Luxurious pickup trucks are nothing new, but few luxury brands have entered the picture. Cadillac offers its Escalade EXT SUV/pickup "crossover." Lincoln introduced a Blackwood SUV/pickup crossover for 2002, but it didn't last long before the automaker discontinued it.
Lincoln hopes to make more of a splash with its brand-new Mark LT, which is derived from the Ford F-150 crew-cab model. Equipped with a 5.4-liter V-8 that develops 300 horsepower, the Mark LT has four full doors and a full rear seat for a five-passenger capacity. Sales begin in spring 2005.
Appearance cues are taken from the Lincoln family of passenger cars and sport utility vehicles. "Chrome provides the unifying touch theme," according to Lincoln. It is used on the bumpers, mirrors, door handles and lower cladding.
The "signature" waterfall grille with a prominent Lincoln star, wide taillamps and thick-spoked wheels enhance the Mark LT's family resemblance to Lincoln's Aviator and Navigator SUVs. Box rail moldings are optional.
Built on a 138.5-inch wheelbase, the Mark LT measures 223.8 inches long overall and stands 73.5 inches tall. The front suspension uses double wishbones and a coil-over-shock configuration. Leaf springs and outboard shock absorbers are installed at the rear.
Five occupants fit inside the Mark LT. Luxury touches include genuine Ebony wood accents and soft Nudo leather seating surfaces. The seats feature French-style pleating and incorporate a quilted pattern insert. Contrasting-colored stitching is used atop the instrument cluster.
Buyers get a choice of two interior themes: Pebble with Light Parchment seats or Black with Dove Gray seats.
Under the Hood
Ford's 5.4-liter Triton V-8 features three valves per cylinder and produces 300 hp at 5,000 rpm and 365 pounds-feet of torque at 3,750 rpm. A four-speed automatic is the lone transmission offering. The rear-wheel-drive Mark LT has a towing capacity of 8,900 pounds; the four-wheel-drive model's rating is 300 pounds less.
All-disc antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution are standard. All seating positions have three-point safety belts, and the front seat belts include pretensioners. Dual front airbags deploy at different levels according to crash severity, and a front-passenger sensing system is installed.