Lincoln Mark VIII

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Lincoln Mark VIII
Mark VIII.JPG
A 1993 Lincoln Mark VIII (black) and a 1997 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC (Toreador Red): These represent the first and second generations of the FN10 platform, respectively.
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production October 1993–August 1998
Assembly Wixom Assembly Plant Wixom, Michigan, USA
Designer Kyu Kim (1991)
Body and chassis
Class Personal luxury car
Body style 2-door coupe
Layout FR layout
Platform Ford FN platform
Powertrain
Engine Intech 4.6 L 280 hp (210 kW) V8
Intech 4.6 L 290 hp (220 kW) V8
Transmission 4-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 113.0 in (2,870 mm)
Length 1993–1994: 206.9 in (5,255 mm)
1995–1996: 207.3 in (5,265 mm)
1997–1998: 207.2 in (5,263 mm)
Width 1993–1994: 74.6 in (1,895 mm)
1995–1996: 74.8 in (1,900 mm)
1997—1998:
Height 53.6 in (1,361 mm)
Curb weight 3,757 lb (1,704 kg)
Chronology
Predecessor Lincoln Mark VII
Successor Lincoln LS V8
See Lincoln Mark series for a complete overview of the Lincoln Mark Series.

The Lincoln Mark VIII is a large, rear-wheel drive grand touring luxury coupe built from 1993 to 1998. It was the successor of the Mark VII. The Mark VIII was built at Ford's Wixom, Michigan assembly plant and was based on the FN10 platform, a relative of the MN12 platform which underpinned the 1989–1997 Ford Thunderbird and Mercury Cougar.

As the demand for large two-door luxury coupes declined in the late 1990s, the Mark VIII was discontinued after the 1998 model year without a direct replacement; its role in the Lincoln lineup would be largely taken over by the V8-powered version of the Lincoln LS (which would also supersede the Continental). As of 2014, the Mark VIII is currently the last of the Mark-Series Lincolns.

Development[edit]

Interior of a 1998 Mark VIII, other model years are similar

Development of the Mark VIII (FN-10) began in 1984, with a projected 1990 release. Design work began in 1986 and was oriented towards evolutionary changes. By 1987, Lincoln designers began to place more emphasis on interior design, as ordered by then Ford design director Dave Rees. In the autumn of 1988, FN-10 development was pushed and went through several revisions. This was done to further develop a more precise product to accommodate the use of a DOHC modular engine, using the upcoming MN12 platform due to be launched in December 1988.

Having seen designs of upcoming models from competitors, Ford ordered a radical redesign, a great departure from any previous Lincolns, while still maintaining Mark lineage cues. By November 1988, under Ford designer Kyu Kim, Ford designers came up with a design named "Stretch I". Stretch I had to overall shape of the production car, featuring scalloped sides, full length, taillights, the spare-tire hump, and waterfall grille, but was devoid of chrome, had small c-pillars, a full length headlight setup, two air-inlets on the front bumper, and taillights that flowed upward on the sides rather than downward on the production car. A clay mockup of Stretch I was finalized within four weeks.[1]

"Stretch I" was shown in 1:1 scale in clay to Lincoln executives on December 12, 1988. In being appalled by the design, the executives ordered several changes to the exterior. As a result, "Stretch II" was created during early 1989, by adding chrome in several places and moderately revising the front and rear end treatments. Stretch II represented about 70 percent of the finished product, as small details were continually revised up to mid-1989. The final design phase of the FN-10 Mark VIII occurred in mid-1989, scheduled for an April 1992 start of production and June 1992 launch as a 1993 model year vehicle.[2]

FN-10 prototype mules in modified Ford Thunderbird and Mercury Cougar bodies began road-testing in 1990. Full-body prototypes later commenced road-testing in the first half of 1991. In February 1991, launch was delayed by 6 months to December 1992. The 1993 Mark VIII was unveiled by the press in March 1992 and officially introduced to the public on November 18, 1992 at an Hotel Mark in New York City. Production of the 1992 Mark VII ended at the Wixom Plant in April 1993 to facilitate retooling for October production commencement of the Mark VIII.[3][4][5][6][7]

Model History[edit]

The 1993 Mark VIII was a larger car than its predecessor, being about five inches longer and nearly four inches wider than the Mark VII. The car also had a wheelbase of 113.0 inches (2,870 mm), over four inches (102 mm) longer than the Mark VII's, which afforded greater interior space and ride quality. In spite of its larger overall size, the Mark VIII's base curb weight was slightly lighter than the Mark VII at a little over 3,750 lb (1,700 kg).

Engine bay of a 1996 Mark VIII with the 4.6L "InTech" V8

Like the Mark VII, the Mark VIII featured a unibody construction with a high-strength roof capable of withstanding 5000 lbs of force,[8] heavy-gauge steel door beams to protect against side impacts, front and rear crumple zones, dual front-side airbags and four-wheel antilock disc brakes. Like the similar Thunderbird and Cougar, the Mark VIII featured a short-long arm (SLA) four-wheel independent suspension with front and rear stabilizer bars and a standard computer-controlled air suspension with sensors to automatically lower the ride height at high speed, enhancing the car's aerodynamic efficiency. Powering the Mark VIII was an all-new, all-aluminum 4.6 L DOHC 32-valve V8. The engine was the first of its kind in Ford's Modular engine family. The 4.6 L V8 produced 280 hp (210 kW) @ 5500 rpm and 285 lb·ft (386 N·m) of torque @ 4500 rpm and required premium grade 91-octane fuel for optimum performance. Handling the V8's power was the 4R70W 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. The Mark VIII's rear axle ratio was 3.08:1. The Mark VIII also featured standard chrome dual exhaust tips and 16-inch cast aluminum wheels.[9]

The Mark VIII features a 140-mph speedometer, an electronic message center (giving time, compass heading, fuel efficiency, engine oil life, and various other vehicle-related warnings and information), automatic climate control, cruise control, leather seating surfaces, six-way power driver and passenger seats with power lumbar supports, a two-position memory for the power driver's seat, power door locks, heated power mirrors, power windows with a driver's-side express-down feature, illuminated keyless entry with remote, automatic headlamps, an AM/FM stereo-cassette radio, and an automatic power antenna. Options included a power moonroof, electrochromic automatic dimming mirrors (which filtered out headlight glare from behind), an AM/FM stereo-CD player, a 10-disc CD changer, and a JBL speaker system.[10][11]

For 1995, the Mark VIII received a slightly updated instrument panel along with a new radio design. Arriving midyear was a new LSC (Luxury Sport Coupe) model. A retuned version of the standard 4.6 L DOHC V8, now marketed under the name InTech regardless of model, with a true dual exhaust, produced 290 hp (220 kW) @ 5750 rpm and 295 lb·ft (400 N·m) of torque @ 4500 rpm. The Mark VIII LSC used the same 4R70W automatic transmission as the standard Mark VIII, but featured a more aggressive rear axle ratio of 3.27:1. The brochure for the 1995 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC claims underestimated a zero to 60 mph acceleration time of 7.5 seconds. Though many drivers have recorded much lower times with stock LSC cars of both generations, between 6.8-7.2 0-60 and 14.7-15.1 quarter mile times. The LSC featured unique body colors, distinct rear decklid badging, perforated leather seat inserts, and floormats. The bright chrome inserts normally found in the body-side moulding and bumper on the Mark VIII were replaced with monochrome body color inserts on the LSC. The 1995 Mark VIII LSC also marked the first domestic use of HID headlights.[12]

A Diamond Anniversary package was offered on the 1996 Mark VIII to commemorate Lincoln's 75th anniversary. It featured "Diamond Anniversary" badging, leather seats, voice-activated cellular phone, JBL audio system, auto electrochromatic dimming mirror with compass, and traction control.

Facelift (1997)[edit]

1997 Lincoln Mark VIII
1998 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC

Development of an updated FN-10 began in 1993, with a design freeze occurring in November 1994. The first prototypes were built in September 1995, testing into mid-1996. In September 1996, Alcan Aluminum Limited won a bid to supply hoods for the revised FN-10. In the autumn of 1996, the Mark VIII received a significant facelift since its 1993 debut, featuring smoother, more rounded front and rear fascias and a larger grille. The car's hood was now aluminum (versus plastic before) and the trunk carried a more subtle version of the "spare tire hump" associated with earlier Mark Series cars. HID headlamps became standard and were placed in larger housings compared to earlier models. A neon brake light ran across the rear decklid. Side mirrors now came with puddle lamps, which, upon unlocking the doors, illuminated the ground for the driver and passengers to see when entering the car. The side-view mirror housings also incorporated flashing LED turn signal lamps to warn other drivers of an intended lane change or turn. The interior included 'theater lighting', which softly illuminated the driver's controls and handles. The 4.6 L InTech V8 carried on as before, but now came with a distributorless coil-on-plug ignition system, eliminating the use of high-voltage spark plug wires. Some of the internal components of the 4R70W automatic transmission were reinforced for greater durability and reliability in late 1997 models and all 1998 models. LSC models had firmer shocks and larger stabilizer bars for even better handling and control. All-speed traction control was now standard, and could be deactivated via the onboard systems status computer when desired.[13][14]

Toward the end of Mark VIII production, Lincoln offered two personalized "specialty" models: the Spring Feature and the Collector's Edition. Mark VIII production ended with the 1998 model year. The last one rolled off the assembly line on August 10, 1998. The newly introduced mid-sized Lincoln LS served as a proper replacement for the Mark VIII.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.mark8.00freehost.com/history.html
  2. ^ http://www.mark8.00freehost.com/thestretches.html
  3. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=0uQDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA117&dq=mark+viii+spy&hl=en&sa=X&ei=0qvTUvbQNYXLsASzu4KYDA&ved=0CFgQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=mark%20viii%20spy&f=false
  4. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=feMDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA84&dq=mark+viii+spy&hl=en&sa=X&ei=0qvTUvbQNYXLsASzu4KYDA&ved=0CD0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=mark%20viii%20spy&f=false
  5. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=M-MDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA94&dq=mark+viii+spy&hl=en&sa=X&ei=mazTUo7pLMi3sASVwoCQDA&ved=0CEgQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=mark%20viii%20spy&f=false
  6. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=ruMDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA122&dq=mark+viii+spy&hl=en&sa=X&ei=mazTUo7pLMi3sASVwoCQDA&ved=0CEQQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=mark%20viii%20spy&f=false
  7. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/1992/11/22/sports/about-cars-with-a-new-v8-lincoln-introduces-an-all-new-mark-viii.html
  8. ^ Ford Motor Company. 1993 Lincoln Mark VIII, page 12. 1993. MarkVIII.org. http://www.markviii.org/LOD2/1993brochure/FrameSet.htm
  9. ^ Ford Motor Company. 1993 Lincoln Mark VIII, pages 12-17. 1993. MarkVIII.org. http://www.markviii.org/LOD2/1993brochure/FrameSet.htm
  10. ^ Ford Motor Company. 1993 Lincoln Mark VIII, pages 18-19. 1993. MarkVIII.org. Sales began on December 26, 1992. http://www.markviii.org/LOD2/1993brochure/FrameSet.htm
  11. ^ http://www.mark8.00freehost.com/history.html
  12. ^ Ford Motor Company. LSC: Luxury and Performance. 1995. MarkVIII.org. http://www.markviii.org/LOD2/1995lsc_brochures/FrameSet.htm
  13. ^ http://www.linkedin.com/pub/mark-sheldon/10/b1b/392
  14. ^ Keebler, Jack. "Lincoln Mark VIII - First Drive." Motor Trend. 1997.

External links[edit]

  • MarkVIII.org One of the original sites dedicated to the Lincoln Mark VIII. Active message board to help with troubleshooting, and classified for parts and cars.