Lincoln is bringing back its most famous feature to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the brand

  • Lincoln is celebrating its 80th anniversary by bringing "suicide doors" back for its Continental sedan.
  • The design evokes the brand's 1960s heyday.
  • Just 80 of the Coach Door Edition Continentals will be produced.

The comeback of the Lincoln brand has been one of the best stories in the recent history of the car business. Lincoln was on the chopping block when parent company Ford was struggling through the financial crisis. But the decades-old marque survived and has revived its fortunes in the luxury market.

To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the brand, Lincoln is finally giving fans what they've been asking for: "coach doors" on the Continental sedan. (A lot of people actually call them "suicide doors," and sometimes "center-opening doors.")

The rear doors have a hinge at the back, rather that at the front. The designs recalls the legendary fourth-generation Continental, produced in the 1960s.

Read more:How Lincoln returned from near death and restored Ford's luxury brand

Almost as soon as Lincoln revived the Continental nameplate for the 2017 model year, after a hiatus of over a decade, the suave styling of the new four-door almost demanded the coach-door treatment. 

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Cars that earned 2018 ‘Best Buy’ awards from Kelley Blue Book

Small car: Honda Civic

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Mid-size car: Honda Accord (So, the Accord earned the Mid-Size Car Best Buy award in addition to the Overall Best Buy award)

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Full-size car: Chevrolet Impala

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Luxury car: Audi A5 Sportback

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Performance car: Porsche 718 Boxster

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Electric/hybrid car: Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Small SUV/crossover: Honda CR-V

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Mid-size SUV/crossover: Honda Pilot

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Full-size SUV/crossover: Ford Expedition

(Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Luxury SUV/crossover: Audi Q5

(Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Truck: Ford F-150

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Minivan: Honda Odyssey

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"The center-opening doors became synonymous with the Lincoln Continental, even though they were only featured primarily in the '60s," David Woodhouse, Lincoln's design director, said in a statement. "But they struck such a chord that they're still remembered so fondly today."

The Coach Door Edition Continentals will be produced as a special order in a limited run of 80 vehicles for the 2019 model year. They will be available only as "Black Label" Continentals, the most upscale trim for the brand. A plate on the door sill will indicate the run number.

As a plus, the already sizeable Continental will get a bit larger to accommodate the door design.

"Rear-seat passengers will be more comfortable than ever," the automaker said. "The six inches added to the car's wheelbase allow for the placement of the larger coach doors, while also delivering best-in-class second-row legroom."

Propulsion will be provided by the 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine, which makes 400 horsepower and has been under the Continental's hood since its debut. 

Lincoln has a hit on its hands with its revamped Navigator SUV. Sedan sales in the US, meanwhile, have been on a downswing. But according to Joy Falotico, Lincoln's president, big four-door can continue to have an important role to play: supporting Lincoln's growth in China.

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