Lincoln Model L100 Concept: Old-School American Luxury With a Sprinkling of Autonomy

Did you know Lincoln founder Henry Leland was in his mid-seventies when the automaker’s first car, the L Series or Lincoln Model L, debuted in 1920? Leland established the Lincoln Motor Company’s pedigree by competing with industry stalwarts like Rolls-Royce, Packard, Mercedes-Benz, and Cadillac. Funnily enough, Leland co-founded Cadillac with William Durant 18 years before establishing the Lincoln Motor Company, and the Model L is a luxury car swimming in Cadillac Type 51 territory.

The friendly rivalry between two of the world’s oldest automakers is alive and well with the Lincoln Model L100, a concept car that would make potential Cadillac Celestiq owners pause for a second look. “Lincoln has been one of the most enduring and stylish automotive brands in the world, and in many ways, it is perfectly positioned for a second century defined by great design, zero-emissions, and technology-led experiences,” said Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of the Ford Motor Company.

The Future of Lincoln Design

Sure, the Model L100 may be a concept, but it points to the future design direction of Lincoln automobiles. It’s also the carmaker’s gift to the world for celebrating its 100th anniversary since being under the helm of Ford Motor Company. It seeks to ingrain Lincoln to a new generation of buyers longing for the cosseting embrace of vintage American luxury. “The ultimate expression of our Model L100 design is one that moves effortlessly – a vehicle that appears to be sculpted by the wind as if friction does not exist,” said Kemal Curic, Lincoln Global Design Director.

Lincoln claims the Model L100 has pushed the boundaries of the company’s Quiet Flight styling philosophy. The concept is about presence with its canopy-style roof (that lifts when opening the two reverse-hinged front doors), long wheelbase, and hunkered-down façade.

Lincoln Model L100 Concept.
Lincoln Model L100 Concept. Photo: Lincoln Motor Company.

Electric & Autonomous

The Lincoln Model L100 concept is a battery-electric car with “next-generation battery cell and pack technologies” that deliver game-changing energy density and efficient charging. Lincoln did not specify the number of motors or horsepower figures, but do those things really matter for future autonomous cars? You won’t find a steering wheel or foot pedals inside the Model L100 – it only wants to drive itself, thank you very much – but it does reward occupants with the “Lincoln Embrace,” a tried-and-tested luxury approach honed by a century of know-how.

According to Lincoln, the “embrace” starts with an orchestrated symphony of a lifting glass roof and how the doors open elegantly to reveal the space inside. The vehicle senses the occupants using AI and GPS and deploys intuitive lighting like how airports use landing lights to guide aircraft.

Immersive Cabin

Once inside, occupants can revel in the Lincoln Model L100’s recycled suede upholstery, amethyst trim, and center console chessboard with a jewel-inspired chess piece controller that replaces the steering wheel. It also has a digital floor that harmonizes with sounds, scents, and ambient lighting as the vehicle moves down the road, a feature we can’t decide whether it’s brilliant or distracting.

Nevertheless, the lights and sounds could entertain the bored “driver” who has nothing to do but sit and admire the vehicle’s contemporary interior. Or, the front passengers can rotate their seats to engage with friendly banter from the rear occupants. “Concept vehicles allow us to reimagine and illustrate how new experiences can come to life with the help of advanced technologies and allow our designers more creative freedom than ever before,” said Anthony Lo, Chief Design Officer of Ford Motor Company.

Lincoln Model L100 Concept interior layout.
Lincoln Model L100 Concept interior layout. Photo: Lincoln Motor Company.

Will The Lincoln Model L100 Turn a New Page?

It’s good to know Lincoln is poised to adopt electrification with a clear vision of the automaker’s next 100 years, especially since Cadillac is ambitious with its electrification plans. Lincoln needs to unveil a working prototype of its first EV as a message to other luxury marquees that the brand is ready to disrupt the competition.

“Lincoln has pioneered multiple innovations and pushed the boundaries of design that have come to define our brand as we know and love it today,” said Joy Falotico, Lincoln Motor Company President. “With the Model L100 Concept, we reimagine what the Lincoln sanctuary might look like for our clients of tomorrow, moving us forward to define the next chapter of the Lincoln story.”

Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.

Photos & Source: Lincoln Motor Company.