Click here for more 2003 NAIAS coverage!

Lincoln Hopes to Hit the Luxury Pickup Mark with Blackwood Successor
By: Michael LevinePosted: 01-05-04 04:00 PT

Page: [1]

Lincoln-Mercury President Darryl Hazel introduced the full-size Lincoln Mark LT concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this afternoon. While not the exact truck that will hit showroom floors for the 2006 model year, the Mark LT is as close to production intent as show vehicles get.

The LT is the successor to Lincoln's last luxury truck, the 2002 Blackwood, which was quickly killed after its retail failure in the marketplace.

Interestingly, Lincoln is billing the Mark LT as the first true luxury pickup. Lincoln had technically tagged the Blackwood as an SUV in previous press material and apparently feels the same way about Cadillac's Escalade EXT.

Hazel says, "The Mark LT represents our movement towards more personal use and expressive vehicles. We think the LT represents the ultimate personal, luxury pickup."

The LT shares all major components with the Ford F-150 but its exterior is distinguished by Lincoln-esque touches. Its prominent vertically slatted chrome grille is anchored by the Lincoln star. 20-inch massive chrome spoked wheels provide a dominating stance and its tail lamps follow the same form found on the Lincoln Navigator SUV. The bed is as functional as an F-150's.

If you had bought a Lincoln Blackwood, you could have had any color as long as it was black. There will be no color restrictions for the LT according to Hazel.

The interior is incredibly rich and luxurious for a pickup - more so than even the King Ranch Edition Ford F-150.

Bone white premium leather blankets the cab. Console and instrument panel surfaces are coated with varying metallic finishes and chrome accents can be found on the HVAC vents. The gauge cluster is especially detailed with its textured aluminum background and chrome bezels.

Missing from the Mark LT's interior were heated and air-conditioned seats like the Blackwood had. Hazel expects to see this return as an option later in the truck's lifecycle.

Sharing its 5.4-liter Triton V8 with the F-150 provides the Mark LT with 300-horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque. This is less than the Cadillac EXT's 345/380 power figures but the LT's towing capacity is rated at 8900-lbs, 1500-lbs more than the Escalade EXT is capable of handling.

Asked about the possibility of all wheel drive, which is offered on many high end luxury automobiles, Hazel responded it would not be an option on the LT.

The Mark LT will be offered in 4x4 and 4x2 drive configurations when it goes on sale in January 2005.

Hazel wouldn't provide pricing figures or estimated production volumes, but he did say that, "The MK LT will cost less than a Blackwood and we can build as many as our dealers want us to build."

Page: [1]