Consumer Car News: 4/29/02

April 29, 2002

Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln division will join the procession of carmakers looking to spice up their offerings with some serious performance. Senior company officials tell TheCarConnection that Lincoln will launch a 400-horsepower version of the rear-drive LS sedan, most likely in early to mid-2004. It will be powered by the automaker's modular V-8, but in this case, the engine will be upgraded from 4.6 liters to 5.0 liters. It will be mated to the same six-speed ZF gearbox found in the new 388-hp Jaguar S-Type R, according to current plans. Don't be surprised, sources add, to see the high-performance motor show up in other Lincoln products, including the Navigator, Aviator and even the Town Car. There's a contest underway among the luxury division's employees to come up with a name for the new line of products. The current front-runner is "Emerald Series," which refers to the fact that as part of the effort to create a consistent brand "DNA," Lincoln has adopted a black background behind its gun sight logo. The performance models might be visually distinguished by using a green background, along with other subtle body tweaks. As TCC recently reported, Cadillac has its own performance series under development, with a Corvette-powered version of the CTS, tentatively dubbed CTSi, due to debut early next year. McLaren is also doing a hi-po LS of its own, and showed the vehicle at the New York show.
CTSi: Caddy Sets Sights on M5 by TCC Team (4/22/2002)


AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction survey for 2002 places some brands in its winning lineup for the first time — and finds GM topping the Big Three. The survey, which seeks to measure buyer/lessee satisfaction with new cars, is topped this year by Cadillac and Lexus, and the top vehicle overall was the Lexus LS430 sedan. GM picked up five top slots, while Toyota scored nine, best of all brands. Kia makes its first mark on the list with the Sedona minivan. The category winners as released by AutoPacific include:


Compact Car                     Volkswagen Beetle

Mid-Size Car                      Hyundai Sonata

Premium Mid-Size Car         Nissan Altima

Contemporary Luxury Car    Lexus ES 300

Luxury/Large Car                Cadillac DeVille  (tied) (repeat winner)

                                               Toyota Avalon     (tied) (repeat winner)

Premium Luxury Car           Lexus LS 430             (repeat winner)

Sporty Car                        Mercury Cougar

Sports Car                        Lexus SC 430

AWD Sport Wagon              Volvo V70XC

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