The Lincoln LS was a great start in an effort to revive the struggling premium brand. Unfortunately, Lincoln never bothered to build a direct replacement.
Ok, so some of you may find yourselves wondering why a Lincoln LS is being thought of as something old. It's not really that old, going on sale in 1999 as a 2000 model. But it only remained on the market until 2006, and to this day has failed to receive a rear-wheel-drive successor. That very fact is a clear sign that Lincoln was and perhaps still is facing an identity crisis. The LS was a great start to transforming the typically lackluster brand into something interesting.
Based on a rear-wheel-drive platform shared with the Jaguar S-Type and the reborn and retro Ford Thunderbird, the LS was the first vehicle built by Ford in many years that actually had a chance of stealing away BMW and/or Audi buyers. Of course the LS wasn't without its faults, chief amongst them being it didn't quite have the same refinement as its German competitors. But still, the combination of RWD and a decently powerful V8 engine in an American-built sport sedan was a very attractive combination. As with today's MKZ, the LS was designed to appeal to a younger generation of buyers.
These are the ones who have absolutely no interest in driving a yacht-sized Continental, Town Car or anything else of that ilk. The LS came with a standard 3.0-liter V6 with 210 horsepower and was paired up with either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. For the enthusiasts, however, the clear choice was the optional 3.9-liter V8 with 252 hp, although it could only be had with the automatic because the manual couldn't handle the high torque ouput. The V8 model's performance was also respectable for the time, going from a standstill to 60 mph in just over seven seconds.
The LS's exterior design was nice but not exciting, yet it was still a huge improvement over anything else in Lincoln showrooms. The interior was also simple but it had a sporty enough character that even BMW owners could live with. Overall, the Lincoln LS was such a dramatic turn from what the brand normally produced that it won Motor Trend's coveted "Car of the Year Award" in 2000. When compared to its Jaguar S-Type cousin, the LS was without question the better car in terms of both looks and value. When the LS was refreshed in 2003, the V8's output was increased to 280 hp and performance obviously benefited as well.
When it entered its final production year in 2006, Lincoln dropped the V6 due to slow sales and also because of Ford's plan to end LS production entirely. But instead of building a second generation model, Lincoln went right back into the futile business of making lame rebadged Fords. And people wonder why Lincoln, especially when compared to Cadillac, is still having a hard time getting back on track today. This 2006 Lincoln LS that's being offered for sale on eBay is fully loaded with all of the luxury features available at the time. It also has the naturally aspirated V8 engine under the hood and 77,000 miles on the clock.
Considering this example is from the final model year, most of the car's quirks were more than likely sorted out, making this LS a pretty good find for anyone in the market for a decent sport sedan with respectable power. It's still a shame that Lincoln never cared enough to build a proper LS successor because the best it can do when it comes to performance is the nice but unexciting turbocharged MKS.