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1997 Lincoln Mark VIII Review
Bold and innovative luxury.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 1997 Lincoln Mark VIII approaches the dynamic between luxury vehicle and sports car from a different angle than most of the competition. Rather than adding a larger engine to a luxury vehicle or premium features to a sports car, the Mark VIII gets designed from the ground up as a luxury sport coupe.
On the luxury side, the Lincoln Mark VIII offers an excellent range of features that satisfy almost every driver. The standard features list looks more robust than many luxury vehicles, although the options list comes up a little shorter. The Mark VIII offers a smooth, comfortable ride with numerous luxury features at the fingertips of the driver.
On the sport side, the Lincoln Mark VIII offers fast acceleration and a reasonable top speed thanks to the 4.6-liter, eight-cylinder engine. It does not move quite as fast or well as higher-end sports cars, but the Mark VIII still offers a very enjoyable drive, especially when pushing it to its limits. Only a handful of vehicles offer the same performance and luxury features.
Engines: 4.6-liter eight-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Lincoln Mark VIII, Lincoln Mark VIII LSC
The interior and exterior of the 1997 Lincoln Mark VIII gets slightly redesigned from previous models, although it seems difficult to spot some of the differences unless the two sit side by side. The main change concerns the lighting. The 1997 Lincoln Mark VIII comes equipped with innovative high-intensity and neon lighting.
The Lincoln Mark VIII classifies as a two-door coupe measuring 207.3 inches long, with a wheelbase of 113 inches. The Mark VIII looks unusually large for a coupe and larger than most sedans. In fact, it measures an inch longer than the Lincoln Continental sedan. Standard features include power heated mirrors, keyless entry, and an anti-theft alarm system. Chrome wheels and a power moonroof remain available as options. High-intensity discharge front headlamps, cornering lamps, neon rear appliqué lighting, and puddle lamps give the Mark VIII far better lighting than most vehicles.
Despite the performance focus, the Lincoln Mark VIII has a luxurious interior that actually offers more standard features than the Lincoln Continental. Power leather seats, cruise control, remote trunk release, an overhead console, leather trim, automatic climate control, auto-dimming mirrors, JBL audio, and a CD player come standard. A CD changer, heated seats, a cassette player, and a cellular phone remain available as optional features. The interior features of the Mark VIII and Continental do not completely overlap, so both vehicles have distinct interiors regardless of option selection.
Despite the size of the 1997 Lincoln Mark VIII, it has a cramped rear seat, similar to most coupes. This seems a little unexpected since it is larger than many sedans. However, it seldom breaks the deal for the target buyer. In addition, the rear seat feels less cramped than in most sports cars and coupes.
Performance & Handling
The Lincoln Mark VIII contains the same engine and measures in at roughly the same size as the Lincoln Continental. Unexpectedly, the 1997 Lincoln Mark VIII offers slightly faster acceleration and better handling than the already impressive Continental. While the Mark VIII does not reach the same acceleration or top speed as a true sports car, it easily outperforms most other vehicles. In addition, the performance of the Mark VIII does not suffer at normal driving speeds, like many high-performance vehicles.
The 1997 Lincoln Mark VIII has the same focus on safety as the rest of the Lincoln lineup. Dual front airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, and traction control come standard. The high-intensity lighting offers two safety advances. Drivers can see much better at night, including faults in the roadway that might be more difficult to spot with traditional lighting. The brightly lit Mark VIII also appears to other drivers more easily, which saves it from some careless drivers at night. The performance of the Lincoln Mark VIII also allows drivers to proactively avoid danger that would be unavoidable for lower-performance cars.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Powerful eight-cylinder engine
- Smooth ride
- Unusual focus on sport performance for a luxury vehicle
You Won't Like
- Cramped rear seat
Bold and innovative luxury.
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