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.

Lincoln has announced plans to develop its first all-electric vehicle.

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

Lincoln has announced that it is working with Rivian to develop the company's first all-electric vehicle. The news comes on the heels of Ford's announcement last year that it is partnering with Rivian on development of an electrified F-Series pickup truck as part of its planned equity investment in the company.

The model will be Lincoln's first fully electric vehicle. The company currently offers two of its SUVs - Aviator and Corsair - in plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) variants.

Lincoln Corsair PHEV Lincoln recently announced a Corsair PHEV model.Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

"Working with Rivian marks a pivotal point for Lincoln as we move toward a future that includes fully electric vehicles," said Joy Falotico, president, The Lincoln Motor Company. "This vehicle will take Quiet Flight to a new place – zero emissions, effortless performance and connected and intuitive technology. It's going to be stunning."

The Lincoln EV will be built on Rivian's flexible skateboard platform, like the electric F-150.

Lincoln is in the middle of a brand resurgence. The luxury arm of Ford has introduced the three new SUVs - Corsair, Aviator, Navigator - in four years. The company will cease production of the MKZ sedan later this year so the plant can be converted to accommodate new Ford vehicle production.

This isn't the first innovation Lincoln has announced lately. The company with Matthew McConaughey as its spokesperson recently showed off its new potheated winter wiper blades and pothole preview technology.

Ford is investing $11.5 billion into electrification, including the new Mustang Mach-E and a fully electric version.

"Our vehicle development partnership with Ford is an exciting opportunity to pair our technology with Lincoln's vision for innovation and refinement. We are proud to collaborate on Lincoln's first fully electric vehicle," said Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe.

Lincoln has introduced a new winter weather-friendly wiper blade to help when snow and ice buildup become a problem.

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

Syracuse and Buffalo, New York. Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Montana. Anywhere there's a ski lodge. Lincoln's new VisioBlade wipers are designed to make life where there's winter a little easier.

The blades contain a heating element that is integrated into their assembly that keeps the blades warm and prevents the buildup of ice, both on the blades and windshield. They are flat in shape, which also allows for better contact with the windscreen.

Currently available on the 2020 Aviator, the VisioBlades are more than just heated. They also dispense washer fluid directly through nozzles on the blade as opposed to relying on easily iced over ports on the car's hood. Lincoln says that not only does this keep the fluid flowing but it allows it to have more widespread distribution on the windshield.

"You don't get that ice buildup on the blades when you're driving through sleet or snow," said said Geoffrey Johnson, body core engineer, Lincoln Motor Company. "It's a more efficient way to keep the windshield clear."

Internal tests show the blades can heat from subfreezing temperatures to 86 degrees Fahrenheit in four minutes; a traditional defroster alone can take up to 15 minutes to clear an ice-caked windshield.

The VisioBlade system is available as part of the Elements Package Plus ($1,180) on Aviator Reserve trim levels and up. Alongside the blades, the package includes heated and ventilated first- and second-row seats and a heated steering wheel.