless, cosmopolitan excellence with a highbrow reference.
2: You know how cars now have puddle lights that project a logo onto the ground while making sure you don’t step into anything while getting into your car. A Lincoln doesn’t have that. A Lincoln has a “welcome mat”.