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Wealth Effect

Tow Test: Lincoln Blackwood

March 1, 2002
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Your portfolio is flush. Your mortgage is paid. You have every boat. But your accountant says you need to spend to help the economy. What you need is a Lincoln Blackwood-the only pickup truck expressly engineered for the dirty, rotten, filthy, stinking rich.

Only 10,000 are built annually. A heavily chromed grille, simulated-wood planking, sparkling 18″ wheels, and black-only paint job broadcast your prosperity. The neon-lit, stainless-steel-trimmed rear locker guards your gear. But this $52,500 trophy is also a willing servant, boasting a hearty 8,700-pound tow rating.

The Blackwood has a 300-hp, 5.4-liter V-8, four-speed automatic, and limited-slip rear axle. The chassis sports new suspension calibrations and a combination of leaf and air springs.

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Without a load, the Blackwood handles as well as an average pickup. There’s an enthusiastic lunge forward when you nail the gas, and the trip to 60 mph takes only 8.5 seconds. Steering response, however, is slow and the ride over potholed pavement feels rough.

We hooked up nearly two and a half tons of 26′ deep-V sportboat riding a tandem-axle trailer. The four-cam V-8 relished its added burden: The sprint from rest to cruising speed required only 16.4 seconds of full-throttle pull. But the ride didn’t settle down with a few hundred pounds of vertical load at the rear. The Blackwood capably maintains a dead-straight course but there’s constant body movement emanating from the rear.

There’s no four-wheel drive or low-range gear offered but that posed no problem at the launch ramp. The combination of electronic traction control, limited-slip differential, and big-boot Michelins does the job. Gun the throttle, let the driveline manage its own traction, and the boat and trailer rise easily out of the water.

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The cargo-hold cover seals tightly and rises at the touch of the key fob, but I found the presentation to be funereal. With only 1’2″ of vertical clearance and lavish trim over every surface, this is not the place to stash oily outboards or soiled fuel tanks.

MODEL LINCOLN BLACKWOOD
Engine 5.4-liter DOHC V-8
Net hp/rpm 300/5000
Net torque (ft-lb/rpm) 355/2750
Transmission 4-speed automatic
Suspension Front control arms, coil springs
Suspension Rear rigid axle, leaf and air springs
Brakes (front/rear) disc/disc standard 4-wheel ABS
Tires Michelin CrossTerrain, P275/55SR-18 M+S
Wheelbase (in.) 138.5
Length (in.) 220.2
Width (in.) 78.0
Height (in.) 73.6
Curb weight (lbs.) 5,580
Towing capacity (lbs.) 8,700
Cargo capacity (max. cu. ft.) 26.5
Fuel capacity (gal.) 25.0
0-60mph acceleration (without/with 4,840-lb. towed load, sec.) 8.5/16.4
0-60mph stopping distance (without/with 4,840-lb. towed load, ft.) 153/256
Observed towing fuel economy (avg. mpg) 9.0
Price (estimated) $52,500

Inside, the mood is dark and the small rear seat is split by a console that’s so large you could almost sit in it.

LAST WORD. More proof that the rich are different from you and me.

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