This year, Lincoln will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Rather than reminisce about its glorious past, however, the luxury automaker has focused heavily on its future. As the featured brand in this week’s famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, held annually on California’s Monterey Peninsula, Lincoln debuts its visionary Model L100 concept.
Unsurprisingly, the Model L100 is imagined as an autonomous electric vehicle. It also follows the recent trend of glazed living rooms on wheels. But even as a design concept alone, Lincoln’s latest is a forward-thinking look at the brand’s vision for the future of luxury mobility.
Lincoln calls its current design ideology “Quiet Flight,” but it pairs well with the brand’s history of sybaritic luxury cars with hushed, relaxing interiors. Right now, those interiors are strictly for upright SUVs like the Corsair, Aviator and Navigator, but the L100 model is an entirely different animal.
The brand’s concept revolves around the convention that cars are strictly transport vessels (although some are for canyon-carving pleasure and others simply for city commuters). Instead, Quiet Flight turns the player into a sort of mobile sanctuary. A place where occupants – no driver needed – find themselves in a traveling temple designed with beauty and connectivity in mind. And not necessarily the live plug-in and tech stuff (though there’s a lot of that), but the connection between fellow passengers or within yourself.
The Lincoln Star Concept was the most recent example of Quiet Flight in motion, but the Model L100 Concept is what carries that design DNA beyond today’s infrastructure limitations and physical production constraints.
The Lincoln Model L100 Concept draws inspiration from the brand’s origin story by honoring the first Lincoln ever built, the 1922 Model L, embedded in its name, but it also references the Lincolns’ space-age minimalism. from the early 1960s and maintains calm and luxury. living room feel on wheels from the marque’s most popular sedans of the 1970s and 1980s.
While the Lincoln L series started it all, the L100 Concept model is more forward looking than retro. Its fastback shape is also aware and looks a bit like Cadillac’s over-the-top Celestiq and Bentley’s EXP100 GT.
Model L100 design
The design structure of the Lincoln L100 model is both alluring and alarming. Its profile is long, with simple but delicate lines. Aerodynamics was obviously a determining factor, as the L100 model has few dents and bruises on the sheet metal. Its entire surface is gently rounded, precisely smooth and finished in a three-layer ceramic metallic paint.
Chrome, long a favorite tool of Lincoln designers, is notably absent from this luxury vehicle. Frosted acrylic is used instead to create a distinctive beltline. At night, this single strand lights up a fluid, soft detail across the surface of the vehicle. One wonders if a dimpled smile would throw the drag coefficient away.
At this point, the L100 model isn’t smiling, grinning or even growling, a menacing challenge to the future of mobility. Without an engine, there is no grille. Not even a mock up of one. In place of the traditional (faux) grille, the traditional Lincoln emblem prominently fills the metallic void and is bordered by frosted character lines.
Light is implemented in a subtle and targeted way throughout the exterior of the L100 model. The large wheels feature similarly illuminated radial spokes between its six spokes, as does the Lincoln badge on the rear.
Along the outer edge of the long transparent hood, there are more lighting effects, which are most focused towards the front and positioned like headlights. In another nod to its heritage, a crystal greyhound, which was a selected hood ornament by Edsel Ford in the 1920s, is visible under the clear hood.
As you approach the vehicle, Lincoln Embrace’s signature welcome lighting greets drivers warmly, but it’s the reverse-hinged doors and glass roof (yes, the roof opens) that offer notice of arrival. and a convincing start. The effect is similar to some show cars of the 1960s, when giant hatches that exposed the entire cabin were briefly in vogue.
The living room inside
Thanks to the large windows and translucent surfaces, the interior of the L100 model is airy and spacious. And that’s without the ajar roof. Animal-free interior materials are luxurious to the touch and feature distinctive accents like amethyst accents in the recycled suede fabric.
The interior environment syncs with personal preferences to create an immersive experience for passengers. This includes ambient lighting, canopy and digital floor working in harmony to refine a personalized interior experience.
Even without a steering wheel, the L100’s cabin is considered “driver-centric”, but can be configured in a social setting. The front-row seat can be folded down to create a lounge-like space where front and rear occupants can face each other while travelling.
Lincoln did not disclose what will power the L100 Concept model or specs regarding estimated range. It is expected that any future Lincoln will be equipped with intelligent driving systems and constant connectivity. This does not mean that passengers will always have to be “on”. On the contrary, the L100 model offers the possibility of disconnecting and detaching, leaving all the technical and driving work to the vehicle.
The technology to support this creation of a mobile sanctuary are features like the digital floor and the interactive center console. More than just another superfluous screen of exorbitant proportions, the floor works in tangent with all interior comfort points, including sounds, scents and touch, to support an atmosphere close to the settings of the passengers.
The center console display is laid out like a chessboard and features a jewel-like command controller. The controller acts as the de facto steering wheel, allowing occupants to manage autonomous driving in a hopefully intuitive way.
The L100 model is certainly a high-level concept, but Lincoln didn’t reach its centennial by playing it safe. Although it’s quite different from Lincoln’s current SUV-only lineup and unlikely to reach production like this, the L100 model no doubt offers some clues as to what’s to come next. electric future of Lincoln.