“Blackwood is going to help Lincoln sustain the product-led momentum created
by the Lincoln Navigator and Lincoln LS because it represents a uniquely American
interpretation of luxury. It takes some of the best qualities of Lincoln luxury
cars and the sport-utility vehicle and blurs the distinction to create something
Mark Hutchins, President, Lincoln Mercury
- The production Lincoln Blackwood remains true to the visual promise of
the concept that debuted in 1999. Blackwood’s gloss-black finish, signature
Lincoln grille and low-profile 18-inch tires contribute to the vehicle’s dramatic
- Production will be limited to less than 10,000 units per year, in order
to maintain exclusivity.
- Blackwood’s most striking feature is its 4-foot, 8-inch cargo trunk, which
recalls the craftsmanship of classic wooden motorboats. The trunk interior
is visually arresting with its stainless-steel trim and LED accent lighting.
- The industry’s first manufacturer-installed power tonneau cover and side-hinged
Dutch doors enhance the appearance and functionality of the Blackwood’s trunk.
- Blackwood’s passenger cabin provides a visual link to the exterior cabin
through its monochromatic black interior trimmed in Connolly leather and dark-stained
crystal oak wood. It is exceptionally quiet, roomy, comfortable and luxurious.
- A powerful, refined 300-horsepower engine and a load-leveling hybrid air
and leaf-spring rear suspension provide impressive towing capability – up
to 8,700 pounds.
- The Blackwood’s nearly perfect front-to-rear weight balance, careful suspension
tuning, acceleration-sensitive dampers; speed-sensitive power steering and
18-inch wheels and tires combine to provide a comfortable, controlled ride
and confident, balanced handling.
The 2002 Lincoln Blackwood
The 2002 Lincoln Blackwood is the latest product in the total transformation
of the Lincoln brand, a transformation that began nearly four years ago.
In 1998, Lincoln Mercury relocated its headquarters from Detroit to Irvine,
Calif. – in the heart of the largest luxury vehicle market in the country –
in order to establish a unique culture built around the brand’s American Luxury
Prior to the move, Lincoln launched the Navigator sport-utility vehicle, as
a 1998 model, followed in 2000 by the Lincoln LS luxury sports sedan. These
two products, which expanded the brand’s product range beyond the traditional
full-size luxury market, have been enormously successful in attracting new customers
and in growing Lincoln sales. Lincoln sales in 2000 were the best since 1990,
and fully 70 percent of Navigator customers and 60 percent of LS customers had
never owned a Lincoln before. In addition, the median age of these customers
is in the mid-50s – substantially lower than the median age of Lincoln’s customers
in the traditional luxury segment, which is in the mid-60s.
In 2000, with the success of the Navigator and LS in attracting new customers
to the brand, Ford Motor Company vested Lincoln with its own design, product
development, purchasing and manufacturing organizations to complement its strong
sales, marketing and distribution organization. Today, these resources are 100-percent
dedicated to fully developing American Luxury in product terms, through marketing
channels and through a premier sales and service experience.
“German cars have a distinctive character, so do British and Japanese cars.
American Luxury and Lincoln are about having products that are equal to the
best in the world in engineering and quality terms, but totally unique – and
unabashedly American – in the way they drive, in they way the look and feel,”
says Hutchins. “With all of the resources now dedicated to growing Lincoln –
and judging by the public’s reaction to the Blackwood – I know we can achieve
The Lincoln Blackwood makes a tremendous impression on people of all ages and
from all walks of life. “Every time we took a prototype on the road, we seemed
to spend more time talking to people than actually driving,” says Lisa Bacus,
Blackwood brand manager. “It’s the kind of vehicle people dream about owning,”
Bacus continues, “and having an aspirational vehicle like Blackwood in our showrooms
can only support the rest of the Lincoln range.”
Bacus said Blackwood will attract affluent and accomplished consumers who are
attracted to its design and interested in buying a luxury vehicle with exceptional
cargo-carrying and towing ability.
“Blackwood is an image and lifestyle vehicle, but one with great utility and
functionality,” she says. “It can easily tow a large boat or horse trailer one
day, and take a foursome to the golf course the next.”
Blackwood’s deep-gloss black-paint finish, signature Lincoln grille, 18-inch wheels
and low-profile tires contribute to the vehicle’s dramatic stance. Bright, tightly
focused complex-reflector headlamps, fog lamps and taillights stand out against
the black paint, as do the chromed door handles, side mirrors and fuel-filler
door. The Lincoln star insignia decorates the front-door cladding and the tonneau’s
To contribute to Blackwood’s sleek appearance, the radio antenna is concealed
inside the rear-window glass, which reduces wind noise.
The exotic, heavily striated African Wenge wood of the show vehicle’s trunk is
interpreted for production in an extremely durable, three-dimensional composite
surface for better longevity, maintenance and insurability than wood. The photo-laminate
process used to create the panels accurately records the image of wood bands,
each of which is defined by a brushed aluminum stripe. The composite panels –
like the rest of Blackwood – had to pass stringent durability testing. The panels
were able to maintain their color after seven simulated years of advanced weathering.
The cargo area is protected by the first manufacturer-installed power tonneau
cover, which nests into the rear doors and becomes a structural member when latched
at each rear corner. The Dutch-style rear doors bear the Blackwood name in widely
spaced, chrome capital letters. The doors allow easier loading and unloading of
the cargo area by eliminating the need to bend over a lowered pickup gate.
Blackwood’s 26.5 cubic foot trunk is unique inside and out. Side-hinged Dutch
doors and a tonneau cover that opens at the push of a button – either from the
key fob, interior overhead console or through a code on the driver’s door keypad
– allow easy access to the interior of the trunk. A lighted handle inside the
trunk offers an emergency release, and a separate, locking manual override –
intended for service use – is housed within the rear, passenger-side wheel housing.
Electric controls silently lift the tonneau to a height of 6 feet, 8 inches,
and close it as well. Safety sensors built into the unit reverse the motor if
an obstruction is detected.
The trunk’s interior walls are clad in a durable .032-inch stainless steel that
lends a luxurious appearance, with PVC rub strips to ward off dents and scratches.
Cool-to-the-touch LED light strips on either side provide an accent along the
junction between the sides and cargo floor. Flush tie-down rings help secure
larger items. A storage bin is built into each side, and additional open bins
are located in each Dutch door.
Blackwood offers numerous comfort and convenience features for both driver and
passengers as standard equipment. The only optional luxury feature is a console-integrated
satellite-based navigation system that uses data CDs to provide street-level
detail, and can be programmed to guide the driver to a specific address.
Interior highlights include perforated black Connolly leather-faced seats that
offer a wide range of heating and cooling settings for the driver and front
seat passenger. The climate-controlled seats circulate heated or cooled air
through the perforated-leather surfaces using a dedicated fan and compact heat
pumps. The seat surfaces begin to heat or cool within seconds.
Blackwood also offers a tilt steering column with steering wheel-mounted duplicate
stereo and climate control buttons, a seven-speaker Alpine audio system with
subwoofer and six-CD changer, automatic climate control and auto-shutoff headlamps.
The interior is trimmed in dark-stained crystal oak, and has a wood-and-leather
trimmed steering wheel.
Blackwood’s four bucket seats are packaged in a space large enough for six
adults, so each occupant is afforded exceptional hip and shoulder room. Both
driver and front passenger seats are power adjustable, with extended power lumbar
support. The driver’s seat, mirrors and adjustable brake and accelerator pedals
have a memory feature, which can record three drivers’ preferences.
The front seats and rear seats are each separated by full-size consoles with
hinged, leather-clad lids and deep molded-in cupholders. In addition to the
dash-mounted cigar lighter, there are four 12-volt power points: one on the
instrument panel, two in the rear passenger area and one in the cargo trunk.
An overhead console offers an electronic display that includes a compass, distance
to empty and average fuel economy readings. Controls on the console operate
the power moonroof and the power tonneau cover. The Homelink System located
on the driver’s side visor controls up to three remote-control devices, such
as garage door openers.
Blackwood is designed to offer superb handling and a smooth, quiet and controlled
ride over a wide range of road surfaces. The suspension was carefully engineered
to optimize its nearly 50/50 weight balance. Tuned spring rates and stabilizer
bars help maintain a level ride during maneuvers.
The independent short- and long-arm (SLA) front suspension uses coil springs
and shock absorbers with acceleration-sensitive damping. The shocks allow quick
suspension travel in response to sharp bumps, such as potholes or pavement edges,
while offering more resistance to slower movements, such as body roll. This
provides the smoother ride of soft-rate shocks, with the control of firm shock
valving when maneuvering.
The rear suspension uses acceleration-sensitive shocks with a hybrid of leaf
and air springs that virtually eliminates the abrupt spring rate transitions
common to conventional leaf spring designs. Such transitions could produce a
jarring ride over large bumps. Blackwood’s single leaf spring has a parabolic
cross-section, designed to handle the weight of the unloaded vehicle on the
rear axle – about 3,000 pounds at normal deflection.
As passengers or cargo are added, the extra weight is taken up by the air springs.
Air pressure in the springs – which are shaped like flexible vertical cylinders
– adjust automatically to maintain ride height. The air springs are progressive,
meaning they are able to generate a plush ride in the normal operating range,
but offer increasingly stiff resistance as the axle approaches the limits of
travel, which helps to prevent bottoming.
To improve stability, the rear shocks are staggered – one toward the front,
one angled rearward – for better control of the solid axle over road irregularities.
At the extreme of axle travel, micro-cellular urethane jounce bumpers provide
a more progressive halt than solid rubber bumpers. The more they are compressed,
the more resistance they offer, in order to keep the axle from striking the
frame under an exceptional load, which can occur when striking a deep, sharp-edged
pothole. Anti-windup bars attached to the rear axle help to prevent wheel hop
under strong acceleration, and maintain traction on wet or loose surfaces.
Tires developed specially for the Blackwood P275/55R-18 Michelin Cross-Terrain
tires mounted on 18×8-inch machined aluminum wheels make a major contribution
to its ride characteristics.
The recirculating-ball power-steering system uses a new variable-assist power-steering
control that very closely matches the characteristics of the Lincoln LS rack
and pinion, which was the team’s benchmark. In low-speed situations, such as
parallel parking, it provides more power assist to reduce steering effort. At
higher speeds, power assist is reduced to contribute to a tighter, more precise
Blackwood’s 5.4-liter, 32-valve dual overhead cam V-8 engine produces 300 horsepower
at 5,000 rpm, and 355 foot-pounds of peak torque at 2,750 rpm. It has aluminum
heads and a 90-degree cast-iron block in a deep-skirted design that adds stiffness
and reduces noise. Sequential multi-port injectors deliver fuel to the cylinders
through a tumble-port cylinder head configuration, which enhances power and
fuel efficiency. The engine is calibrated to run on 91 octane (minimum) regular
Blackwood’s engine is rated for 100,000 miles before the first tune-up, under
normal driving conditions, with regular fluid and filter changes. It features
fail-safe engine protection designed to minimize engine damage in the event
of a catastrophic coolant loss. If the engine controller detects overheating,
it shuts off fuel to alternating banks of cylinders, which allows cool air to
pump through the cylinder bores. In fail-safe mode, the vehicle can be driven
a short distance under reduced power, depending on speed, load and outside temperature.
Blackwood’s engine is mated to a 4R100-model four-speed automatic transmission
with overdrive and a locking torque converter. A 3.73 final drive ratio and
a built-in Class III/IV hitch contribute to Blackwood’s muscular tow rating
of up to 8,700 pounds. To enhance traction, Blackwood uses a combination of
mechanical and electronic strategies. In situations where power exceeds available
traction, and the rear wheels spin, Blackwood’s traction control system reduces
engine output by retarding the spark and reducing fuel flow until traction is
restored. To improve system smoothness, Blackwood doesn’t use the braking system
to reduce wheel spin. The driver usually won’t notice the system in action at
all, which is consistent with Blackwood’s goal of quiet powertrain operation.
In situations in which wheel spin is required, such as in deep snow, the system
can be overridden via a lighted dash-mounted button. When the system is turned
off, an indicator on the switch lights up. The system is automatically reset
the next time the vehicle is started.
Blackwood comes with a standard limited-slip differential. Later this year,
it will offer an enhanced rear axle equipped with the Visco-Lok torque transfer
system. This hydraulic system offers seven times the torque transfer capability
of a conventional limited-slip differential, and transfers more torque as it
senses increasing wheelspin.
Safety and Security
Blackwood’s standard safety features include second-generation front air bags,
seat-mounted side-impact air bags for driver and front seat passenger, front
shoulder and lap belts with pretensioners and energy management system, childproof
door locks and child seat tether capability for the rear seats. For comfort,
all four shoulder belts are height-adjustable.
Blackwood also features BeltMinder, which sounds a chime and flashes a red
warning light on the dashboard as a gentle reminder to buckle up once the vehicle
is moving. This is especially useful to those who get in and out of their vehicles
frequently, such as during the course of business.
To enhance visibility, the side mirrors have built-in turn signal repeaters.
Blackwood also has a Reverse Sensing System that is activated when reverse gear
is selected. It provides an audible cue to obstacles behind the vehicle, beeping
with increasing frequency as the object nears.
Blackwood has three-channel, four-wheel antilock (ABS) disc brakes. Electronic
brakeforce distribution (EBD), in concert with ABS, helps to shorten stopping
distances by continually monitoring wheel slip and allocating braking forces
front-to-rear based on available traction. In practice, this allows the rear
wheels to supply more braking as the load on the rear axle increases, such as
when the cargo trunk is full, or during towing.
Like all Lincoln vehicles, Blackwood is fitted with the SecuriLock passive
anti-theft system that requires the use of a coded ignition key to start the
vehicle. A perimeter alarm also is included in the system. A valet feature allows
the driver to disable the release buttons for the tonneau cover on the overhead
Assembly and Pricing
Blackwood will be built at the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Mo. Production
will be limited to less than 10,000 units per year, in order to maintain exclusivity.
The 2002 Lincoln Blackwood has a manufacturer’s suggested price of $52,500,
including delivery and dealer preparation charges. The optional navigation system
is priced at $1,995. Like all Lincoln vehicles, Blackwood will be covered by
a four-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. Lincoln also provides
complimentary scheduled maintenance, including oil changes and tire rotation,
for the first three years or 36,000 miles of ownership.