BLACKWOOD TECH TIPS
Technology Tip Sheet
Ford Motor Company – Technology Public Affairs
Each issue of the Tech Tip Sheet provides a variety of story ideas relating to automotive technology.
LINCOLN BLACKWOOD FEATURES INDUSTRY’S FIRST OEM-INSTALLED POWER TONNEAU
The 2002 Lincoln Blackwood, which blends elements of a luxury sedan, sport utility vehicle and pickup truck to create an entirely new type of vehicle, was developed with the industry’s first power-operated hard tonneau cover. The tonneau is motorized using an electric hinge mechanism to provide a smooth, nearly silent operation. The cover can fully opened and closed in 8-10 seconds. The hinge also includes two safety systems to prevent injury. One automatically reverses the lid if it senses resistance; the other is a “pinch strip” around the cover lip that detects obstacles. The tonneau, which lifts to a height of 6 feet, 8 inches, works with a hidden liner to make the trunk weather tight. Latches at the rear corners lock the tonneau securely into the frame. When the cover is closed there is an interior escape handle provided in case of entrapment. In addition to the cover, Dutch doors provide both appearance and functionality by allowing convenient loading and added storage space via the bins located inside the Dutch doors.
‘THE FLOATING BOX’
The Lincoln Blackwood’s most distinctive visual feature is the realistic wood body sides, which are actually a photo-laminate reproduction of the African wenge wood used on the 1999 Lincoln Blackwood concept vehicle. The trunk’s body sides are made from a five-layer sandwich of materials mounted to a square-channel steel space frame, making it exceptionally stiff. Engineers then cantilever-mounted it to the chassis so that it “floats” over the Blackwood’s frame. This minimizes the transmission of road shocks to the trunk and its contents. A pair of U-channel, structural steel members are welded longitudinally to the space frame’s lower rails and serve as a torsion beam. The cantilever design allows the trunk to maintain its dimensional stability when the vehicle chassis flexes in response to road and load forces.
IT LOOKS LIKE A TRUCK, BUT DOESN’T SOUND LIKE ONE
The cabin of the 2002 Lincoln Blackwood is exceptionally quiet. The vehicle has a speech intelligibility rating of 92.69 – which means that a driver could expect to hear and understand more than 92 percent of a rear-seat conversation. Micro-cellular urethane body mounts are engineered to minimize the transmission of road noise and vibration into the the passenger compartment. In addition: the exhaust system is held in place by silicone isolator mounts, which reduce vehicle vibration and offer improved durability; the large “valley” under the tuned aluminum intake runners is insulated; the front fender wells are lined with sound absorbing material; Blackwood’s muffler is eight times larger than the engine swept volume, to dramatically reduce exhaust sound; the floor pan is reinforced with a fiberglass beta brace and mastic sandwich that adds stiffness while filtering out vibrations, all contributing to a quieter, more comfortable ride.