The Lincoln LS (for "Luxury Sport") is a midsize, rear wheel drive entry-level luxury car from Lincoln. It shares the Ford DEW98 platform with the Jaguar S-Type and Ford Thunderbird. It competes with the BMW 3 Series, Lexus ES, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Acura TL, Infiniti G35 and Cadillac CTS. LS versions were originally to be dubbed LS6 and LS8 depending on engine choice, but those designations were replaced with "LS V6" and "LS V8", to avoid confusion with Lexus nameplate trademarks. The car is, however, usually referred to as simply the LS.
The LS was introduced in early 1999 as a 2000 model year. It was the first Lincoln in decades to offer an optional manual transmission. With its available V8 power, rear wheel drive, and near 50/50 weight distribution, the LS was an attractive alternative to European and Japanese sports sedans.
Prices for the LS for the 2000 to 2004 model years ranged from just under $30,000 for a base V6 model in 1999, to around $45,000 for fully equipped Special Edition V8 LSE trims in 2004. In 2005 and 2006, prices ranged from $39,945 for a base V8 model to $49,100 for a top-of-the-line V8 LS. Elimination of the entry level V6 version produced the pricing level changes for 2006, moving the LS from the entry-level luxury segment to the mid-level luxury segment, effectively changing its closest competitors to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Cadillac STS, BMW 5-Series, Infiniti M45, Acura RL and Lexus GS.
Production of the LS ended on April 3, 2006. All Lincoln LS models were manufactured at Ford's Wixom Assembly Plant which will be idled in 2007, as part of The Way Forward. About 262,900 LS models were built.
Lincoln LS 2000-2002
The LS debuted with a 3.0L V6 and optional 3.9 L V8. The 3.0 L V6 was a variant of the Ford Duratec 30 engine, and was available with either a manual or automatic transmission (both 5-speed; with automatic transmissions having a manual-shift option). The 3.9 L V8 engine was an all-aluminum variation of the 4.0 L Jaguar AJ-V8 engine. The LS was named Motor Trend's Car of the Year in its debut, and was nominated for the North American Car of the Year award as well. Because of its sporting nature and driver's appeal, the LS garnered a great deal of interest among enthusiasts, resulting in the formation of several online clubs dedicated to the car.
In 2002, the LSE (Special Edition) package was introduced in V6 and V8 versions, with a revised facia including round fog lamp openings and a special metallic grille treatment, and with enlarged lower body rocker panels, all red taillights, special wheels, and twin-dual exhaust tailpipes.
Lincoln LS 2003-2006
The car was freshened for 2003 (mainly due to the discontinuation of the Continental), and the engines received a boost in power, with the addition of an electronic throttle controller and accelerator pedal, replacing the traditional mechanical cable-linked system. The exterior received a slight facelift, with new taillights and a slightly revised trunklid. The interior remained largely the same with only the steering wheel and center console receiving updates. One notable addition was the first electronic push-button parking brake installed in a production car, replacing the traditional center console mounted hand lever; another was a new THX-certified sound system, the first in an automobile. Limited special edition LSE versions were also available, with revised facia, body panels, wheels, and exhaust tailpipe treatments.
For the 2006 model year, the LS received a minor facelift, which resembled the LSE facia and body treatments used in previous model years. The V6-powered model was dropped from the lineup with the introduction of the Lincoln Zephyr. . As a result of this change in the lineup, the base MSRP for the Lincoln LS increased from roughly $32,000 in 2004 to $39,945, moving the LS from the entry-level luxury segment into the mid-luxury segment.
Ford announced that it would halt production of the V8-powered LS in April 2006. It is rumored that a replacement, based on the Lincoln MKS from the Ford/Volvo D3 platform, is scheduled for the 2007 or 2008 model years.
Lincoln LS Safety
The Lincoln LS has received very high marks in occupant protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has rated the LS as a "Best Pick" with a perfect score in their frontal offset crash test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the LS almost perfect scores in its side impact and rollover tests. In fact, CNBC rated the LS as “one of the five safest cars of all time.”
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Lincoln LS ".