Meant to attract a younger, luxury-minded audience, Lincoln's LS sedan received suspension revisions to improve noise, vibration and harshness for the 2004 model year. Power-adjustable pedals joined the options list for 2005. Side curtain-type airbags and extended rear parking assist were made optional for all LS models. Lincoln said the automatic transmission was modified to produce smoother shifts.
A simplified 2006 lineup includes just one model: the V-8 Sport. Some design elements from last year's LSE Appearance Package, including a chrome grille with body-colored surround, round fog lamps and body-colored rear license-plate trim, have been incorporated into the 2006 sedan. Two new 17-inch wheel designs are available. Optional Elite and Premium packages make popular equipment available.
Introduced for the 2000 model year, the rear-wheel-drive LS sedan is based on the same platform as the Jaguar S-Type. Competitors include the Acura TL, Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and Lexus' ES 330, GS 300 and GS 430.
Like Lincoln's larger Town Car sedan, the LS has a vertical-bar grille with a full-perimeter chrome surround. Unlike the rounded, sweeping shape of the S-Type, the LS has a gentle slope to its roof pillars and a slight wedge profile overall. One-piece rocker moldings are installed. High-intensity-discharge headlights and a moonroof are optional.
Lincoln claims near 50/50 weight distribution for the LS, which features a sport-tuned suspension. Riding a 114.5-inch wheelbase, the LS is 194.4 inches long overall, 73.2 inches wide and 56.4 inches tall. The Town Car is nearly 22 inches longer. Five-spoke aluminum wheels hold 17-inch tires.
The five-passenger LS sedan has front bucket seats and a floor-mounted gearshift lever. Leather seating surfaces are standard. The interior is trimmed with aluminum accents or real American walnut burl. The front seats have ample space for tall occupants, with standard power adjustment and lumbar support. A power tilt/telescoping steering column helps tailor the driving position.
Backseat passengers also have adequate room, but the middle rear position is higher, harder and impaired by the tall drive-shaft tunnel. Split, rear seatbacks fold down for additional cargo space. The trunk has a long, wide floor and is easy to load, but it holds a relatively modest 13.5 cubic feet of cargo.
Standard features include dual-zone automatic temperature control with air filtration, a cassette/CD stereo and an electric parking brake. Heated and cooled front seats are available, and an optional navigation system includes Soundmark THX-Certified audio.
Under the Hood
Only one engine is available for 2006: a 3.9-liter V-8 that cranks out 280 horsepower and 286 pounds-feet of torque. Lincoln no longer offers V-6 power. The V-8 uses premium fuel and teams with a five-speed-automatic transmission that incorporates a SelectShift provision for manually selectable gear changes.
Side-impact airbags for the front seats, antilock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution and all-speed traction control are standard. An AdvanceTrac electronic stability system and side curtain-type airbags are available. Rear parking assist is optional.