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New Y2K Four-Door Pickups

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'99 Blackwood

San Francisco:  It seems that the rest of vehicle buying public is now realizing what those in the construction, utility and agricultural industry have known for years. The four-door pickup or crew cab combines the best features of a four-door sedan and a pickup. Therefore, several automakers will be introducing light-duty four-door pickups in 1999. Indeed, a new name has been coined for this new type of vehicle - the "sport utility truck" or SUT - aimed at the buyer who wants both a SUV and a pickup in a single vehicle.

Dodge was the first to offer an extended cab with four doors. This was the full-size Ram Quad Cab, which debuted in the fall of 1997. It was an instant success. Now Dodge has unveiled a Quad Cab version of the smaller Dakota as a year 2000 model. Not only are the rear doors full-size, they are hinged at the front rather than in "suicide" fashion like found on the competition. Indeed, with the wider, split folding rear seats and up to six-passenger capacity, this is essentially a crew cab. The Quad Cab features a cargo box that is over five feet long. The Dakota Quad Cab will appear in dealers' showrooms in the fourth quarter of 1999.

Also appearing this fall, is a new Nissan four-door version of the Frontier. Actually, it is not really a new development, but the introduction of a model sold in other countries that now will be offered in the U.S. Four-door pickups are popular overseas especially in Australia and South America since they can be used for both work and carrying the family.

Ford has already announced its model year 2000 F-150 Crew Cab. Ford is also expanding its Explorer family with the Explorer Sport Trac, basically an Explorer with a pickup box. From the C-pillar forward, the Explorer Sport Trac is a five-passenger SUV. But, behind the rear passenger seat, there is a cargo bed. The bed may remain open or can be closed with a lockable, foldable, hard tonneau cover. Explorer Sport Trac will be available in 4x2 and 4x4 configurations starting later in the year or early next year. It will feature a 204-horsepower, 4.0-liter SOHC V-6 mated to an electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission.

With the popularity of pickups, every dealer wants pickup models to sell -- even Lincoln dealers. Thus the reason for the new Lincoln Blackwood, which is a pickup that combines the comforts of a luxury four-door, four-passenger sedan, with the go anywhere capabilities of a SUV and the convenience and versatility of a pickup. The Blackwood will be based on the popular Lincoln Navigator SUV with a small cargo box behind the C-pillar. Ford has not announced an introduction date or specifications, but undoubtedly it will be powered by the new 5.4-liter, 260-horsepower, DOHC V8 used in the Navigator. By Bill Siuru AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

Lincoln Mercury Home Page

Byline:  By Bill Siuru AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Column Name:  New Y2K Four-Door Pickups
Topic:  Y2K Quad Cab Pickups
Word Count:   480
Photo Caption:  2000 Lincoln Blackwood
Photo Credits:   Lincoln Mercury PR
Series #:   1999 - 15

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