Although the Blackwood didn’t do so well, the Cadillac Escalade EXT cannot be ignored, and so Lincoln tries again for 2006 with its Mark LT luxury pickup truck.
Based on the F-150, the Lincoln comes strictly in a four-door Super Crew body, in two- or four-wheel-drive configuration. The sole powerplant is Ford’s 5.4-litre Triton V8. The awkward name digs deep into Lincoln’s heritage, drawing on the Mark name originally used on a series of Continentals.
Engineered to provide a luxury ride, the Mark LT uses a coil-over-shock, long-spindle double wishbone front suspension. The Hotchkiss rear end has outboard shocks to reduce body lean, which are tuned for a smooth ride. Naturally, it shares the improvements built into the redesigned F-150, including a boxed hydroformed frame for extra stiffness and improved handling, and on 4×4 models, electronic shift-on-the-fly.
Every conceivable luxury touch is stuffed inside, including heated leather captain’s chairs, Audiophile six-CD changer with MP3 capability, real wood trim, power-adjustable pedals, theatre-style lighting, overhead rail storage system, and leather-wrapped wheel. Oddly, only front air bags are provided; Cadillac EXT puts in side-impact bags and throws in stability control, also missing on the Lincoln.
But the Mark LT’s star in the middle of the huge chrome grille lights up at night, which surely must make up for that.
Will the Mark LT make it in a world that wasn’t ready for the Blackwood? Lincoln debuted the truck at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, while Paul Teutel Sr. of the American Chopper television show roared in on a specially-commissioned Lincoln-themed motorcycle; if it can’t draw the rap stars out of Escalades, Lincoln can go after middle-aged money that needs something upscale to tow the Softail to Daytona for a quick spin around Bike Week.