were hard pressed to put a label on the new Lincoln Blackwood. While
it appears to be part sport utility, part pickup truck and part
luxury sedan. Yet none of these labels seem to fit. This is a vehicle
that extends across all of the above vehicle classifications, yet
it cannot be placed in any one category. It is, by its very form,
in a class by itself.
the A pillar forward, it has the same form as the Lincoln Navigator.
However, from there rearward it is all Blackwood. The interior is
as plush and luxurious as any Town Car can be, but it has its own
the C pillar there is what appears to be a pickup truck bed, but
do not be so quick to judge as you would be wrong. It may look the
part, but like the interior this cargo space is far too luxurious
for you to even contemplate putting real truck-like cargo here.
"clam shell" tonneau cover that is electrically operated
from either the key fob or switches located on the dash tops the
"bed". According to Blackwood chief program engineer,
Henry Brice the hard cover makes the cargo compartment nearly waterproof.
"It won't leak water unless you were to stick the high pressure
wand from an automatic car wash into the seals", says Brice.
Blackwood's engine pumps out 300 horses.
the tonneau and open the double, Dutch-style rear doors, which replace
the typical tailgate, and you can quickly see why this compartment
must be kept tightly sealed. Lined with stylish carpet and stainless-steel
trim, the cargo bay, or as Lincoln calls it "Cargo Trunk",
isn't meant for a load of rock, but more for a resting place for
golf bags. The dark recesses of the cargo trunk are lit with a combination
of LED light strips and a standard floodlight. We did notice that
the non-removable tonneau limits easy access to the front of the
bits from Navigator, F-Series Super Crew and F-Series Heavy-duty,
the Blackwood is a large vehicle. It has a wheelbase that is nearly
20 inches longer than Navigator and is just over 15-inches longer
overall than Lincoln's large sport utility. But even with these
gargantuan measurements the Blackwood felt more at ease than Navigator
at being tossed through twisting back roads outside Santa Barbara,
Blackwood's front suspension is 4% stiffer than Navigator, and is
equipped with acceleration sensitive damping shock absorbers. A
near 50/50 weight balance and the rack-and-pinion steering from
the Crown Victoria police package makes this 5,700-pound Lincoln
surprisingly nimble. Also helping to make this behemoth handle mountain
pass roads is the massive tires and wheels. Giving the Blackwood
a hefty footprint are 275/55R18 tires mounted on wide machine aluminum
Rogers, Lincoln Mercury General Marketing Manager tells us, "Lincoln
vehicles feature a defining quality of American luxury as does the
Blackwood." Slide behind the wheel of the Blackwood and you
are immediately surrounded in American luxury. Rich leather and
wood trim abound, and combine with features that are a must for
a vehicle of this caliber.
Blackwood's interior screams luxury.
adjustable front bucket seats allow both driver and passenger to
find the optimum comfortable setting. We were glad to see the addition
of Ford's adjustable foot pedals, giving one more factor in comfort
front seats are fit with internal climate control providing heat
during the winter and cooling for those hot summer days. This is
just one area in which the Blackwood designers incorporate extended
luxury into the vehicle.
may be difficult to understand why balance and control is so important
for a large vehicle like the Blackwood. But, with a large mass to
control it is even more important for a fine tuned balance.
300 horsepower, 5.4-liter, V-8 engine provides plenty of go for
the Blackwood. And, while it may not win any drag races, the Blackwood
offers the ability to tow up to 8,700 pounds of cargo. Equipped
with rear air suspension that automatically levels with each load,
the vehicle will retain its level attitude no matter how much load
question we ask; is a large luxurious truck/sport ute/sedan desirable
to enough buyers to make the Blackwood a success? It appears so;
Lincoln notes that over one third of the 10,000 units that will
be available this year are already sold. There seems to be plenty
of people who think the Blackwood fits their transportation needs.
5.4-Liter DOHC InTech V-8
300 hp @ 5,000 rpm
355 lb.-ft. @ 2,750 rpm
Top speed 105 mph (governed)
Cast aluminum with tumble port design, die-cast aluminum cam covers
Deep-skirted cast iron with cross-bolted main bearings
3-piece tuned cast aluminum with variable runner control
Premium unleaded (91 octane)
Highway - 17 mpg
City - 12 mpg
Fuel tank size 25.0 Gallons
Range 400 miles
Model 4R100 4-speed automatic, with overdrive lockout, standard
Tires & Wheels:
P275/55R-18 BSW A/S Bright machined aluminum,18 in. x 8 in. (457
mm x 203 mm)
Independent short- and long-arm, coil springs with acceleration-sensitive
damping, micro-cellular urethane jounce bumpers
Leaf/air spring with automatic ride-height adjustment, micro-cellular
urethane jounce bumpers, acceleration sensitive dampers staggered
fore and aft
Four-wheel power disc brakes with three-channel ABS
Safety and Security:
Dual driver and passenger front and side air bags
Lap and shoulder belts for all seating positions; front seats have
load-limiting retractors and pyrotechnic pretensioners, driver BeltMinder
Childproof rear door locks and rear child seat tethers
Inertia activated shutoff switch for fuel pump
Two auto-reversing obstacle detection systems and emergency release
handle inside trunk
SecuriLock passive anti-theft system, remote keyless entry
with approach lamps, built-in perimeter alarm
Maximum towing capacity 8,700 pounds, utilizing built-in Class III/IV
Maximum hitch weight
* Class III weight carrying hitch receiver accommodates trailers
to 5,000 pounds. Class IV applications for trailers to 8,700 pounds
require aftermarket weight distributing equipment.
1,200 pounds / 544.3 kilos
cars have a distinctive character, so do British and Japanese cars.
American Luxury and Lincoln are about having products that are equal
to the best in the world in engineering and quality terms, but totally
unique - and unabashedly American - in the way they drive, in they
way the look and feel."
Mark Hutchins, President, Lincoln Mercury