trunk is larger. Its standard side airbags for front passengers are a first at General Motors.
Outside, the styling is similar to the previous generation, just a bit more rounded. Inside, it’s quite obvious Cadillac has been studying hard at the Lexus school of design. At least if you copy, copy from the best.
While performance won’t change dramatically, this Seville does gain such features as optional seat memory and a unique adaptive seating package. Passenger comfort seems to make the list of improvements.
engine size: 4.6 liters engine type: V-8 horsepower: 275,300 transmission: 4-sp.auto brakes: Disc/disc, anti-lock price range: $46,000-$54,000 (est.)
Lincoln Town Car www.lincolnmercury.com
The designers at Lincoln have made a return to the ’50s idea that more chrome equals more luxury. This is a new Town Car that is based on the same old platform. But the body has shrunk a few inches, with only slight reduction in its interior room. Although Lincoln hopes to attract a slightly younger crowd, you can bet most Town Cars will still go to the older generation. That’s because this is the last of the large six- passenger, rear-drive domestic luxury sedans. Expect such functions as a pillow-soft ride and handling that mimics a large powerboat. This won’t compete for sales with BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Lexus.
There is plenty of room for full-size people, although the driveline hump still intrudes into the middle passenger space. The full perimeter steel frame has been redesigned to reduce vibration. At more than two tons, this is a heavy sedan. This is the only Lincoln to stick with a two-valve-per-cylinder engine design — that means horsepower is below other cars in this price and size class. Surprisingly, for a largely revised luxury sedan, it
lacks side airbags.
engine size: 4.6 liters engine type: V-8 horsepower: 220 transmission: 4-sp.auto brakes: Disc/disc, anti-lock price range: $39,000-$47,000 (est.)
Bentley Continental R www.yellowrolls.com
Neither Bentley nor its parent, Rolls Royce, makes changes on a whim. For 1998, the Continental R sees a few styling refinements: A softer profile to the radiator shell, cut-through bumpers and new wheels highlight the changes; a new mattrix grille, a reminiscent of racing Bentleys of the 1920s, gives the car a new face.
What doesn’t change is the distinction of having arguably the world’s most prestigious coupe. With the highest quality leather covering everything from the seats and dashboard cowl to the inside of the glovebox, the evidence of handcraftmanship is everywhere you can feel, hear or see. Lamb’s wool rugs will have your less inhibited passengers removing their shoes. But this remains a Bentley, with a racing heritage. The idea is for this to be a driver’s car. The huge turbocharged V-8 drives more than 5,400 pounds of automobile to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds. Imposing 17-inch tires grip the pavement well, but, for even more ferocious cornering prowess, Bentley offers optional 18-inch wheels.
Few cars are as exclusive as the Continental R. None requires less compromise in comfort and performance.
Engine size: 6.7 liters engine type: V-8 turbocharged horsepower: 385 transmission: 4-sp.auto brakes: