“A principle goal of Lincoln’s emerging design philosophy is to broaden the
brand’s customer base and appeal to new customers with highly aspirational products
that are unique, distinctive and unmistakably American. The Blackwood design proves
that Lincoln can stretch, and the ‘buzz’ it has created around the brand will
help lay the groundwork for our future concepts and production vehicles.”
” Gerry McGovern, Lincoln Mercury Design Director
DISTINCTIVE DESIGN: The Lincoln Blackwood
blurs the line between a luxury car, an SUV, and a pickup truck.
- The production Lincoln Blackwood remains true to the visual promise of the
concept vehicle that debuted in 1999.
- Blackwood’s most striking design feature is its 4-foot, 8-inch cargo trunk,
which recalls the craftsmanship of classic wooden motorboats.
- The interior of the trunk is visually arresting with its stainless-steel
trim and LED accent lighting.
- Blackwood’s industry-first power tonneau cover and side-hinged Dutch doors
enhance the trunk’s appearance and functionality.
- A gloss-black finish, signature Lincoln grille and low-profile 18-inch wheels
and tires contribute to the vehicle’s dramatic stance.
- Blackwood’s luxurious 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.
Design Brief: Luxury without Rules
“The Lincoln Blackwood concept quite literally began life as an exercise in
‘what if,’ with designers encouraged to blur the distinctions between a luxury
car, a sport-utility vehicle and a pickup truck,” said Design Manager Ehab Kaoud.
“We wanted to make the strongest possible visual impact, so we looked to distinctive
icons of luxury for direction and seized upon classic wooden motorboats and
finely crafted jewelry boxes as the inspirations for our trunk design.”
Vintage motor yachts and speedboats often
used exotic woods, such as teak and
mahogany, to make a strong visual statement about luxury and craftsmanship.
The Blackwood’s nautical heritage is most apparent in the satin-metal “banding”
between the wood planks, and the way the wood effect wraps around the rear of
the trunk, like the hull of a stately yacht. This is in contrast to the slab-sided
“woody” wagons of the 1930s and ’40s, which used timber-framed designs that
often featured contrasting woods.
CRAFTED LOOK: Blackwood features
a faithful interpretation of African Wenge wood behind a durable, weather-resistant,
Deeply striated, African Wenge wood – often referred to simply as blackwood
– was selected for the exterior because of its exotic appearance. “When quartersawn,
Wenge wood shows fine, pencil-thin tan lines interspersed with blackish-brown
stripes, which blend very well with the exterior’s gloss-black paint,” Kaoud
says. “The dark, straight grain of the horizontal wood planks offset by the
satin strips gives us a look that is customized and crafted.”
While the Blackwood concept wore real varnished wood planks on its flanks, that
appearance has been faithfully interpreted for production with a photographic
process that creates a durable, weather-resistant, low-maintenance laminate
finish. Actual Wenge panels are photographed to give an accurate image of the
wood’s distinctive graining.
Blackwood’s gloss-black finish, its signature Lincoln grille, the geometric
pattern of the 18-inch wheels and low-profile tires help contribute to the vehicle’s
The Blackwood’s wheel-to-body relationship is enhanced by the smooth sill and
rocker panel area. Blackwood’s low step-in height of 19.5 inches (500 millimeters)
allowed the designers to forgo running boards.
On the driver’s side exterior of the trunk, Blackwood’s chrome fuel-filler door
pays homage to the designs of racing cars, but it is executed with simplicity.
To maintain the sleek, simple look, the radio antenna is hidden away – built
into the backlight.
The inside of the trunk has as much visual impact as the exterior. The trunk’s
interior walls are clad in durable stainless steel, with 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. The load floor is carpeted, to minimize
the transmission of road noise and to provide a high-friction surface for luggage.
The Blackwood Trunk: Strong and Functional
If the trunk’s appearance is the product of the designer’s art, its construction,
safety features and utility reveal the hands of engineers.
The trunk body sides are made from a five-layer sandwich of materials mounted
to a square-channel steel space frame. The outer layer consists of wood photo
laminate film bonded to plastic panels. These panels are protected against the
elements by a durable, clear-coat finish. The outer panels are bonded to reaction-injection
molded (RIM) plastic body side panels, which are mounted to the space frame.
The .032-inch stainless-steel interior trim panels are attached to a waterproof
plastic tub liner.
Accelerated weathering tests have proven that the wood appearance can stand
up to years of severe sun, water and salt without fading. The panels are highly
dent resistant, but if one is damaged in an accident, it can be replaced easily
as a single unit.
Because the trunk’s space frame is exceptionally stiff – two-and-a-half times
stiffer than a conventional pickup box – it is cantilever-mounted 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. Stainless-steel bins with pop-up
latches are built into either side of the trunk, just aft of the wheel housings.
Each bin provides .12 cubic feet of protected storage for organizing items.
Bins in each Dutch door provide an additional .14 cubic feet of storage.
The interior cargo floor between the door openings is 49 inches wide. The trunk
interior is 15.9 inches deep and 56.3 inches long. Four recessed chromed steel
D-ring tie-downs – reminiscent of marine-grade hardware – provide robust anchor
points for organizing cargo. Each anchor is strength-rated at 2,225 Newtons
(more than 500 pounds of force).
The industry-first motorized tonneau cover – which can be operated via a set
of buttons on the overhead console, the keypad on the driver’s door or by remote
control – was the focus of intensive engineering work – particularly in the
realm of safety.
STORAGE BINS: To help keep smaller
items safe and organized, convenient storage compartments, have been built into
Blackwood’s truck. The dual swing-out rear-truck composite doors offer more
room with handy storage bins.
TONNEAU CONVER: Blackwood’s industry-first
power-operated hard tonneau cover can be operated from the key fab, driver’s
door keypad, or the overhead console. When closed, the tonneau cover latches
securely over Blackwood’s 26.5 cubic foot truck.
The tonneau’s motorized electric hinge mechanism provides smooth, nearly silent
operation and can fully open or close the cover in 8-10 seconds. 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.
If the cover meets resistance while lowering, the motor reverses and raises the
lid in order to prevent injury to anyone who might be leaning into the cargo area.
In addition, a continuous, pressure-sensitive pinch strip around the underside
of the tonneau cover reverses the motor if it detects an obstruction between the
lid and the trunk sides. The tonneau cover can be closed manually as well, simply
by pushing it down until the latches click into place.
A glow-in-the-dark manual “escape handle” is provided in the right rear corner
of the trunk interior in case of entrapment. A key-operated, manual lock release,
intended mainly for dealer service use, is behind the right fender well, accessible
from beneath the vehicle. Release handles for the rear Dutch doors are fitted
inside the trunk, for a clean, flush exterior appearance.
Blackwood’s kinship to the Lincoln
Navigator is established by it’s waterfall grille and chrome accents. To enhance
the clean, uncluttered appearance, the radio antenna was integrated into the
rear glass. Both the fuel-filler door and bright aluminum wheels were refined
as the design evolved into a concept vehicle -and eventually into production.
Blackwood’s passenger cabin provides a visual link to the exterior cabin through
its monochromatic black interior, which is trimmed in Connolly leather and dark-stained
crystal oak wood. Blackwood’s interior also is designed with consumers in mind.
It offers generous room in and around its four captain’s chairs.
The Blackwood’s truck’s interior
melds apperance and functionality by offering a sophisticated surface texture
– stainless steel – with clever storage solutions such as the stainless bins
on both sides, and additional storage bins in the rear doors. Carpeted flooring,
which was not on the original concept, and tie-down rings further enhanced functionality,
and rub strips were added to the stainless-steel sides for durability.
Interior storage includes bins hidden behind the rear seats and large consoles
with padded leather-covered armrests between each pair of seats. The front seat-back
map pockets close with a magnetic clasp like those used on fine leather handbags.
The interior also offers a host of comfort and convenience features, including
a memory function to allow three users to record driver seat positions, and
adjustable pedal and side mirror settings. Electronic conveniences include an
available GPS-based navigation system, a 140-watt audiophile-quality Alpine
audio system with AM/FM Stereo, cassette player and a six-disc CD changer, and
the Homelink system, which can learn to operate garage door openers and home
Safety and Security
Blackwood comes standard with a comprehensive package of safety and security
features, including dual-front and side air bags. Air bags contained in the
outer seat bolsters deploy in the event of certain side impacts, to offer head-and-torso
protection to front-seat occupants. Safety engineers calibrated Blackwood’s
air bag computer to factor in the vehicle’s specific characteristics – such
as the absence of running boards. Side-impact sensors are located beneath the
driver and passenger seats.
The safety belt system is height-adjustable in all four seating positions, to
tailor the shoulder belt fit to occupant size for comfort. Blackwood’s front
safety belts are equipped with load-limiting retractors, which slowly release
a small amount of safety belt material in a severe crash to reduce forces on
the occupant’s chest. In the instant before crash forces reach the cabin, pretensioner
devices tighten the front lap and shoulder belts to position the occupants in
relation to the other safety systems.
Blackwood’s BeltMinder system provides a gentle reminder to the driver to use
the safety belt. Tethers are provided in the two rear seating positions for
secure mounting of child safety seats.
Blackwood is constructed with engineered crush zones in the front frame and
structural upper load beams, or “shotguns,” above the wheel wells, which absorb
70 percent of frontal-impact energy and keep it from reaching the passenger
compartment. The robust body-on-frame construction and side-door intrusion beams
offer further protection. Blackwood passes Ford Motor Company’s stringent internal
crash standards, which in many cases exceed federal requirements. For example,
Blackwood maintains fuel system integrity in a 50-mph, vehicle-to-vehicle side
crash. In a severe impact, the fuel pump automatically shuts off as a further
Designer’s of the new Lincoln Blackwood
lavished a lot of attention on the exterior apperance of the dramatic rear cargo
trunk. The dark Wenge wood strips reinforce the vehicle’s strong horizontal
lines while adding distinction and elegance. Dutch doors provide both appearance
and functionality benefits by allowing convenient loading. The motorized tonneau
cover – an industry first – nests into the rear doors for a clean, integrated
LED repeater turn signals mounted at the outer edge of the power-adjustable
side mirrors provide enhanced visibility to other drivers during turns and lane
changes. This may help to head off potential accidents. In cold weather, heating
elements in the side mirrors begin clearing frost as soon as the rear window
defroster is activated.
To deter would-be thieves, Blackwood is equipped with Ford Motor Company’s SecuriLock
passive anti-theft system (PATS), in which a microchip embedded in the vehicle’s
key must communicate with the ignition system, or the vehicle will not start.
This prevents unauthorized duplicate keys.
A valet key system allows a parking attendant to move the vehicle, but will
not allow access to the rear cargo area. The tonneau cover actuation buttons
mounted on the overhead console can be deactivated in such cases.
Key fob buttons allow separate control of the tonneau cover, the driver’s door
or all doors at once. The key fob also offers a panic button to sound the vehicle
A door-mounted keypad allows the driver to access most functions, including
the tonneau cover, without the fob. The tonneau cover can be released manually,
if necessary, using a key-operated handle under the passenger-side rear wheel
well. An emergency release is provided inside the trunk to prevent entrapment.
Blackwood’s parking brake automatically releases when the vehicle is shifted
out of park or neutral into drive or reverse – a handy feature on a boat ramp.
Extensive interior lighting, including map/reading lights for every seating
position, provides even illumination throughout the cabin when the doors are
unlocked. A battery saver feature automatically turns off interior and cargo
lamps approximately 30 minutes after the doors are closed, with the ignition
key off, to assure that there is always power for a restart.
Headlamps also feature an auto-shutoff mode, which keeps the lights on for a
short time after parking, for convenience and security, then shuts them off
to preserve battery life.
To further enhance the driver’s feeling of security, Blackwood comes standard
with a reverse sensing system that warns of objects within a range of less than
6 feet (1.8 meters) from the rear bumper. As the vehicle moves in reverse, a
tone increases in frequency to provide an audible cue to the proximity of obstacles.