2006 Ford F-250 Super Chief Concept Shown in Pictures
Could the third time be the charm for Lincoln? Ford execs have already stated their plans to revitalize the company’s neglected luxury brand with seven all-new or significantly revised vehicles in the next four years. One of them could be a new luxury pickup, according to a source.
Ford previously made two attempts at selling a high-end hauler to luxury buyers looking for something different from an executive sedan like a BMW, Lexus or Mercedes. The controversially styled and functionally limited lasted just a single model year while the 2005-2008 Lincoln Mark LT was a bit too close in looks and comfort to the Ford F-150 to find success on its own in the U.S and Canada.
A unique version of the Mark LT still lives on south of the border, where the Lincoln brand has an exclusive image that Ford wants it to have elsewhere. Mexican buyers are prepared to pay more for a Lincoln-badged vehicle than they would for a similar one with a Ford blue oval.
With the current 2009-2011 Ford F-150 lineup topped by the pricey Platinum model, there still doesn’t appear to be room for a luxurious Lincoln half-ton, which is why Lincoln’s product planners are said to be looking further up the food chain to create a Lincoln version of the Ford F-Series Super Duty.
Today, Ford’s Super Duty lineup peaks just below Platinum with the Texas-influenced King Ranch model. That ceiling is said to have created an opportunity for Lincoln.
A Lincoln-badged Super Duty would likely be the most luxurious and expensive pickup in Ford’s truck lineup. The idea is said to be based on the three-quarter-ton F-250 with exterior sheet metal that would be significantly different from the current Super Duty. The interior would also be unique, highlighted by a stretched cab similar to the Ram 3500 Mega Cab configuration. Only a single-rear-wheel version of the truck would be available.
If the idea of this potential Lincoln pickup sounds familiar, that’s because its description bears a striking resemblance to the that was shown at the 2006 Detroit auto show – just after the sales peak of U.S. pickup sales in 2005.
The Super Chief stretched luxury as much as it stretched its wheelbase for maximum passenger comfort. The interior was covered in rich burled walnut, leather and aluminum. The second row featured two huge LCD televisions that dropped from the ceiling to provide entertainment to backseat passengers lounging in Hollywood-mogul-style club chairs and a pleasure dome ceiling. A slide-out minibar was stowed in the center console.
At the time, Ed Golden, the Super Chief’s design director, said, "We especially wanted to explore the ceiling for high-end interiors in a truck. Even with today’s luxury interiors in our trucks (like the King Ranch), there’s still a pent-up demand from our buyers for even more luxury. Tough luxury. And this truck points to where we might go."
Asked for comment Monday night after an all day meeting with Lincoln dealers at Ford headquarters in Dearborn, Lincoln spokesman Christian Bokich denied a luxury pickup is in the works.
What do you think? Could an ultra-high-end heavy-duty luxury pickup truck succeed where the last two light-duty Lincoln pickups failed?