Lincoln says its redesigned 2003 LS features more than 500 redesigned components and systems, not the least of which is more horsepower for both its V6 and V8 powerplants.
Due in showrooms late this year, the redone LS gets a 280-hp 3.9-liter V8 (up 28 hp thanks to variable intake valve timing), while the same technology boosts the 3.0-liter V6’s output by 12 hp to 232 hp. LS also receives the automotive industry’s first THX audio system, the movie theater sound system pioneered by filmmaker George Lucas.
The original 2000 LS, unveiled at the 1998 New York Auto Show, was the first modern Lincoln developed with an equal emphasis on athletic vehicle dynamics and passenger comfort and was named one of year's America’s Best by the readers of AutoWeek.
Brian Gowing, president of the Lincoln LS Owners Club, says, “Lincoln clearly listened to enthusiasts when they designed the LS – we can’t wait to drive the new car.” The club’s website is www.llsoc.com.
2003 LINCOLN LS OVERVIEW:
The following is information supplied from Lincoln about the 2003 LS
The LS 3.9-liter DOHC V-8 engine, which now incorporates variable intake valve timing, produces 28 more horsepower for a total of 280 hp, and 21 lbs.-ft. more torque for a total of 286 lbs.-ft. Some 250 lbs.-ft. of torque is available at only 2,000 rpm.
The LS 3.0-liter DOHC V-6 engine also adopts variable valve timing for a 12-horsepower increase to 232 hp and a 5 lbs.-ft. torque improvement to 220 lbs.-ft. A full 200 lbs.-ft. of torque is available at a low 2,500 rpm.
The V-6 engine’s horsepower is up 22 hp and torque is up 15 lbs.-ft. compared with the 2000-2001-model year engine, and it now ranks among the most powerful normally aspirated regular production 3.0-liter engines in the world.
Both engines are mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Sport models can be ordered with SelectShift™, which allows the driver to manually control up- and downshifts. SelectShift has been improved to allow the driver to manually select first gear at launch. The previous generation system required a wide-open throttle launch to engage first gear.
For smoother power delivery, both LS engines adopt an advanced electronic throttle control that measures the degree and rate of pedal travel, vehicle and engine speed, transmission gear selection and other factors to deliver exactly the acceleration requested by the driver. The LS system is far more precise and responsive than simple “pedal-follower” systems that electronically mimic a mechanical linkage, or systems that only modulate torque at the engine flywheel.
Combined city/highway fuel economy for both the V-6 and V-8 LS is expected to improve by as much as one mile per gallon, subject to final certification testing. The current rating is 18-mpg city and 25-mpg highway for the V-6 car with the standard five-speed automatic transmission (24.2 mpg combined) and 17-mpg city and 23-mpg highway for the V-8 car with the standard five-speed automatic transmission (22.3 mpg combined).
RIDE AND HANDLING:
Fuel economy, road feel, and noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) all improve thanks to a new speed-sensitive, variable assist ZF Servotronic II rack-and-pinion steering system and a new stiffer intermediate steering shaft. The combined unit is lighter, stiffer and has lower parasitic losses.
The LS suspension has new 16-inch aluminum wheels and wider P225/55VR16 Continental ContiTouring Contact all-season tires, which replace the previous car’s standard P215/60R16 tires. Other changes include larger diameter shock absorbers with greater tuning flexibility, lower front spring rates for improved ride and retuned stabilizer bars. The front bars have “grippy” bushings for reduced lateral compliance. The rear shocks now include rebound springs, which improve body control and handling stability. The lower control arm bushings and subframe mounts also are new for improved NVH.
The LS Sport suspension features new 17-inch aluminum wheels and P235/50VR17 Michelin MXM4 all-season tires. Sport models have higher damping rate shock absorbers and larger stabilizer bars to provide a more controlled ride and less body roll. In addition, the new ZF steering system is tuned for higher efforts for a more direct and sporty feel.
The software governing Lincoln’s AdvanceTrac™ traction and stability enhancement system now incorporates understeer control. Understeer control provides improved steering control and maneuverability on snow and ice and also in dry road emergency situations where high lateral accelerations are induced.
New adjustable pedals, revised brake boosters and a retuned pedal return spring provide lower brake efforts, improved pedal feel and better control of braking power. Sport models have aluminum rear calipers to reduce unsprung weight.
DESIGN AND PACKAGE:
With total interior volume of 104 cubic feet, the Lincoln LS has a roomier cabin than the Lexus LS430, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the Audi A6, the BMW 5 Series and the Cadillac CTS.
Interior stowage is two-and-half times greater, thanks to a redesigned center console, a new overhead console, larger in-door map pockets and other improvements. The center console alone is twice as large as the previous design, thanks in part to the LS’s new electric parking brake.
New, richer leathers are used for the seating surfaces and steering wheel, the carpeting is plusher and a new intricately textured fabric is used for the headliner.
Satin nickel accents and a choice of real American walnut burl, aluminum or ebony-colored trim with a gloss finish bring three distinctive themes to the cabin décor.
The exterior design refinements enhance the car’s athletic stance and clean, modern appearance. Changes to the front of the LS include a new interpretation of the signature Lincoln grille with a full-perimeter chrome surround, a simpler bumper fascia design and new lamps, including round fog lamps, turn signal lamps integrated into the headlamp cluster and available high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps.
At the rear of the car, the tail lamps and license plate surround have been redesigned for more vertical emphasis and a cleaner presentation of the Lincoln LS nomenclature. In addition, new chrome exhaust tips project through the bottom of the revised rear valence. There are new wheel options, including painted, polished or chrome aluminum wheels.
COMFORT AND ENTERTAINMENT:
Overall noise levels in the cabin at idle and during a 60 mph cruise are reduced by as much as three decibels. Sound quality – particularly under acceleration – also is improved, thanks to refinements in the car’s sound package, powertrain systems and body sealing. Overall air leakage into the cabin has been reduced by 20 percent.
Powertrain NVH improvements include new intake and exhaust system tuning, a revised V-8 engine timing chain, new V-6 and V-8 engine mounts with improved damping characteristics, a new lightweight axle and axle mount and new tubular axle half shafts.
New standard equipment includes:
One-touch up/down power windows for the driver and front passenger
A keyless entry keypad on driver’s door
Power-adjustable brake and accelerator pedals
A sliding center armrest that adjusts for different driver’s seat positions.
New optional equipment includes:
Heated and cooled driver and passenger seats that are linked to the electronic automatic climate control, and heated rear seats
Folding side mirrors that incorporate puddle lamps, which illuminate the front door area when a door is unlocked with the key fob or key pad, or when a door is opened
A one-touch open/close power moonroof
Second generation rain-sensing wipers
A new Extended Rear Park Assist system that sounds a warning chime if an obstacle is detected when reversing. This system, first introduced on the 2003 Lincoln Town Car and Navigator, uses two ultrasonic sensors and a hidden radar sensor to sweep the area behind the vehicle, and has a field of coverage up to 15 feet.
A touch-screen controlled navigation system is offered in conjunction with the THX-certified audio system
The navigation system, housed in the instrument panel’s center stack, stores maps of the entire United States and Canada on one DVD. The system’s 6.5-inch screen lifts electrically for access to a six-disc in-dash CD changer.
The THX-certified system includes an AM/FM receiver and in-dash six-disc CD changer. It has 10 speakers, including four high-sensitivity two-way speakers (one in each door) and two subwoofers in the rear package tray. A four-channel Class-H amplifier powers the door speakers. Total continuous power is 200 watts (average) with virtually no distortion. Total uncompressed burst power is 300 watts (average) with no perceptible distortion. Each subwoofer is driven by a 32-watt amplifier for high output without audible distortion or compression. Maximum sound output is 107 decibels (dB), and undistorted output peaks are in excess of 120 dB.
SAFETY AND SECURITY:
Today’s LS has earned impressive scores in government and insurance industry crash testing. In the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program, the LS received the maximum five-star rating for driver and front-passenger protection in frontal crashes. LS also earned a “Best Pick” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for its performance in offset frontal crash testing.
The core LS restraints package includes dual-stage driver and front-seat passenger air bags, three-point safety belts with pretensioners and load-limiting retractors, and front seat-mounted side air bags.
For 2003, new safety technology is available:
New brake assist systems that can reduce stopping distances in emergencies are standard equipment. In an emergency stop, these systems – which are electronically controlled on vehicles with AdvanceTrac and mechanically controlled on others – automatically apply full braking power even if the driver doesn’t apply enough pedal pressure to engage the anti-lock system.
A side curtain air bag system that deploys from the headliner and covers the front and rear side window area, coupled with side chest-protection air bags that deploy from the driver and front passenger seats, will be introduced during the 2003 model year.
LATCH (Lower Anchor and Tethers for Children) anchors now are fitted to the outboard rear seating positions to make properly securing a LATCH-compatible child safety seat easier.