New Model News

Is Lincoln designing a new pickup truck?

Lincoln has made two pickup trucks but neither reached any level of tremendous commercial success.

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

Before luxury pickup trucks became the staple that they are today on America's roadways, there was one company willing to attempt to capitalize on the premium buyer. Unfortunately for that company, they were too early. But they had the right concept. That company is Lincoln.

The Lincoln Blackwood was the company's first attempt at a proper luxury pickup. It was built for the 2002 model year and was based on Ford's F-150 platform. It shared the F-150's 5.4-liter V8 that made 300 horsepower and was only available in rear-wheel drive. It had luxury features like a power tonneau cover and a wood-lined bed.

2006 Lincoln Mark LT The Mark LT was a luxury level take on a traditional pickup but it may have been a little ahead of its time.Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

That truck made the way for the company's second attempt; the Lincoln Mark LT. That truck received the updated Triton V8 and was available with four-wheel drive. It was also a more practical truck, having a useful bed and other amenities. It was in production from 2005 until 2008 in the United States (yet carried on until 2014 in Mexico).

Nowadays, the F-150 Limited is nearly a $70,000 USD pickup truck – more than the Mark LT ever was – and people are buying them at a steady pace. It begs the question; is the Mark LT or other Lincoln pickup truck ready to make a return to the United States?

The answer is complicated. Officially, Lincoln is leaving the pickup trucks to Ford. They have their own things to worry about, such as a completely refreshed product line and paying Matthew McConaughey to not say his trademark phrase in commercials.

Unofficially sources have told AutomotiveMap that they aren't sure what a Lincoln pickup truck would even look like. How do you get more luxurious than the F-150 Limited that is already on sale?

That is, indeed, a fair question. The F-150 Limited has premium seats that are both heated and cooled. They have a massage function. The only thing that Lincoln offers above that in their vehicles is something they call "Perfect Position" front seats in the Navigator with dozens of different adjustment options.

The F-150 would benefit from a larger infotainment screen and a more attractive instrument cluster, which Lincoln could offer. But these upgrades are also likely to be attached to a refreshed F-150 that might debut as early as this year for the 2021 model year. That would negate the Lincoln benefit.

Lincoln could offer the truck with a plug-in hybrid, and we know Ford is working on electrification options for the F-150. Combine that with some other unique Lincoln features, like the Revel audio system and Phone as a Key and you might have something that stands out from the best Ford offering.

But would it be enough? The price ceiling on pickup trucks hasn't been reached, which is why manufacturers are able to charge $70,000 for a full-size, half-ton pickup truck. Globally, Mercedes-Benz built a luxury-minded pickup on the Nissan Navara platform but didn't see any sales success. Though the rest of the world does view the pickup truck differently than the United States. What we consider a midsize truck is about as large as they sell globally.

Ultimately, a Lincoln pickup truck revival is unlikely to happen due to differentiation. It's important for Lincoln to set itself from Ford, and like the Mark LT that came before, that is unlikely to happen. Yes, it'd be a different truck, but it wouldn't be different enough. Nor would it be a compelling enough reason for loyal truck buyers to buy a Lincoln instead of a Ford, even if they'd be built on the same assembly line.

There's space in the market for even more expensive trucks, but from Ford they'll likely carry the Ford Blue Oval on them.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Continental GT Mulliner is Bentley's newest high-end offering.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors
The Continental GT Mulliner has been added to the Bentley stable joining other models that represent the finest the super-luxury brand has to offer. The Mulliner brand offers buyers a wider variety of customization than the traditional Bentley lineup of vehicles.

The new model features a 'Double Diamond' matrix grille at the front, complimented by matching front fender vents at the sides that feature black and silver design with chromed Mulliner branding. Satin Silver mirror caps with Mulliner Welcome Lamps beneath, and illuminated outer door sills with Mulliner text take residence on the side of the vehicle.

Bentley Continental GT Mulliner 

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Bentley has given the model 22-inch Mulliner wheels with a painted and polished finish. The centre badge of each wheel is self-leveling, keeping its Bentley logo upright at all times.

The cabin of the Continental GT is already plush but the Mulliner brand touch takes the level of sophistication and refinement up a notch. The color split in the cabin is exclusive to the car, with a new combination of primary and secondary hide joined by a third color through a flowing design line.

Mulliner proposes eight different three-color combinations for order, using Bentley's palette of hides and threads to create a contrast throughout the cabin. "Diamond in Diamond" quilting to the seats, doors trims, and rear quarter panels are standard. The quilting consists of nearly 400,000 stitches with each diamond containing 712 stitches.

Each seat in the car is finished with an embroidered Mulliner logo. The floor mats are edged with micro-piping to match the rest of the color theme of the interior. The roof of the cabin is trimmed along its full length with indented hide, or smooth hide to match the seat backs if a buyer chooses the fixed glass roof instead.

The center console is made of a diamond milled technical finish that is flanked by Grand Black walnut veneer and chrome overlays. At the center is a Breitling clock. The passenger side fascia is finished with a silhouette of the car's exterior profile and the Mulliner logo.

The interior appointments can be personalized further with a range of 88 contemporary, colorized veneer finishes that can be matched to the interior or exterior of the car. Burr walnut veneer is hand sanded and polished to produce a perfectly smooth finish before painting to match the colour of the customer's choice. Once dry, the veneer is polished to achieve a mirror-like finish.

Buyers are able to choose whether their Bentley model is powered by a 6.0-liter W12 engine or a 4.0-liter V8. The 12-cylinder gets 626 brake horsepower and the V8 achieves 542 brake horsepower. Both engines come standard with 48-volt active anti-roll technology.

Orders for both coupe and convertible versions of the Continental GT Mulliner will be taken starting in October. The first deliveries begin early next year.

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Jeep is extending its customer care program for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

This model year, Jeep celebrates 80 years in the business. The brand was born in 1941 and to celebrate to anniversary, the company is expanding its Jeep Wave Customer Care program adding value to each model purchase. The additional level of service only applies to 2021 model year vehicles.

"After nearly 80 years, the Jeep brand remains true to the original SUV by continuing to deliver legendary 4x4 capability that has enabled countless adventures and open-air freedom," said Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA North America. "As we celebrate our 80th anniversary, we're pleased to provide our customers with 80th Anniversary models that offer a unique appearance, great value and loads of safety and technology features.

2020 Grand Wagoneer Concept - Details The new Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept showcased the future of the brand, in the shape of a luxury-level three-row SUV. Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

"As a tribute to our unique, enthusiastic and growing customer base, we are expanding our Jeep Wave customer care program across the entire Jeep vehicle lineup," Morrison added. "We are pleased to reward our loyal customers with Jeep Wave premium service that offers peace of mind and no-charge maintenance for three years."

The program now includes three years of maintenance at Jeep dealerships, including oil changes and tire rotations, 24/7 support via phone or online chat, trip interruption and first-day rental coverage, and VIP access to select Jeep events.

The 2021 Jeep lineup includes the Renegade, Compass, Cherokee, Wrangler, and Grand Cherokee SUVs as well as the Gladiator truck. The company recently unveiled the Grand Wagoneer concept, a luxe take on a future luxury-level three-row SUV that will compete directly with the Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade.

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