Lincoln Mark VIII LSC blends luxury with sporty performance
Date Posted: 5/10/2005
Mark VIII, Lincoln's showcase performance car, spawns a serious sports edition labeled LSC -- Luxury Sport Coupe.
The view from curbside looks absolutely stunning. An extended prow slinks low to the slit-eye glint of narrow headlamps defined by horizontal strips of chrome, then fluid forms blur with motion into a monochromic statement that speaks of slickness, power and, yes, speed.
From behind the wheel the view changes to swoopy shapes of a cockpit stocked with high-tech hardware in curvy spaces carved from luxurious dimensions for driver and rider.
In sweeping panorama the driver's eye takes in an array of analog gauges clustered in the forward recessed panel or center stack of controls for climate and stereo sound.
Fingers of the right fist wrap across the tactile surface of a broad shifter knob which protrudes from contours of a central console, while fingers on the left lock to the leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Crank up all that throaty horsepower, pull shift lever down to forward gear, then go ahead: Floor the thing.
That big V8 roars, rear V-rated Michelin rubber protests, and all that sensuously shaped sheetmetal leaps to action. Shoulders sink deep into soft folds of a leather bucket, suspension elements kick back in taut and sporty ride sensation, and yards of blacktop pavement pass at an ever-increasing rate as speed builds.
The speedometer's white needle passes the notch of 60 mph after 6.6 seconds, then exceeds 100 in 17.
When road contortions occur, this car's 4-wheel independent suspension elements combine with a stiff chassis and quick variable-assist rack and pinion steering to tame such lateral warps.
Big brake discs, keyed to anti-lock controls, promise tight reins when conditions demand.
But when experienced from within the coupe, those agile movements and fast-paced actions seem effortlessly attained in light of insulated quietness and luxurious appointments whose mission it is to coddle and comfort.
That duality of attributes -- heady performance and luxurious comfort -- reaches to the heart of LSC.
It is that rare automobile, styled like a dramatic supercar and geared for exciting action but outfitted opulently to create a push cabin that pampers.
Consider it a personal statement of luxury and power reserved exclusively for those few individuals who can afford two doors instead of the conventional four.
The Mark's badge has long been an elite symbol of sporty luxury, American-style, from the Lincoln-Mercury Division of Ford Motor Company.
An earlier edition, 1984's Mark VII, provided a performance version labeled LSC, and these initials were revived recently to continue Lincoln's tradition of beefing up its sporty coupe.
The LSC edition of Mark VIII rolled out late in the 1995 line and will be offered in limited numbers for 1996.
Outward distinction between Mark VIII and LSC may be seen in the monochromatic color scheme of the new model, although to find the most noteworthy difference you must inspect the exhaust systems.
Both versions carry twin exhaust pipes in back, yet LSC uses a dual system, one for each bank of four cylinders. This generates additional breathing room for the engine and ultimately produces more power and torque.
Horsepower runs to 280 on the base Mark VIII but climbs to 290 for LSC.
The plant, Ford's 4.6-liter V8 with aluminum block and heads, has 4-cam configuration and four valves per cylinder.
It connects to a 4-speed automatic transmission with electronic controls and overdrive feature.
Mark VIII's standard issue wears a rear axle whose ratio measures to 3.07 but LSC has a version with ratio of 3.27-to-1. The abbreviated axle for LSC, when combined with its boost of horsepower and torque, results in significantly different pavement performance.
All editions contain an independent suspension system with front short and long arm arrangement and rear isolated subframe with upper control arms and lower H-shaped arms.
On LSC these suspension elements tune for performance.
For instance, front and rear anti-roll bars expand one millimeter in diameter, while damping increases in the gas-pressurized shock absorbers.
Drive both Mark VIII and the LSC and you will detect a firmness in the sporty version's ride quality.
The changes become most obvious when cornering because LSC checks lateral motion of the car body, which sets up more precise control for the driver.
High-intensity Luminarc low-beam headlamps and optional chrome added to the wheels complete the serious look of LSC's exterior.
Inside LSC, surfaces of all seats receive Euro-style perforated leather.
The twin front bucket seats of all Mark VIII models get 6-way power controls, while in the rear the seat features spaces sculptured for two.
A traction control system tied to throttle and brake becomes one of Mark VIII's few options.
The touring package includes the traction control feature before adding JBL audio sound equipment, trunk-mounted compact disc changer and electrochromatic mirrors inside and out that dim automatically.
To commemorate Lincoln's 75th year in 1996, the Mark VIII also provides a special Diamond Anniversary edition clad in signature paint and decorated with anniversary symbols etched in glass and carpet.
Safety systems now included as standard in every Lincoln extend from dual airbags to the 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, steel bracing in doors, and front and rear crash-absorption zones.
Pricing for Lincoln's Mark VIII personal luxury coupe begins around $39,000.
Special editions like LSC bump beyond $43,000.
1996 LINCOLN MARK VIII LSC
| Vehicle Specifications:
| 1996 LINCOLN MARK VIII Specs
||Mid-size luxury coupe
| Model Options:
||Mid-size luxury coupe
| Overall Length:
| Engine Size:
||QOHC 4.6-L V8 32v
| Gas Mileage:
||$ 39,000 to $ 44,000