Lincoln and Mercury For 1998
By Carey Russ
There is a new look at Lincoln for 1998. When the Navigator, Lincoln's first sport-utility, was introduced midway through the 1997 calendar year, it sported a massive chrome grille. For 1998, all Lincolns except the Mark VIII LSC sports coupe have bold chrome grilles. The Town Car and Continental have had major revisions. All 1998 Lincolns have new depowered airbags.
The traditionalist's Lincoln is almost a completely new car for 1998. The bold new exterior styling, a re-engineered frame and suspension, and a revised interior are designed to attract a new generation of customers as well as appeal to current Town Car owners. This is the Town Car for the 21st Century.
The 1998 Lincoln Town Car has contemporary classic styling, dominated by its large, chromed waterfall grille and flanking multielement headlamps. It combines rounded forms and crisp edges for a new look. Inside, it has a 6-passenger capacity, with redesigned seats that provide more support. The trunk has room for four sets of golf clubs.
As has been traditional in full-sized American cars, the 1998 Town Car is has a V8 engine driving the rear wheels. Untraditionally, it's a 4.6-liter overhead cam engine, with 200 horsepower or 220 in the more performance-oriented trim levels. Also untraditionally, the suspension has been engineered to provide a higher level of handling precision than in the past while not compromising ride comfort.
The front-wheel drive Continental has had major revisions for 1998, with more than 400 enhancements from its bright new grille to the larger, more distinctive taillights. It's the same size as before, but its proportions and styling have changed. Shorter in the front and longer in the rear, it is bolder and more aerodynamic in appearance.
Interior and trunk space have been increased. A new, suede- covered instrument panel, an improved ventilation system, and revised interior trim add to the Continental's luxury and convenience.
The 4.6-liter dual overhead cam "InTech" V8 engine has electronic and mechanical upgrades that improve performance. Calibration of the standard suspension has been changed to increase comfort, and the optional "Driver Select System" features an adjustable semi-active suspension. The Continental has standard antilock brakes and all-speed traction control.
Lincoln's entry into the premium sport-utility field came with the introduction of the 1998 Navigator in mid-1997. It has quickly established itself at the luxury end of the SUV field.
The Navigator has a comprehensive list of standard equipment including a 230-horsepower 5.4-liter overhead cam V8, 4-speed automatic transmission, load-leveling air suspension, 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, and very British-looking leather and burled walnut interior trim. The optional "Control Trac" 4-wheel drive system enables the Navigator to bring civilization to uncivilized places.
After receiving significant exterior styling and lighting updates last year, Lincoln's V8-powered sports-luxury coupe has minor interior revisions for 1998. It continues to be offered in standard and high- performance LSC trim.