Lincoln unveiled its vision for future electric vehicles Thursday at Monterey Auto Week — while marking its centennial — with the debut of the Lincoln Model L 100 concept, an autonomous, electric grand tourer that pays homage to the brand’s first luxury car. 1922 model L.

The futuristic and massive concept has an aerodynamic, low-slung body that features a sweeping glass roof that opens and reverse-hinged doors that lift to give a “sense of ceremony” and provide “the Lincoln hug,” said the the company. Taking the Lincoln Hug theme even further, the Ford luxury brand notes that the wheel covers use lighting and sensors to “communicate motion, battery life and human presence.”

The car’s “cool, outdoor blue” exterior mixes metallic paint and frosted acrylic. This futuristic design incorporates some Art Deco elements from the 1920s, such as the hood ornament, as well as the Kammback or K-tail, a rear section that dips down and then abruptly breaks off for improved aerodynamics to complete the look.

Inside, the cabin is upholstered in recycled velor fabric in amethyst. The configurable cabin is one of the most impressive features, with the front seats facing the rear passengers and an “interactive center console checkerboard” placed where a steering wheel might be expected. The console features a “gem-inspired checkerboard controller that captures light and depth by redefining the car’s in-cabin controls,” according to the company.

Lincoln also said the car would have a “digital floor,” but didn’t specify what that meant, other than combining interior lighting to “transport passengers to the sanctuary of tomorrow.”

Outlandish concepts like the Lincoln Model L 100 are often presented as design or research exercises that allow the company to explore what its future portfolio might look like. For Lincoln, it’s a process that will likely be used to gauge interest in certain features or designs as it moves forward with plans to fully electrify half of its lineup by 2050.

The Lincoln Model L is also part of an emerging trend among recently revealed concepts that suggests where the entire industry is headed. Several American automakers, a list that includes Lincoln, released concept cars this year that evoke early 20th-century nostalgia.

Chrysler unveiled the Chrysler Airflow crossover concept at the New York Auto Show in April, named after the original Chrysler Airflow, which chief designer Ralph Gilles called a “disastrous failure” from the mid-1930s. Chrysler said the concept can travel up to 400 miles on a single charge and comes with quick-charge functionality as well as a long list of technologies, including the automaker’s STLA AutoDrive system, which it is developing with BMW to include automated driving capabilities from level 3.

Then there’s Cadillac InnerSpace, the electric, autonomous concept that debuted earlier this year and takes inspiration from the two-passenger cars the brand built in 1902. The concept features a two-seater double seat, a wraparound digital screen and a built-in ottoman, but no pedals or steering wheel.

The Lincoln Model L 100 similarly takes a trip down memory lane, even as it pushes forward a sleek and forward-looking design.

The main inspiration for the concept was the 1922 Model L, a car designed by Lincoln and Cadillac founder Henry Leland. The Model L spent one year in production before Ford bought the bankrupt company in 1922. The 81-horsepower V8 Model L had a 10-year run before being replaced in 1930 by the Lincoln Model K.

The question is, of course, will Lincoln pick up a few pieces of this concept or go all in? While the reverse-hinged doors and opening glass roof may get the most comments, the fact that this is a low-slung grand tourer deserves more attention.

Today, Lincoln only sells crossovers and SUVs in the United States. Its last sedan, the Continental, was discontinued in the U.S. in 2020. Much of Lincoln’s focus these days is China, which could mean that this Grand Tourer concept — or something like it — will head overseas, while a car, The Lincoln Star Concept-inspired crossover that debuted this spring has been launched in the US

Lincoln’s latest EV concept is a grand tourer land yacht with a sprinkle of 1920s nostalgia

Previous articleErupting zombie fungus is organizing a unique science photography contest
Next articleRobot taxis are taking over China’s roads. Here’s how they stack up to the old-fashioned version.