Lincoln Mark VIII

The Lincoln Mark VIII is a large, rear-wheel drive grand touring luxury coupe built from 1992 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.

The Mark VIII was a larger car than its predecessor, the Mark VII, being about five inches longer at 207.3 inches and nearly four inches wider at 74.8 inches. 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).

Development of the Mark VIII (FN-10) began in 1984, with a projected 1990 release. Design work began in 1986 and was orientated 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.

"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 freeze 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.

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 1992 to facilitate retooling for October production commencement of the Mark VIII.

Source: Wikipedia, 2014

Lincoln Mark VIII