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08/07/2010 833

Lincoln [5] - Continental Concept 90

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FORD UNVEILS THE NORTH AMERICAN LUXURY CAR OF THE MID 80s

The Continental Concept 90

Ford in the United States is previewing what it considers will be the shape and concept of the North American luxury car of the mid 1980s. Known as the Continental Concept 90, this sleek, aerodynamic prototype is to be displayed  at a series of North American Auto Shows so that Ford engineers and product planners can research and evaluate public opinion.

"Efficent aerodynamic design not only provides the most contemporary styling", said Donald F. Kopka, Ford Vice President - Design in North America, "but it also leads directly to fuel-saving."

Trend-setter

Continental Concept 90 retains many of the traditional distinctive features of Ford Motor Company's Lincoln Continental - the model that has consistently been the North American industry's trend-setter in luxury car design. The Continental Concept 90 is a two-door, five-passenger car, with the rear boot lid still carrying a hint of Continental's "spare wheel" bulge.

In profile, the sleek, rounded, pearlescent-white, two-door hardtop exhibits a subtle wedge shape that results in an estimated coefficient of drag rating of only 0.32. The aerodynamic design also is apparent when viewed from above - slightly tapered at front and rear to hold airflow tight to the body.

"One of the most distinctive design elements of the Continental Concept 90" has important consumer benefits besides aerodinamics," said Mr Kopka. "The doors are limousine-style and carry up into the roof surface. They not only provide easier entry and exit, they permit us to hide the drip rails within the door openings, thus gaining a further reduction in air resistance."

Attention to detail

Throughout, the car shows attention to aerodynamic detail. It has integrated, flush headlamps and wrap-around rear lamps, as well as flush-glazing. A lower front valance panel increases aerodynamic efficiency, as does the concealed windscreen wiper system. Airflow openings are meticulously arranged to provide not only good cooling but excellent airflow over the top of the vehicle and reduce air resistance, while the free-standing side-view mirrors are designed to be highly aerodynamic.

Flush-fitting bumpers are completely integrated into the body shape and the bumper moulding wraps around the car for side protection, achieving a practical benefit without sacrifice in styling. Flush wheel-covers add to the car's aerodynamic "slipperiness".

Thermostatically-controlled Air intake

Several functional engineering features are planned to complement the design features that give the concept car its aerodynamic promise. Since the stance of teh vechicle as it meets the oncoming air affects aerodynamic drag, the car could vary its altitude when in motion to improve fuel economy by further 4 pent.

Another advance for the Continental Concept 90 would be a thermostatically-controlled louvred grille to match the engine and air conditioning cooling requirements to the airflow over the car.

At low speeds, as when the car is climbing a steep gradient at 48 km/h, a maximum or air would pass through the grille, for the greatest cooling. FOr hughway cruising, the angle of the louvres would change to minimise the cooling drag by diverting a greater proportion of the airflow over the car, improving fuel economy by an additional 6 per cent.

Continental Concept 90 has a low profile, with an overall height of 1351 mm. It sits on a 2751 mm wheelbase and is 5080 inches in overall length. By comparison, the 1982 Mark VI Lincoln Continental stands 1047 mm, the wheelbase is 2903 mm and length is 5486 mm.

Shows

1982  Chicago
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