NEW YORK -- Ford Motor Co. seems to have its formula for creating auto show buzz down pat.
Let a major competitor talk about an upcoming important new vehicle for months, even years, then swoop in with a surprise just as that competitor is finally unveiling that vehicle.
Ford stole Acura's thunder at the Detroit auto show in January, rolling out its own supercar, the GT, hours ahead of the long-awaited NSX.
It took some wind out of the Chevrolet Silverado's sails two years ago with the Atlas concept for its aluminum-bodied F-150.
And now, Ford has stepped on more of General Motors' toes: It announced the return of the Continental to Lincoln's lineup the same week that Cadillac unveiled its own flagship sedan, the CT6.
Lincoln's press conference at the New York auto show last week was scheduled for several hours before Cadillac's on Wednesday, the show's first media day. So Cadillac decided to unveil the CT6 on Tuesday instead.
Lincoln, not to be outmaneuvered, dropped the news of its Continental Concept on Monday. Lincoln had an entire day to accumulate praise by itself, while everyone else's show cars waited under wraps.
"There's no other way to say it: the Continental looks stunning," wrote Autoblog. "It's absolutely gorgeous," gushed CarBuzz. "Lincoln swagger is back," an Automotive News reader wrote.
The return of the Continental name also gave auto enthusiast websites a chance to post photos from Lincoln's glory days, helping Ford in its effort to remind everyone how good it used to be (and, Ford hopes, eventually can be again).
Because the Continental is still in the concept phase, it won't hit the market until next year. That hasn't stopped consumers from already starting to claim the first spots in line, Ford executives said.
"I've gotten a number of emails from our dealers saying customers have actually called them and said, 'When this thing comes out, I want one,'" Ford CEO Fields said. "So I think that bodes well."