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Lincoln has issued the following press release:

Combining the functionality of a full-size pickup truck with the luxury of a legendary automotive brand, the Mark LT from Lincoln makes its debut at the 2004 North American International Auto Show.

The Mark LT is a key part of Lincoln’s plan to broaden the showroom and build momentum and profitable growth by introducing 11 new Lincoln-Mercury products in six new segments within the next four years. On sale in early 2005, the new Mark LT is one of five new Lincolns that will be introduced.

Throughout its history Lincoln has used the Mark name to signal a truly special vehicle. It began with Edsel Ford’s first Continental, the Mark I. Next followed the 1956 Continental Mark II, which quickly became a classic because of its high quality, clean styling and consummate good taste.

With introduction of the Mark LT, Lincoln for the first time uses the Mark name on a pickup truck. That’s because the Mark LT upholds the tradition of a vehicle that stands apart from all others.

Mark LT has indisputable truck capabilities. It is derived from Ford’s new F-150, a proven workhorse and America’s best-selling pickup for 27 years.

Creating Lincoln elegance and understated luxury from such a solid foundation was key to the unique appeal of the new Mark LT. Representative of past and present Lincolns, the Mark LT incorporates contemporary yet timeless design, indulgent comfort and the unique use of materials to meet the standards expected of a luxury vehicle.

Hazel is confident the new vehicle provides the opportunity to introduce a new customer base to the Lincoln family.

During the past decade, buyers flocked to the traditional pickup truck segment, more than doubling annual volume from 1.1 million to 2.3 million units. Customer research predicts continued growth in the high end of both the truck and SUV segments.

Production Version on the Way

The Mark LT show vehicle introduced at the North American International Auto Show is a strong signal about the production version of Lincoln’s future luxury truck. Production will begin early in 2005 at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan.

Capability Meets Elegant Design
Although the Mark LT is an authentic pickup with superior power and driving dynamics, what makes it a true fit for Lincoln is its unique elegance. The exterior design features shown on the Mark LT give a strong indication of what the production vehicle will look like in a little more than a year.

Mark LT’s exterior features a theme of chrome accents, asserting the vehicle’s status and enhancing its appearance. Its dominant grille, wide tail lamps and thick spoked wheels give it an unmistakable family resemblance to today’s Lincoln Aviator and Navigator SUVs.

The Mark LT’s face displays a dominant grille that combines traditional Lincoln lines with a new solid center that features a prominently anchored, illuminated, 8-by-2-inch Lincoln star as the showpiece.

Unique to the Mark LT is a hefty band of chrome that wraps the length of the vehicle, highlighting its toughness. The chrome theme continues with 20-inch chrome-plated wheels that display the Lincoln star at the center, adding an uptown sophistication to the vehicle’s stance.

The Lincoln design theme continues at the rear with chrome trim surrounding tail lamps that wrap into the tailgate for a broadened appearance, similar to the Aviator and Navigator. The tailgate of the Mark LT show truck finishes the exterior design with an inset appliqué that features an illuminated Lincoln star at the center.

The truck’s Atlantic Pearl exterior color is a cool blue, reminiscent of stainless steel, darkening in the shade and illuminating in the light. Additional chrome exterior elements are found on the front and rear bumpers, side mirrors, door handles, box rail moldings, lower cladding, running boards and on the roll tip exhaust.

Interior Luxury for Those Who Travel Well
Lincoln vehicles have a rich history of interior environments that combine the height of style with elegance and romance. The preview of the production Mark LT offers a modern design interpretation of the brand’s heritage that is one vision of what Lincoln interiors could offer.

The use of distinctive materials in today’s Lincoln Navigator and Aviator interiors are evidence of Ford Motor Company’s tripled investment in interior design. The Mark LT builds on those interiors while adding contemporary finishes and warm colors that result in an environment that is both inviting and stimulating.

Because Lincoln represents elegance without compromising comfort, the Mark LT show truck features lavish use of lightly colored, anti-scratch premium leather. This velvety leather blankets the interior, covering the headliner, steering wheel, seats, center console and door panel, while plush sheepskin flooring completes the opulence of the interior.

Textured aluminum accents dividing the door panels and surrounding the climate and audio controls on the center stack further support the contemporary styling.

To complement those materials, Lincoln designers used a highly translucent core mineral to create a dark chrome effect on the air vents, door handles, at the base of the floor-mounted gear shifter, on seat controls and Lincoln stars. The contrasting color provides polished detail to the interior.

The gauge cluster features Lincoln’s signature white lighting, black background with white numerals, darkened chrome bezels and a textured aluminum background that matches the center stack.

True Pickup Truck Functionality and a Superior Driving Experience
The full-sized luxury vehicle buyer wants to travel well even when hard at work, and the Mark LT brings this experience to them with a 5.4-liter, 3-valve Triton™ V-8 engine that produces 300 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 365 foot-pounds of torque at 3,750 rpm. The Mark LT delivers crisp and direct steering, the ride is plush yet controlled, braking is assured and the cabin is quiet. The result is a fully functional luxury pickup truck that is an unqualified pleasure to drive.

Precise Rack-and-Pinion Power Steering, Powerful Brakes

The rack-and-pinion steering system used in the Mark LT is the largest, strongest and most rugged ever used by Lincoln. The predictable, linear steering response comes from careful tuning by engineering experts to help ensure that steering effort builds naturally with steering angle.

In addition to its dynamic performance, the new Mark LT’s steering system also makes for a relatively tight 46-foot turning circle, which beats comparably equipped competitors. The Mark LT has a smaller turning circle than the Dodge Ram Quad Cab.

State-of-the-art standard four-wheel disc brakes are large and powerful, and four-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic brake force distribution (EBD) are standard.

Towing Performance
The 5.4-liter, 3-valve Triton™ V-8 engine has ample low-end torque, and the sophisticated electronic throttle control is designed to provide seamless, instant response and consistent transmission shift quality at various altitudes and vehicle loading. With a towing capacity of 8,900 lbs. and payload capacity of 1,620 lbs., Lincoln’s Mark LT can tow anything from a horse trailer to a small yacht and carry all the gear needed to arrive in style.

Four-wheel-drive models use the proven electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case of the current

A Safe Journey
For safety, the Mark LT offers outstanding occupant protection with a structure designed to absorb and dissipate crash energy before it can reach the reinforced passenger compartment. Features such as Ford’s Personal Safety System™, occupant classification sensing and BeltMinder™ safety belt reminder system also help provide better protection than ever before.

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