We have information you must know before you buy the Mark VIII.
We want to send it to you, along with other pricing insights.
We will not spam you, and will never sell your email.
In the 40-odd years since its inception, Lincoln's Mark series has come to represent the marriage of driver-pampering luxury and potent sport coupe road prowess.
When it was introduced in 1993, Lincoln's current incarnation, the Mark VIII, continued that tradition--from the plush, landed-gentry refinement of its cabin to its highway-gobbling 280-hp V8 engine.
Now, with a host of new features, restyled body panels, a new interior and some technological advances, the Mark VIII has once again topped itself.
Where do we begin? Let's start with the Mark's innovative new lighting system, including High-Density Discharge headlamps that deliver 2.7 times more reflective light than standard lamps--meaning the driver sees things easier and sooner. And the Mark VIII's use of a neon tube taillamp system--an industry first that was pioneered in the Ford Explorer--allows following drivers to significantly reduce their stopping distance.
In addition, Lincoln designers have replaced the Mark's plastic hood with an aluminum one, enlarged the grille, modified the exhaust tips, and added new front and rear fascias, along with new quarter panels. There's more. The trademark rear-end tire hump, recalling the first Continental of 1940, is now more subtle, and six new hues have been added to the color chart.
The Mark's interior has also been redesigned, with several new touches--a power-tilt steering column with memory, burled-walnut door trim, power-adjusted lumbar-support, luxury instrument panel, and leather-trimmed armrests.
Two trim levels are offered--the standard Mark VIII and the sportier LSC (Luxury Sport Coupe). The hue of our LSC test model was dubbed Opal Opalascent. In less poetic English, it was a handsomely creamy off-white.
Our LSC tester's base price was $38,880. It came equipped with several options: A $1515 power moonroof, a $670 trunk-mounted CD changer, a $300 tri-coat paint treatment, $290 heated seats and two no-charge options--front floor mats and electronic traction assist. The $670 destination charge boosted the total cost to $42,325.
On a more functional level, the '97 Mark engine features a new air intake system, which has been relocated further away from the driver's cabin. Those changes, in concert with improvements in body insulation and sealing, combine to significantly reduce engine noise.
Meanwhile, the new coil-on-plug ignition system--in which each spark plug has its own coil--helps extend tune-up intervals to 100,000 miles--presuming, of course, normal driving conditions and regular fluid changes.
The 4.6-liter twincam 32-valve InTech V8 engine sends 280 horsepower to the rear wheels on the standard Mark VIII, and 290 on the LSC. That added up to plenty of launch power in our test car, as well as excellent response at highway-passing speeds.
And make no mistake--when it comes to handling, cornering and weavy lane-changes, the Mark VIII is light years away from its floaty Town Car cousin. Thanks to its new speed-sensitive variable-assist steering, new all-speed traction control, larger front stabilizer bars and retuned shocks, the LSC proudly lived up to its sport-coupe credentials, as it nimbly and confidently negotiated twisty country roads north of Detroit.
In the luxury sport-coupe market--where the Mark VIII contends primarily with the Cadillac Eldorado and the Lexus SC 400--designers are always looking for new ways to simultaneously pamper the driver, make an elegant styling statement and boost the car's sport-performance capabilities.
With its myriad changes and improvements for '97--the inventive lighting system, message center enhancements, more responsive steering, smoother ride, and further damping of noise and vibration--the Mark VIII succeeds on all fronts.