Missing from are the usual features of a Lincoln luxury vehicle, such
as navigation, plushier seats and a booming sound system. The Navigator
offers a Soundmark THX audio as an option, but no such upgrade is offered
in the LT. A rear-seat DVD player is available, however, on the LT. Critics
have also noted the lack of side air bags or side-curtain air bags.
The LT shares the same cabin quietness as the F-150. Ford made luxury-type
improvements on its new F-Series platform to isolate road noise and harshness,
including a massive hydro formed frame and liberal use of sound insulation
materials. There isn’t much else Lincoln engineers could do to improve
the ride without giving up payload or towing ability. Different shock
valving and bushings may add a little more compliance, but the F-Series
is generally regarded as the nicest riding body-on-frame pickup on the
market. The rack-and-pinion steering felt responsive and communicative.
no deny the refined ride and performance of the Mark LT and any other
F-150 model. Ford has achieved a wonderful balance of comfort and utility
with this generation of pickups. But as you get closer to this performance
equilibrium, sometimes there’s little room for distinction. To some,
chrome and leather on the LT is the same as chrome and leather on the
F-150 Harley-Davidson model. The same analogy can’t be applied to
the Cadillac or GMC competitors. The EXT is not the same as a Chevy Avalanche
LT, nor is the Sierra Denali the same as a Silverado LT. There are distinct
differences in engineering and amenities.
In a curious
twist, Lincoln is taking a different approach to marketing the Mark LT.
It was introduced
along with a custom Harley built by the madcap TV crew of American Chopper.
The bike certainly wasn’t any more luxurious than many other choppers
built by the Teutuls, but it had Lincoln styling cues. Recently, Lincoln
teamed with the country music industry for a promotion in which numerous
performers—including Vince Gill and Amy Grant—signed the front
seat of an LT. The vehicle was given away in a promotion along with a
custom Gibson guitar.
Lincoln is clearly targeting a diverse audience in promoting the LT.
The brand’s current demographics probably lean more towards AARP
than MTV, so a little spice is encouraging. The Navigator brought a more
youthful buyer into the Lincoln showroom. But as large SUVs fall out of
favor of consumers, Lincoln feels that pickups can be the draw to entice
younger motorists. Keeping the price down will get their attention but
will the product appeal to their lifestyles?
word on the street that Ford may let the Ranger die a slow death and never
build a replacement generation. Instead, the company wants to build a
pickup. That platform would present Lincoln a perfect opportunity to get
in on the ground floor of the development process and put its luxury stamp
on every part of the vehicle’s design and engineering. A true, distinctive
Lincoln pickup could then be built. Right now the Mark LT is a nice Ford
pickup with a Lincoln grille.