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 |  Feb 24 2012, 2:32 PM

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Tenacious Hyundai — the company that refuses to quit edging into niches, entering new segments and surprising consumers.

If you hadn’t guessed, they’re at it again. This time, trying to pitch the Genesis and Equus luxury sedans as fleet limousines at the International LCT Show in Las Vegas. Don’t feel bad if you’re unfamiliar with that too. As previously stated, this is niche stuff.

LCT stands for limousine, charter and tour operators. The International LCT Show is the largest gathering of people who build and use limos, so naturally Hyundai made an appearance there to push the goods according to the LCT website.

While limo services have traditionally relied almost exclusively on Lincoln Town Cars and Cadillac Escalades, Hyundai is hoping to break in by offering purchase incentives. The Genesis will come with a $3,500 discount, while the larger Equus’ price sheds $4,500.

Who knows, the next time you call for an airport limo a Hyundai could appear in the driveway.

GALLERY: Hyundai Equus Stretch Edition

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[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Aug 08 2011, 7:45 PM

Pope Paul VI was the first pope to travel the world, visiting Asia, Africa, and the Americas extensively. When he came to the USA for the first time, he needed something fitting to represent the Catholic Church—and this Lincoln Continental served nicely.

This Continental was built upon a request from the Vatican, who needed a ride for Paul VI’s address to the United Nations in 1965. To fulfill the order, coachbuilder Lehman-Peterson built it in just two weeks. They stretched it to 21 feet and added a removable roof section, with a PA system to address the huddled masses and a removable transparent window, more to shield the pope from the weather than from the likes of Carlos the Jackal.

When Pope Paul VI came to New York, he addressed the United Nations, attended the World’s Fair, and witnessed a Yankees game, to the chagrin of Red Sox fans. After his whirlwind New York tour the Pope and his Continental went to Bogotá, Colombia, where the car was modified to fit in with the city’s 8,000-ft elevation.

The car never made it back to Italy after the South American trip, but rather to Chicago where, given the right series of events, it could have become the Bluesmobile. Instead, it carried a series of astronauts: Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anderson after they orbited the moon, and then the Apollo 11 crew after the 1969 moon landing.

Just another example of a Lincoln Continental becoming part of world history. And this bit of history could be yours at Pebble Beach, where it will go up for auction on August 19th. Auction house Bonhams believes it will go for $250,000 to $350,000, which seems low for a car that’s a genuine holy roller.

GALLERY: 1964 Lincoln Continental Pope Mobile

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[Source: New York Times]

 |  Feb 15 2011, 1:15 PM

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The Lincoln Town Car is legendary for its ubiquity as a “black car”, a private limo for the well-to-do in New York City and other swanky locales. But with the Panther Platform vehicles (like the Town Car, Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis) set to be killed off very shortly, Lincoln has been scrambling for an alternative.

The new MKT Town Car is a very different machine than the Town Car its replacing. The big sedan was a rear-drive, body-on-frame vehicle that was beloved for its robust nature, cheap repair costs and the ability to go for untold miles without needing anything more than routine maintenance. On the other hand, the MKT is based on a front-drive chassis (though all-wheel-drive is available) and uses a modern V6 engine.

Operators will likely be skeptical that the MKT can handle the rigors of endless commuter duty through the pot-hole ridden pavement of Manhattan, so Lincoln has beefed up the chassis, brakes and other components to handle this task – and to provide a re-enforcements should clients wish to stretch the MKT by 10 feet, a capability built in to the Town Car from the factory. Wi-fi capability, a SYNC system and special rear seat pockets are maps and newspapers are further concessions made for the livery car market.

The rear seats have been moved back by 1.5 inches to allow for more leg room with reclining rear seats and controls for the front passenger chair, should back seat riders desire more leg room. With 39.6 cubic feet of cargo space, the MKT also boasts more room for material objects than the Town Car, even if the old-money cachet of the outgoing vehicle isn’t quite the same.

Hit the jump for the official press release

Gallery: Lincoln MKT Town Car

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