It's well known that the early 80s saw American auto manufacturers aiming not so much for one another, but rather wanting to be compared to the increasingly popular and more sophisticated European marques. Ford Motor Company's Euro-inspired campaigns began in the 70s with its attempts to bring over the Ford Capri, and was solidified by the launch of the Fox platform in 1978. This carried over to seemingly every new Fox-based model. The design of the all new 1984 Lincoln Mark VII was made not only with the traditional Lincoln buyer in mind, but with an eye on the likes of Mercedes.
This particular article, from the August, 1983 Motor Trend issue, discusses the intentions, successes and shortcomings of the Mark VII LSC. Differences between the Luxury Sport Coupe and the base Mark VII are mentioned to some degree. Also included is a history of the Continental and Mark series as well as an overview of the Electronically Controlled Air Suspension (EAS) that debuted in the Mark that year.
Garnering praise was the more reserved, cleaner styling of the Mark VII versus its bigger, boxier predecessor. The LSC had subtle visual changes to reflect the idea that this was a performance-minded luxury car rather than luxury with performance styling. While even now, the Mark VIIs lines are still considered attractive, even muscular, this design exercise was plunging into the unknown when taking into account Lincoln's traditional customers and the look those buyers had come to expect. It was a completely new direction and therefore not without risk. Thankfully, the experiment was a success, seeing this body style continue through the 1992 model year.
When planning the Lincoln Mark VII LSC, the intended point of comparison for road feel and grip was the Mercedes-Benz 380SEL, not Cadillac as one might expect. The LSC received a larger anti-roll bar and higher effort steering in an attempt to give a more confident and European ride quality. Unfortunately, FoMoCo did not allow for an independent rear suspension, and instead opted for the EAS as a means of compromise. Whether this particular innovation was a success or failure remains a point of debate among enthusiasts. Long-term owners, and especially those who have purchased a Mark VII used, have found the air bag suspension to be problematic and swapping out the EAS components for conventional springs is not at all unheard of.
To get the full story on what Motor Trend thought of the upcoming 84 Lincoln Mark VII LSC, click here
as the entire article is available for reading.