Ford Authority

1985 Lincoln Continental Packed Plenty Of Tech: Retro Review

In a blast from the past, Motorweek often releases older reviews on its YouTube channel to revisit what the publication thought of vehicles when they were new. Recently, the publication took shared its contemporary look at the 1985 Lincoln Continental, and this unassuming sedan packed quite the punch when it comes to the technology department – with some features that are standard on every vehicle today.

Because of the false tire mounted on the truck lid, some people may not think that the Continental is a serious car, but that’s far from the truth. It’s filled with state-of-the-art features (for 1985, anyway) that make it stand out from the crowd, despite its “questionable styling,” as reviewer John Davis stated.

For example, the 1985 Lincoln Continental featured a computer-controlled air suspension system designed to imbue the sedan with better control while corning while maintaining the smooth ride. A variable ratio power steering system gives better road feel than some sports cars, and a microprocessor-controlled antilock braking system makes sure that the Continental stays pointed in the right direction during panic stops. While such systems are commonplace now, it was novel and cutting edge on the Continental.


Motorweek notes that their test Continental cost them $26,000, or roughly $78,000 adjusted for inflation, and it certainly delivers on the creature comfort and safety features inside. It features an automatic day/night mirror, which automatically adjusts to prevent glare in dark driving conditions, as well as an automatic headlight dimmer, which switches from high to low beams when it detects oncoming traffic. It also boasts a trip computer, automatic climate control, a super plush interior, and a digital instrument cluster.

All in all, the 1985 Lincoln Continental was a vehicle that shouldn’t have been overlooked – it boasted plenty of features that were impressive even by modern standards, almost 40 years later. In fact, Motorweek had plenty of praise for the Continental line throughout the 1980s, commending its newer counterpart, the 1988 Lincoln Continental, in another Retro Review video released last year.

We’ll have more cool videos like this to share soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Lincoln newsLincoln Continental news, and continuous Ford news coverage.

Alexandra is a Colorado-based journalist with a passion for all things involving horsepower, be it automotive or equestrian.

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  1. David Dickinson II

    It was interesting to hear the host (John, who still hosts this show on PBS) describe the 5.0 as “none too pokey” with a 0-60 of 11.2 seconds. Oh how times have changed. But it struck me that despite how much faster cars have become, and how much performance has improved in so many areas, that the average braking distance has hardly changed. This luxo-crusier came in at 127 feet, which is typical of vehicles some 40 years later. Actually, CR cites that average stopping distance of a modern vehicle in this class as 132 feet. Maybe the next automotive revolution could be in braking?

  2. wjtinfwb

    Went to the Lincoln-Mercury dealer to look at these and the new Mark VII when they came out. Dad had moved from Cadlllac and Lincoln’s to European cars by then, we pulled up in hos ’84 Jag XJ6 but always had a soft spot for the Detroit iron. He really liked them both, I loved the LSC but the interior of the Continental was beautiful and ultra-plush. We left armed with a stack of brochures, color choices, etc. Later, dad commented that they both “needed more power” which was odd as his Jag was hardly a rocket, although it would move if you really caned it. Dad made good on his “more power” desire as a few months later the Jag was traded for a new ’86 Corvette Convertible with the new 350 Tuned Port engine. The power issue solved, the only problem left was, where to put his golf clubs?

  3. Cigna

    Those where the days were Lincoln’s reliability was close to Toyota and Honda. Today, thanks to Failure Farley, Lincoln’s reliability is more like Alfa Romeo’s, I still believe Lincoln will be China-only by 2030.

  4. Tigger

    Lincoln…. What a Luxury Car Was.


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