(from Ford Press Release) Combining
the functionality of a full-size pickup truck with the luxury of a
legendary automotive brand, the Mark LT from Lincoln makes its debut at
the 2004 North American International Auto Show.
The Mark LT is a key part of Lincolnís plan to broaden the showroom and
build momentum and profitable growth by introducing 11 new
Lincoln-Mercury products in six new segments within the next four years.
On sale in early 2005, the new Mark LT is one of five new Lincolns that
will be introduced.
Throughout its history Lincoln has used the Mark name to signal a truly
special vehicle. It began with Edsel Fordís first Continental, the Mark
I. Next followed the 1956 Continental Mark II, which quickly became a
classic because of its high quality, clean styling and consummate good
The 1969 Mark III went on to sell more than 30,000 units, making it at
the time Lincolnís most successful new model ever. Other Mark vehicles
were introduced in the 1970s, Ď80s and Ď90s.
With introduction of the Mark LT, Lincoln for the first time uses the
Mark name on a pickup truck. Thatís because the Mark LT upholds the
tradition of a vehicle that stands apart from all others.
"The Mark LT offers a level of luxury and sophistication never before
seen in a pickup truck," said Darryl Hazel, Lincoln-Mercury president.
"This is a Lincoln for people who own land and have active lifestyles.
"Lincoln created the full-size luxury SUV segment with the launch of the
Navigator six years ago, and we believe there is growing market appeal
for a truck with luxury and elegance but with absolutely uncompromised
truck capability," Hazel added.
Mark LT has indisputable truck capabilities. It is derived from Fordís
new F-150, a proven workhorse and Americaís best-selling pickup for 27
years. The Mark LT will be available in both 4x2 and 4x4 configurations
and will offer four full-size doors and a 5.5-foot box.
Creating Lincoln elegance and understated luxury from such a solid
foundation was key to the unique appeal of the new Mark LT.
Representative of past and present Lincolns, the Mark LT incorporates
contemporary yet timeless design, indulgent comfort and the unique use
of materials to meet the standards expected of a luxury vehicle.
Hazel is confident the new vehicle provides the opportunity to introduce
a new customer base to the Lincoln family.
During the past decade, buyers flocked to the traditional pickup truck
segment, more than doubling annual volume from 1.1 million to 2.3
million units. Customer research predicts continued growth in the high
end of both the truck and SUV segments.
Production Version on the Way
The Mark LT show vehicle introduced at
the North American International Auto Show is a strong signal about the
production version of Lincolnís future luxury truck. Production will
begin early in 2005 at Fordís Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan.
"Mark LT is concrete evidence of how we can create a compelling Lincoln
product faster by sharing efficiencies throughout Fordís North American
organization," Hazel said. "This approach means we can create more great
products, and that is at the core of the Lincoln renaissance."
Although the Mark LT is an authentic
pickup with superior power and driving dynamics, what makes it a true
fit for Lincoln is its unique elegance. The exterior design features
shown on the Mark LT give a strong indication of what the production
vehicle will look like in a little more than a year.
Mark LTís exterior features a theme of chrome accents, asserting the
vehicleís status and enhancing its appearance. Its dominant grille, wide
tail lamps and thick spoked wheels give it an unmistakable family
resemblance to todayís Lincoln Aviator and Navigator SUVs.
"The Mark LTís confident use of chrome draws attention to its presence,"
said Patrick Schiavone, design director, North America Truck and SUV.
"With a strong stance and bold lines, the chrome accents incorporate
seamlessly into the vehicleís design, completing it without taking
The Mark LTís face displays a dominant grille that combines traditional
Lincoln lines with a new solid center that features a prominently
anchored, illuminated, 8-by-2-inch Lincoln star as the showpiece.
Unique to the Mark LT is a hefty band of chrome that wraps the length of
the vehicle, highlighting its toughness. The chrome theme continues with
20-inch chrome-plated wheels that display the Lincoln star at the
center, adding an uptown sophistication to the vehicleís stance.
The Lincoln design theme continues at the rear with chrome trim
surrounding tail lamps that wrap into the tailgate for a broadened
appearance, similar to the Aviator and Navigator. The tailgate of the
Mark LT show truck finishes the exterior design with an inset appliquť
that features an illuminated Lincoln star at the center.
The truckís Atlantic Pearl exterior color is a cool blue, reminiscent of
stainless steel, darkening in the shade and illuminating in the light.
Additional chrome exterior elements are found on the front and rear
bumpers, side mirrors, door handles, box rail moldings, lower cladding,
running boards and on the roll tip exhaust.
Interior Luxury for
Those Who Travel Well
Lincoln vehicles have a rich history of
interior environments that combine the height of style with elegance and
romance. The preview of the production Mark LT offers a modern design
interpretation of the brandís heritage that is one vision of what
Lincoln interiors could offer.
The use of distinctive materials in todayís Lincoln Navigator and
Aviator interiors are evidence of Ford Motor Companyís tripled
investment in interior design. The Mark LT builds on those interiors
while adding contemporary finishes and warm colors that result in an
environment that is both inviting and stimulating.
"Itís important to find the right combination of materials," said Marek
Reichman, director, Interior Design Strategy. "This vehicle has a
harmonious balance of materials, while providing enough contrast to be
Because Lincoln represents elegance without compromising comfort, the
Mark LT show truck features lavish use of lightly colored, anti-scratch
premium leather. This velvety leather blankets the interior, covering
the headliner, steering wheel, seats, center console and door panel,
while plush sheepskin flooring completes the opulence of the interior.
A metallic finish theme runs throughout the interior, bringing depth and
elegance to simple surfaces. The integrated center stack, ends of the
instrument panel, center console housing, cup holders and steering wheel
spokes all are presented in a sterling matte silver finish.
Textured aluminum accents dividing the door panels and surrounding the
climate and audio controls on the center stack further support the
To complement those materials, Lincoln designers used a highly
translucent core mineral to create a dark chrome effect on the air
vents, door handles, at the base of the floor-mounted gear shifter, on
seat controls and Lincoln stars. The contrasting color provides polished
detail to the interior.
The gauge cluster features Lincolnís signature white lighting, black
background with white numerals, darkened chrome bezels and a textured
aluminum background that matches the center stack.
A continuing Lincoln trait is attention to detail, depicted in the Mark
LT with a special French styled pleating. The front and rear seats also
incorporate a unique quilted pattern insert, which communicates comfort
and high style. Mark LTís hard-shell seatbacks have an integrated map
pocket bearing the Lincoln star. Further detail is depicted by applying
the unique sew style to the armrests and the brow of the instrument
True Pickup Truck
Functionality and a Superior Driving Experience
The full-sized luxury vehicle buyer wants
to travel well even when hard at work, and the Mark LT brings this
experience to them with a 5.4-liter, 3-valve Tritonô V-8 engine that
produces 300 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 365 foot-pounds of torque at
3,750 rpm. The Mark LT delivers crisp and direct steering, the ride is
plush yet controlled, braking is assured and the cabin is quiet. The
result is a fully functional luxury pickup truck that is an unqualified
pleasure to drive.
A Solid Frame and
Essential to meeting the driving dynamics
expected of a pickup truck worthy of the Lincoln nameplate, the Mark LT
is built on a stable hydroformed frame that forms a closed "box"
section, as opposed to the traditional "C" frame rail design. The result
is increased stiffness and stronger attachment points for the body and
suspension for excellent handling and a quiet, composed ride.
A substantial contributor to the new Mark LTís driving feel Ė plush, yet
connected to road Ė is a front suspension that reacts to absorb bumps
but stands strong against steering forces. Both 4x2 and 4x4 models use a
coil-over-shock, long-spindle double wishbone front suspension with a
cast aluminum lower control arm.
The Mark LT features "gripping" bushings to mount the front stabilizer
bar. This design keeps the bushing compressed against the stabilizer
bar, allowing the bushings to twist with it. The bushings are soft in
response to road impacts, but stiff for cornering capability, with ride
tuning and handling tuning optimized independently. The design gives
more linear loading for "crisp" steering response, yet maintains
relatively low bushing rates for a smooth ride.
For increased stability and a more aggressive stance, the front track is
67.0 inches wide, which helps increase stability while braking, reduce
tire wear and enhance handling and steering precision.
Mark LTís Hotchkiss-design rear suspension has been optimized with rear
shock absorbers placed outboard of the frame rails Ė a pickup truck
segment trait shared only with Fordís new
F-150. The outboard rear shocks are positioned to maximize their effect
at reducing body lean, particularly during lane changes. Because of this
massive leverage advantage, the shocks can be tuned for a smoother ride.
The new Mark LT combines a comfortable, isolated and well-supported ride
with balanced communication between the vehicle and driver. Mark LTís
superior frame stiffness, advanced body mounts and carefully tuned
suspension work together to deliver a quiet and composed ride.
All of the suspensionís mounting points on the frame are rigid
"large-footprint" designs that provide a strong, solid base. Likewise,
the engine mounting location is reinforced so that the hydraulic engine
mounts can absorb powertrain vibrations and prevent them from reaching
the passenger compartment.
Power Steering, Powerful Brakes
The rack-and-pinion steering system used
in the Mark LT is the largest, strongest and most rugged ever used by
Lincoln. The predictable, linear steering response comes from careful
tuning by engineering experts to help ensure that steering effort builds
naturally with steering angle.
In addition to its dynamic performance, the new Mark LTís steering
system also makes for a relatively tight 46-foot turning circle, which
beats comparably equipped competitors. The Mark LT has a smaller turning
circle than the Dodge Ram Quad Cab.
State-of-the-art standard four-wheel disc brakes are large and powerful,
and four-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic brake force
distribution (EBD) are standard. EBD actively manages the brake force
between the front and rear wheels, helping to reduce braking distances
and maximize rear-wheel braking, particularly while towing. The system
also uses sensor data to compare wheel speed more than 100 times during
each rotation. If wheel lockup is imminent, the EBD controller redirects
brake force to optimize available traction.
The Mark LTís chassis and powertrain make
pulling a trailer easier than ever. The laterally stiff new rear
suspension helps resist side loads and the outboard rear shocks and wide
leaf springs help reduce overall axle motion. Precise steering combined
with a stiff frame and body contribute to confident, stress-free
trailering, while powerful brakes enhanced with standard anti-lock
control and electronic brake force distribution maximize stopping power.
The 5.4-liter, 3-valve Tritonô V-8 engine has ample low-end torque, and
the sophisticated electronic throttle control is designed to provide
seamless, instant response and consistent transmission shift quality at
various altitudes and vehicle loading. With a towing capacity of 8,900
lbs. and payload capacity of 1,620 lbs., Lincolnís Mark LT can tow
anything from a horse trailer to a small yacht and carry all the gear
needed to arrive in style.
Four-wheel-drive models use the proven electronic shift-on-the-fly
transfer case of the current
F-150. The standard electronic throttle control allowed engineers to
incorporate a dedicated low-range accelerator response for better
control of torque in slippery conditions, and to reduce bucking caused
by torque fluctuations while crossing rough terrain.
A Safe Journey
For safety, the Mark LT offers
outstanding occupant protection with a structure designed to absorb and
dissipate crash energy before it can reach the reinforced passenger
compartment. Features such as Fordís Personal Safety Systemô, occupant
classification sensing and BeltMinderô safety belt reminder system also
help provide better protection than ever before.