Lincoln Town Car
Wikicars, a place to share your automotive knowledge
|Lincoln Town Car|
|Class||Full-Size Luxury Sedan|
|Body Style||4-Door Sedan|
|Length|| 215.4 Inches |
221.4 Inches L Edition
|Wheelbase|| 117.7 Inches |
123.7 Inches L Edition
|Weight||4,345 - 4,518 LBS|
|Engine||4.6L Modular V8 SOHC|
|Power|| 239HP |
287LBS FT Torque
|Similar|| Ford Crown Victoria |
Mercury Grand Marquis
The Lincoln Town Car is a full-size luxury sedan and serves as the flagship of Ford's luxury Lincoln division. Often referred to as "The last traditional American luxury sedan," "the Town Car continues to honor the time-tested luxury formula consisting of a smooth ride, soft plush seats and large interior room." - New Car Test Drive Along with the spacious interior also come extravagant dimensions. The Town Car is currently the largest American-made car, measuring nearly 18 feet in length for a standard Town Car and 18 1/2 ft for an L Edition. The Town Car's main competitors include the Lexus LS 460 and Cadillac DTS. The Town Car is manufactured in the Wixom Assembly Plant. While relatively affordable when compared to European flagship vehicles luxury sedans, the Town Car is currently the most expensive American luxury sedan (according to base MSRP) with prices ranging from US$42,875 for a basic Signature Series to $56,745 for a top-of-the-line Signature L Series.
In February 2006, Ford announced that it plans to close the Wixom Assembly Plant, as part of The Way Forward. Production of the Town Car at Wixom is expected continue into the second quarter of 2007, at which point the assembly plant is scheduled to close. In June, 2006, Ford announced that it will not move production to St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada (where the Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis are produced). However, on Sept. 15th, Ford announced that production will be shifted to the plant in Ontario. There will be a six-month lapse after the Wixom plant closes before Town Car production begins in Ontario in late 2007 so the factory can be modified, said Ford spokeswoman Anne Marie Gattari. She added that Ford will increase Town Car production in Wixom before the plant's closure so that sales aren't affected. The Lincoln MKS that was to become Lincoln's new flagship replacement for the Town Car is now slated to sell along side the Town Car.
It is probably not a coincidence that "Town Car" is a translation of Cadillac's "Sedan de Ville," a model which was gaining popularity in the 1950s. Both names refer to a classic style of limousine, popular in the 1920s, which had an open chauffeur's compartment up front, but only Lincoln has sometimes attempted to make its modern models visually suggest their older namesakes. As an example, note the vinyl roof covering on the 1979 model shown below. It sweeps down the center pillar as part of a raised molding, complete with opera lamps, which suggests a partition between front and rear seats, while no vinyl is applied to the front section of the roof over the driver.
The Town Car name appeared on several trim levels on the Lincoln Continental flagship sedan in from 1959 to 1980. In 1981 the Lincoln Town Car became a model in its own right and became Lincoln's largest sedan as well as flagship vehicle. Since then there have been three generations of the Lincoln Town Car with additional minor redesigns, one in 1995 and another one in 2003.
The 1990 body style remained primarily unchanged until the next new body style premiered in 1998, a redesign which included the removal of the car's hood ornament and more angular shapes. A Cartier model gets a 220 hp version of the Modular V8.
While the Town Car lost three inches in overall length the new Town Car was two inches wider, one inch taller, and weighed 600 pounds more. The post-1998 Town Car feature a slightly longer wheelbase as well.
The interior was also completely redesigned. Door and instrument panels as well as the radio face, switches and controls were redone. Additional wood trim was added to the newly designed dahsboard and the door panels. The power seat controls were moved to the door panels. Lincoln emblems were also added to the door panels.
A factory option available to individual owners of Town Cars since 2001 has been a version of the Town Car with an extra six inches of rear seat legroom, designated as the "L" or "long" version. This model provides extra amenities for rear-seat passengers, including a unique rear-seat switch that allows the front-passenger seat to be moved forward as desired for extra room in the rear.
A Touring Edition also became available in late 2000. The Touring Edition featured a more powerful 235 hp version of the Town Car's Modular V8 engine and added dual exhaust pipes. The Touring addition also featured unique 16" alloy wheels as well as larger tires.
A minor body redesign in 2003 added the hood ornament back again. 2003 also marked the last year that the Town Car was available in a trim package with the name "Cartier" (1981 to 2003). Beginning with the 2004 model year, the top-of-the-line Town Car was instead designated as the "Ultimate". The Touring edition (on the Signature model only) was dropped likely because the handling of 2003 Town Cars were far better than last year's Touring edition. The 4.6 L V8 with 239 hp was also introduced for the 2003 model year.
The interior remained largely unchanged for 2003. More brushed satin metals and an analog clock were added to the interior. The Lincoln emblems on the door panels were removed and the radio face including climate controls received a facelift. 2003 also saw the mid-year intro of "THE LIMITED", based upon the Signature. THE LIMITED had special perforated seats, unique wheels, and black vertical grill bars with a chrome surround moulding. All options were made standard on THE LIMITED except for whitewall tires & the Navigation System. The Limited also introduced a new color (Code DV) "Mineral Green Metallic", which is still on the 2009 Color Chart. A mere 1,131 were made, under Sales Code of 54L.
For the 2005 model year, the Ultimate trim level was dropped. The trim levels for the 2005 Lincoln Town Car were: Signature, Signature Limited, and the Signature L with a lengthened wheel-base.
For 2006, the model trim levels were changed again. The trim levels for the 2006 Town Car are: Signature, Signature Limited, Designer, and Signature L.
The Town Car overwhelmingly dominates the limousine market in the United States, since it is the only American luxury car still in production with body on frame construction, making the production of stretched versions easier than with unibody construction.
In 1990, the Town Car's body went through a major redesign and a rear-axle air suspension was added as standard equipment. That year, it was also named as Motor Trend's Car of the Year. Through most of this model run, the car was available in three trim levels: Executive, Signature, and Cartier, in increasing order of cost and prestige.
The 1990 Lincoln Town Car also marked the end of the Town Car's 1970s-based angular design. The wedges on the side of the hood which contained the parking and signal lights were removed and the Rolls-Royce-like grille was replaced with a more modern and more aerodynamic front fascia. Parking lights were now located adjoining to the grille and the headlights wrapped around the corners of the front. The door panels and fenders were replaced as well, while the trunk lid and taillights remained somewhat more similar to the 1980s model.
The revised interior featured a new dashboard, seats, and interior door panels.
The Town Car underwent a minor exterior facelift for the 1995 model year. Changes to the exterior included smaller, clear headlights as well as additional running lights in the rear.
The interior was completely revamped. The Town Car received a new dashboard, new seats and new interior door panels. The angular interior shapes from the 1990 to 1994 model's interior were replaced by more modern-looking curved design elements. Many of the new interior compenents such as the dashboard featured a so-called "organic" design. 1995 also saw the introduction of a new steering wheel, which was used in all Ford Panther based sedans until 2004.
Since 1981, the Town Car has been considered a model in its own right, replacing the Continental (whose name reappeared a year later on a smaller model). Upon its introduction the Town Car immediately became Lincoln's flagship model, a purpose it continues to serve to this day.
The first generation Lincoln Town Car featured a body profile and grille similar to that of the late 1970s Lincoln Continental. The interior layout included new seats, dashboard and door panels. The exterior door panels and fenders were also completely new, while the taillights and trunk lid experienced a slight redesign. To keep up with current design trends the previously covered headlights were now exposed and composed of two adjoining square units.
The First Generation Lincoln Town Car also feature many advanced luxury options for its time. While leather trim was only available on the Cartier edition, all trim levels featured six-way power seats as well as an optional 12-speaker Ford JBL audio system.
Similar to the Continental Town Car package, a half-vinyl coach roof with frenched rear window was also a standard option on the Signature and Cartier models.
The introduction of the Town Car was also the end for 400 and 460 ci motors in Lincolns line up, and the 351 was discontinued after 1980. They were replaced with the very popular 302 ci, or 5.0 l, pushrod v-8. The transmission changed to the 4 speed AOD (automatic overdrive).
For the 1985 the Town car received minor design updates. The design scheme introduced for 1985 included a reflector running in between both taillights underneath the license plate frame, a design feature kept for the second generation Town Car. The spare tire "hump" was removed as well, as it was a carry over from the 1979 Continental flagship sedan. 1985 also saw the introduction of newer more ergonomically designed seats, featuring enhanced lumbar support.
The Town Car name first appeared in the Lincoln line in 1959, on a special limousine-like version of the standard Continental. This first Town Car was available only in black and was identifiable by a unique padded vinyl top, which was a rarity at that time.
After its first appearance in 1959, the Town Car name went dormant for 10 years, and re-emerged as an especially plush interior option package for the 1969 Lincoln Continental.
It next appeared as a trim option in 1971, and thereafter continued through 1980 as the top-of-line trim option package for the Lincoln Continental. Again the Town Car trim featured an extra plush interior along with, usually but not always, a landau vinyl roof over the rear passenger compartment. The Town Car badge has always been applied to sedans, but from 1975 to 1980, there was a similar option for coupes called the Town Coupe.
In 1981 the Town Car was introduced in three trim levels, the base Executive Series, the mid-range Signature Series, and the top-of-the-line Cartier. The trim levels remained unchaged until 2003, when the Executive Series and Cartier names were dropped. The Signature Series did not any longer represent the mid-range model, rather it replaced the Executive Series with Ultimate designation being used for the mid-range and top model, which was formerly called the Cartier. In 2005, however, the line-up of trim levels was changed again. For 2005 only the Ultimate designation was dropped, with only the Signature Series designation being used for all three trim levels. In 2006, Lincoln introduced the Desginer Series as an additional trim-level to fit in between the mid-range Signature Limited Series and the top Singature L Series.
Executive (1981 - 2003)
The Executive Series was the basic trim levels and thus also most affordable trim level on the Lincoln Town Car from 1981 through 2003. The Executive Series designation is still used today but only on fleet vehicles.
Signature (1981 - 2007)
The Signature Series was the mid-level trim and also most popular trim level from 1981 through 2003. In 2004 the trim levels were renamed, and the Signature Series was now used to describe the basic trim level and Ultimate was now used to describe the mid-level trim. In 2005 the Ultimate was dropped and all trim levels were changed to a version of Signature. The basic trim level for 2005 was called Signature, the mid trim level was called Signature Limited and the top-of-line trim-level was called Signature L. The trim level designations were revised again for the 2006 model year. For 2006 a trim level called the Designer Series was added between the Signature Limited and top-of-line Signature L.
Cartier (1981 - 2003)
Cartier was used on the top-of-line Town Car from 1981 through 2003. The Cartier also featured it's own version of Lincoln emblem which was stiched onto the seats. Golden Lincoln emblems on the tail-lights also became a staplemark on the Cartier Edition on 1998 through 2002 models. The Cartier also had its own style of wheel, whereas the Executive and Signature featured the same style.
Ultimate (2004 only)
Ultimate was only used on the 2004 Town Car. Ultimate designation was the mid-level trim, while Ultimate L was the designation used for the top-of-line Lincoln.
L Edition (2001 - 2007)
The designation "L" was used on Lincoln Town Cars with extended wheelbases. The L editions offer an additional six inches of legroom as well as separate audio and climate controls for rear passengers. While this desgination is similar to that used on other luxury flagship sedans such as the BMW 7-Series or the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the "L" designation was never its own trim option on the Town Car. Instead the L edition was applied to the top-of-line Cartier (2003), Ultimate (2004 only), and Signature (2005 - present) Series trim levels.
Designer (2006 - 2007)
The Designer Series is an upper-middle trim level in between the mid-level Signature Limited and top-of-the-line Signature L. The Designer Series is roughly $1,000 more expenive than the mid-level Signature Limited with a starting MSRP of $45,915.
The steering wheel for the Executive model differed from that of the Signature and the Cartier series. The Executive only had buttons for the cruise control, while the Signature and the Cartier had buttons to control the cruise control, AM/Fm radio: volume & pre-set stations, and temperature leveling and fan speed for the AC system.
Trim level timeline
|Lincoln Town Car Timeline|
|Entry||Executive Series||Signature Series|
|Mid-level||Signature Series||Ultimate||Signature Limited|
|Top-of-the-line||Cartier||Ultimate L||Signature L|
|L Edition||L Series|
Over its twenty-five year run the Town Car has become one of America's most iconic luxury cars and received several awards in the process. "At the other end of the build in America scale is the Town Car"- New Car Test Drive.
- Highest Customer Satisfaction. According to J.D. Power and Associates the Lincoln marque has the highest customer satisfaction of any car brand. "Lincoln outperforms other brands in the areas of service initiation and user-friendly service. Lincoln customers are particularly pleased with the dealership’s ability to get them in for an appointment within a reasonable amount of time and the fairness of charges. Lincoln is the first domestic make to rank highest in CSI for two consecutive years." - JD Power Associates 2005. Lincoln is followed by Cadillac, which ranked second, and Lexus which ranked fourth in the study.
- Highest Customer Loyalty. Over two-thirds of Town Car buyers are repeat buyers with 60% not even considering the purchase of another luxury vehicle besides the Town Car.
- Roominess. According to Forbes, Edmunds.com and NCTD, the Town Car is the most spacious luxury sedan under $200k; an honor easily proven by the interior's generous dimensions. A standard wheel-base Town Car features 112.7 ft³ of interior volume versus 105 ft³ in the Mercedes-Benz S 600 or 111 ft³ in the extended wheelbase BMW 760il. The difference is even greater when comparing the Signature L Series with its enormous 120.5 ft³ of interior space.
- One of the best chauffeured cars. Forbes magazine repeatedly named the Town Car one of the best cars to be chauffeured in, ahead of other, often more expensive flagship sedans, such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series and Lexus LS. The Town Car Signature L features a rear seat comfort package which not only provides rear seat passengers with audio system and rear compartment climate controls, but also features a control function which allows for the rear seat occupants to move the passenger seat forward, a feature exclusive to few ultra-luxury sedans. In addition to its many amenities, the Signature L also features an unrivaled 46.9 in of rear legroom, and 60 in of rear shoulder room.
- Highest Possible Safety Rating. The Town Car has repeatedly earned the government's highest five star safety rating, a rating that shouldn't come as surprise considering the vehicle's overall length, width, and large overhangs. "Five stars in five categories. Town Car is the first car in automotive history to receive a five-star rating in all five categories" - Lincoln web-site. The Town Car is also the only vehicles to receive a five star rating in all five categories for five years in a row, from 2001 to 2006.
- Quietness. The third generation Town Car is one of the quietest vehicles on the road with an interior noise level of only 36 decibels while idling. The average decibel rating for a vehicle is roughly 45 decibels with the world's quietest car, the Lexus LS averaging 32 decibels.
- Car of the Year. In 1990, upon the introduction of the second generation Town Car, the vehicle received the honor of being named Motor Trend Car of the Year.
|Late 1981–1989||5.0 L Windsor V8||150 hp (112 kW)||270 lb.-ft. at 2,000rpm|
|Late 1981–1989||(Dual Exhaust)||160 hp (112 kW)||280 lb.-ft. at 2,000rpm|
|Executive Series||1990||5.0 L Windsor V8||150 hp (112 kW)||225 lb.-ft. at 3,250rpm|
|1991–1996||4.6 L Modular V8||210 hp (157 kW)||275 lb.-ft. at 3,250rpm|
|1997||190 hp (142 kW)||265 lb.-ft. at 3,250rpm|
|1990||5.0 L Windsor V8||150 hp (112 kW)||225 lb.-ft. at 3,250rpm|
|1991–1997||4.6 L Modular V8||210 hp (157 kW)||275 lb.-ft. at 3,250rpm|
|1998–2000||4.6 L Modular V8||205 hp (153 kW)|
|2001–2002||220 hp (164 kW)||275 lb.-ft. at 3,500rpm|
|2003–||239 hp (178 kW)||287 lb.-ft. at 4,100rpm|
|2000–2002||239 hp (178 kW)||287 lb.-ft. at 4,100rpm|
|Cartier||1998–2000||220 hp (164 kW)||290 lb.-ft. at 3,500rpm|
|L Edition||2001–2002||235 hp (175 kW)||285 lb.-ft.|
|2003–||239 hp (178 kW)||287 lb.-ft. at 4,100rpm|
- New Car Test Drive Town Car Data Specifications concerning Engine Data and Dimensions.
- Lincoln Town Car manufacturer's site Technical data, Awards, list of features, photograph, and comparisons between vehicles.
- Best Chauffeured Cars Forbes listing of best chauffeured vehicles including leg room data.
- Lincoln Town Car Owner's Manual. Technical Data as well as features.
- Additional description of design changes
- Quietness and design changes for 2003
- Design changes description for second generation
- New Car Test Drive review
- Traditional American Luxury
- Ford Crown Victoria/Police Interceptor
- Mercury Grand Marquis/Marauder
- Ford Panther platform
- Ford Motor Company
|Henry M. Leland||Corporate website||A brand of the Ford PAG|
- Official Lincoln Site
- Jonelle's Crown Vics, etc.
- Lincoln vs Cadillac Town Car Forum
- Lincoln Town Cars of the 1990s
- Third generation review at Edmunds.com
- Lincoln/Lexus comparision & review by Forbes
- UK based independent importer of new Lincoln Towncar models