The Lincoln LS is a four-door, five-passenger luxury sedan that was manufactured by the Lincoln division of Ford Motor Company. The LS was introduced in June 1999 as a 2000 model-year vehicle with either a V6 engine (which was offered with a manual transmission) or a V8 engine, both featuring rear-wheel drive and near 50/50 weight distribution.
2000-2002 Lincoln LS
|Manufacturer||The Lincoln Motor Company (Ford Motor Company)|
|Assembly||Wixom, Michigan, U.S.|
|Designer||Helmuth Schrader (1995)|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Mid-size Luxury car|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Platform||Ford DEW98 platform|
|Engine||3.0 L Jaguar AJ / (Ford Duratec) V6 (gasoline)|
3.9 L Jaguar AJ V8 (gasoline)
|Transmission||2000–2002 Getrag 221 5-speed manual|
2000–2002 Ford 5R55N 5-speed automatic
2003–2006 Ford 5R55S 5-speed automatic w/ SelectShift
|Wheelbase||114.5 in (2908 mm)|
|Length||2000–2005: 193.9 in (4,925 mm)|
2006: 194.3 in (4,935 mm)
|Width||73.2 in (1,859 mm)|
|Height||2000–2002: 57.2 in (1,453 mm)|
2003–2006: 56.1 in (1,425 mm)
|Curb weight||3692 lb (1675 kg)|
The LS shared the Ford DEW98 platform, along with the Jaguar S-Type and the Ford Thunderbird. The Lincoln LS was originally to be marketed in two versions: the LS6 and the LS8 (the names had reflected the vehicle's engine sizes), however, Toyota's Lexus division became concerned about the potential name confusion with its Lexus LS and Lincoln ended up using only the name "LS".
Trim levels ranged from the base V6 model to the Special Edition V8 LSE trims in 2004, which featured revised front and rear fascia, taillights and foglights, and front grille.
LS models were manufactured at Ford's Wixom Assembly Plant until production ended on April 3, 2006 and the plant was idled as part of Ford's The Way Forward. Approximately 262,900 LS models were manufactured, including 2,331 manual transmission V6 models, and 1,500 LSE editions.
In 1999, the LS debuted as Lincoln's first rear-wheel drive sport luxury sedan for the 2000 model year, under influence from the newly established Premier Automotive Group. In designing the LS to be competitive in its segment (which was also shared with its domestic rival, the Cadillac Catera, which debuted in 1996), Helmuth Schrader, the LS' German-born chief designer, said of the car, "In a segment defined and dominated by BMW and Mercedes, the car had to have a functional, no-nonsense look. This redefines the Lincoln brand, but we still had to make sure it was recognizable as a member of the same family as the Town Car, Continental, Mark VIII, and the Navigator." Heeding this insight, the LS featured an understated, well-proportioned exterior design with squared rectangular fog lights. The body was tightly sculpted with short front and rear overhangs to emphasize an athletic appearance while well-rounded wheel housings were intentionally made small to suggest that the car's wheels were larger than their actual size. The greenhouse of the LS offered spacious headroom and was accentuated by a smoothly arched roofline. Completing the exterior were chrome accents on the front and rear fascias and a waterfall grille.
Relative to the exterior, the interior of the LS bore a stronger resemblance to the S-Type, with a similar dashboard layout, gauges, and controls. The interior of the LS was simple, straightforward, and comfortable. Large gauges were designed to convey sportiness, while other controls, such as audio and climate controls, were positioned in the car's center stack for convenience to both the driver and the front passenger. The steering wheel could be wood- and leather-wrapped while wood accents continued around the interior on the door panels and dashboard area. Leather seating surfaces were standard and the front power bucket seats were bolstered for a firm feel like the LS' European competitors. Other standard interior features included power windows, power door locks with keyless entry, power heated mirrors, automatic headlights, air conditioning with automatic climate control, cruise control, and an AM/FM cassette radio. Some of the available options included a six-disc in-dash CD changer (only accessible through the glove box initially; changed on later models), a power moonroof, and a universal garage door opener.
As mentioned above, the Lincoln LS shared a platform and equipment with the Jaguar S-Type. The DEW98 platform on which the cars were based was a rigid chassis that featured independent double wishbone (short-long arm; SLA) front and rear suspensions for excellent handling and ride quality. Enhancing ride quality further, as well as increasing interior space, was the LS' large 114.5-inch (2,910 mm) wheelbase. Four-wheel antilock disc brakes were standard while Ford's AdvanceTrac traction control system was available as an option for improved driving control. A number of suspension components, as well as the hood, decklid, and front fenders, used aluminum to save weight. The LS came with standard 16-inch alloy wheels while 17-inch wheels were available through an optional sport package. The sport package for only an extra $1000.00, gave a stiffer suspension, 17-inch rims and a "slap shift" selecter. The battery of the LS was positioned in the spare tire well inside the car's trunk because too little room for it was left in the engine bay. However, moving the heavy battery and its interconnecting cables to the rear of the vehicle contributed to its near-50/50 weight distribution.
The base LS was powered by an all-aluminum 3.0 L DOHC V6 that was a variant of the Jaguar AJ-V6 engine. Optional in the LS was an all-aluminum 3.9 L DOHC V8, a shorter-stroke variant of the Jaguar 4.0 L AJ-26 V8. The V8 was not offered as a manual because the Getrag could not handle the torque produced. Both engines required premium-grade gasoline for optimum performance. Ford's 5R55S five-speed automatic transmission with an optional manual shift ability called SelectShift was standard with either engine, while a Getrag 221 five-speed manual transmission was available for V6-equipped LS models through an optional sport package. Automatic transmission-equipped cars featured a 3.58:1 rear-axle ratio, while manual transmission-equipped versions came with a 3.07:1 rear-axle ratio. The available manual transmission made the LS the first Lincoln since the 1951 Cosmopolitan to have this option. In spite of this, Lincoln stopped production of the manual-transmission model LS after 2002 due to low sales figures; only 2,331 were produced. Road tests by Motor Trend and Car and Driver found that a V8-equipped LS could accelerate from zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) in the low seven-second range, while V6 models were up to two seconds slower in the same test.
The LS was named Motor Trend's Car of the Year for 2000, and was nominated for the North American Car of the Year award, as well. Early 2000 LS models included a full-sized spare tire. This was changed (starting in February 2000) to a space-saving spare tire, to reduce weight to keep the car in the mid-size class per government specifications. However, the spare tire well in all LS models still has space for a full-sized spare.
The powertrain control module in 2000-2002 automatic transmission models with the SelectShift option originally would not allow the car to start off in first gear when shifting manually (the car started in second gear). It would quickly shift to first gear, however, if the throttle were depressed more than 60%. Second-gear starts were programmed to meet fuel economy regulations as required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This was changed in 2003 when the regulations were amended and first-gear starts were permitted.
In 2002, the LSE (Limited Special Edition) package was introduced in V6 and V8 versions, with a revised fascia including round fog lamp openings and a special metallic grille treatment, and with enlarged lower body rocker panels, special wheels, and twin dual-exhaust tailpipes. Also for 2002, V6-equipped LS models gained 10 hp (7.5 kW) and 10 lb⋅ft (14 N⋅m) of torque.
|Years||Model||Engine||Power||Torque||Fuel Economy, City/Hwy||Transmission|
|2000–2001||LS V6||2,967 cc (3 L; 181 cu in) Jaguar AJ V6||210 hp (157 kW) @ 6500 rpm||205 lb⋅ft (278 N⋅m) @ 4750 rpm||18 mpg‑US (13 L/100 km; 22 mpg‑imp) / 25 mpg‑US (9.4 L/100 km; 30 mpg‑imp)||Getrag 221 manual & 5R55N automatic|
|2002||LS V6||2,967 cc (3 L; 181 cu in) Jaguar AJ V6||220 hp (164 kW) @ 6400 rpm||215 lb⋅ft (292 N⋅m) @ 4800 rpm||18 mpg‑US (13 L/100 km; 22 mpg‑imp) / 25 mpg‑US (9.4 L/100 km; 30 mpg‑imp)||Getrag 221 manual & 5R55N automatic|
|2000–2002||LS V8||3,934 cc (3.9 L; 240.1 cu in) Jaguar AJ-V8||252 hp (188 kW) @ 6100 rpm||267 lb⋅ft (362 N⋅m) @ 4300 rpm||17 mpg‑US (14 L/100 km; 20 mpg‑imp) / 23 mpg‑US (10 L/100 km; 28 mpg‑imp)||5R55N automatic|
The Lincoln LS received its first, and only, major refresh for 2003, coinciding with Lincoln's then-new "Travel Well" ad campaign. The exterior received a slight facelift, with HID headlamps (optional), and a revised trunklid with new taillights. For the powertrains, both available engines received a boost in power and torque, as well as slightly improved fuel efficiency. The 3.0 L DOHC V6 with which the LS was introduced now featured continuously variable intake cam timing, improved variable-length intake runners, and electronic "drive-by-wire" throttle control (which replaced the traditional mechanical cable-linked throttle control system used previously). The optional 3.9 L DOHC V8 with which the LS was also introduced received variable exhaust-valve timing. Due to its upgraded design, the 3.9 L V8 now produced over 87% of its peak torque output at only 2000 rpm and cars equipped with the V8 could now accelerate from zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) in around 6.5 seconds. Other notable additions to the LS included an electronic push-button parking brake (similar to that of the BMW E65 7 Series), replacing the traditional center console-mounted hand lever (or foot pedal), a touchscreen DVD satellite navigation map system, and an industry-first, 10-speaker THX-certified sound system. LSE versions were also available in the 2004 and 2005 model years, with unique fascia, unique 17-inch wheels, all-red tail lights, a color-keyed grille, unique floormats, and additional wood paneling in the interior.
Earlier LS models had a mechanical engine cooling fan that was operated with a hydraulic pump because the electrical charging system did not have sufficient capacity to effectively power an electric fan. Later on, due to an improved alternator design, the fan was changed to an electric version for the 2003-2006 models.
The 2003-2006 GPS navigation system uses a DVD player mounted in the trunk (under the package tray) to contain the map data.
For the 2006 model year, the LS received a minor facelift, which resembled the LSE fascia and body treatments used in previous model years. The V6-powered model was dropped from the lineup due to poor sales volume and as a part of Ford's plan to discontinue the LS altogether. As a result of this change in the lineup, the base MSRP for the Lincoln LS increased from $32,370 in 2004 to $39,285.
In spite of Ford's initial success with the LS, a lack of meaningful updates to the car prevented it from staying competitive and, ultimately, caused sales to plummet. The LS went from a peak of over 51,000 cars sold in 2000 to less than 9,000 sold in its abbreviated 2006 model year. Given this situation and Ford having no interest in further investments into the LS in favor of other products for Lincoln, production of the Lincoln LS at the Wixom plant was ended in April 2006. The Wixom plant itself was idled a year later. The de facto replacement for the LS was the front-wheel drive Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ.
|Years||Model||Engine||Power||Torque||Fuel Economy, City/Hwy||Transmission|
|2003–2005||LS V6||2,967 cc (3.0 L; 181.1 cu in) Jaguar AJ V6||232 hp (173 kW) @ 6750 rpm||220 lb⋅ft (298 N⋅m) @ 4500 rpm||20 mpg‑US (12 L/100 km; 24 mpg‑imp) / 26 mpg‑US (9.0 L/100 km; 31 mpg‑imp)||5R55S automatic|
|2003–2006||LS V8||3,934 cc (3.9 L; 240.1 cu in) Jaguar AJ-V8||280 hp (209 kW) @ 6000 rpm||286 lb⋅ft (388 N⋅m) @ 4000 rpm||18 mpg‑US (13 L/100 km; 22 mpg‑imp) / 25 mpg‑US (9.4 L/100 km; 30 mpg‑imp)||5R55S automatic|
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.”
Model naming controversyEdit
Lincoln originally intended to designate LS models as "LS6" and "LS8", depending on the engine size option. Toyota threatened a trademark infringement lawsuit, due to the similar naming scheme used on the Lexus LS, while at the same time, Ford threatened a lawsuit regarding the Toyota T150 concept, arguing that the name was too close to that of the F150. Lincoln settled on designating the cars as "LS V6" and "LS V8" and Toyota changed the name of their pickup truck to the Tundra.
- 1999 Lincoln introduced the LS as a 2000 model with a blend of luxury and sport to attract a new generation of buyers to the Lincoln brand.
- 2000 Motor Trend magazine named the LS “Car of the Year”.
- 2001 LS earned double five-star frontal safety ratings from the federal government.
- 2003 More than 500 improvements included a power increase, design changes, and interior updates.
- 2004 LS earned a “Best Pick” safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
- 2006 LS production ended in April, after 262,900 are built over 7 years.
|Calendar year||American sales|
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