New & Used Lincoln LS: In Depth
2001 Lincoln LSEnlarge Photo
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The Lincoln LS was a rear-drive, luxury sedan sold from the 2000 to 2006 model years. Based on an architecture shared with Jaguar's S-Type, the LS effectively replaced the Lincoln Continental in the brand's lineup, and effectively was replaced by the Lincoln MKZ at the end of its run.
Aimed directly at European mid-size luxury four-doors from BMW and Mercedes, the Lincoln LS was one of the first results of Ford's attempts to unite a global empire that included Jaguar, Volvo, Aston Martin, and Land Rover. The DEW98 platform was shared with the Jaguar S-Type, and the LS' powertrains were selected for import-fighting duty, too. A base 3.0-liter six-cylinder with 210 horsepower could be paired with a five-speed manual shifter; a five-speed automatic was also available with the V-6, and came standard with the Jaguar-derived, 252-hp, 3.9-liter V-8.
Also on tap: speed-sensing variable-assist rack and pinion steering and four-wheel disc brakes with computerized anti-lock controls and electronic brake distribution, as well as an available stability control system to help correct potentially dangerous driving mistakes.
The clean styling of the LS was purposefully penned as elegant and understated, with short overhangs, an exaggerated wheelbase and a wide track. Inside, the LS' cabin wore a leather-lined, international theme, with firmly bolstered front bucket seats and a rear bench with twin sculptured spaces. Glossy wood trim lined the dash and doors and console, while classic analog instruments - including a tachometer - nestled in the instrument panel.
The LS proved to be an athletic performer, one with the flavor of firm and responsive European sports sedans. With a price in the low $30,000, the LS met most of its competitors head-on in terms of agility, power, and comfort.
The newest Lincoln was accurately developed as an import-fighter, but sales were slow nonetheless. In the 2003 model year, Ford tried to boost its credentials with a makeover that included an improved suspension, new steering tuning, more power from both engines, “drive-by-wire” electronic throttle control, and new brake boosters with emergency brake assist. The six-cylinder's output rose to 232 hp; the eight, to 280 hp. However, the five-speed manual model was dropped.
Sales continued to be slow, and by 2005, the LS was on the wane. Lincoln added curtain airbags and power-adjustable pedals--and then announced it would drop the LS after the 2006 model year.
The LS would be replaced by a slightly smaller sedan, the Lincoln MKZ, which has gone on to become the most popular vehicle in the brand's stable.