Another of its thoroughly American traits is the Blackwood’s buttery yet brawny 5.4 liter dohc V-8 putting 300 bhp into harness at 5000 rpm and backing it up with no less than 355 lb.-ft. of torque at 2750 rpm. Fully 90 percent of this torque is available from 1700 rpm right up to 4700; the potent powertrain is rounded out with a 4-speed automatic transmission and 3.73:1 final drive ratio. Blackwood’s four bucket seats (black, naturally) are faced in Connolly leather, perforated to allow circulation of heated or cool air, either of which is served up by a dedicated fan and heat pump system. The roomy interior is accessed by four full size doors, and entertainment by an Alpine audio system in concert with seven speakers, including sub-woofers, and an in-dash 6 CD changer. Switches in an overhead console actuate the power moonroof and the cargo trunk’s crowd pleasing power tonneau cover, an industry first. When the blackwood concept was introduced at the 1999 Los Angeles auto show, one of its more striking feature was the exotic African Wenge wood trim on the trunk’s exterior.
For durability reasons, the wood is gone in production, replaced by three dimensional composite material that, thanks to a photo laminate process, is a visual clone of the rare timber. The trunk’s stainless steel trimmed interior is accessed by a pair of side hinged Dutch doors. As luxurious a utility vehicle as you will ever find, the cushy riding Blackwood’s only available option is a GPS based navigation system.