2002 Lincoln Blackwood

Randy G
0109 Lincoln Blackwood 03

The exterior is identical to the Navigator from the grille to the A-pillars. The Blackwood is certainly not beautiful, but we're glad that Lincoln gave it the Navigator's relatively handsome front end rather than its butt-ugly rear. Lincoln also delivered a vehicle that looks almost identical to the concept. The only significant difference is that the trunk's exotic African wenge wood panels have been replaced by photolaminate film bonded to plastic panels, not unlike Pergo flooring. It's a reasonable facsimile, and who wants to maintain exotic African wenge wood anyway?

Lincoln freely admits that the Blackwood is not for hauling manure, referring to the covered pickup bed as a "trunk." As trunks go, it's nice, lined with stainless steel and carpet, illuminated by LED strips, and holding 26.5 cubic feet of whatever it is that Blackwood owners will own--as long as it's less than sixteen inches tall, to fit under the remote-operated, securely bolted-on power tonneau cover. The rear Dutch doors have storage bins, and a soft-sided cargo organizer attaches to the trunk's tie-down hooks. The Blackwood's payload capacity is a sizable 1200 pounds, and it's tow-rated at 8700 pounds.

The Blackwood is overpriced at $52,500, but at least it comes fully loaded; the only option is a $1995 navigation system. The interior is lined with black Connolly leather, and either warm or cool air can be directed through perforations in the front seats, a nifty feature that'd be even niftier in Ford's new Thunderbird convertible. An in-dash six-disc CD changer and Alpine stereo are standard. The rear bucket seats, which fold down to form flat cargo shelves, flank a huge, leather-upholstered console that bears an unfortunate resemblance to a Kohler toilet.

Over the next five years, Lincoln boasts, it will introduce an entirely new product line that will redefine American luxury and Lincoln itself. We've seen glimpses of this Lincoln future in the Mk9 show car and other concepts, and the Blackwood is not really related to them. It's more of a teaser, an indication that Lincoln is willing to do things differently. If the Blackwood gets young guys in GMC Sierras, not to mention fifty-year-old guys in Lexus SC430s, to think favorably about Lincoln (or even to remember that Lincoln exists), it will have served its purpose.

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