2000 LS New Car Test Drive
So, you're dreaming of owning a BMW or a Jaguar. Why? Because you want a luxury sports sedan with great handling and a manual transmission. But, your budget doesn't allow you to pay more than $35,000. You're in luck. There's a new car in town. It can compete with BMW and Jaguar. And it's a Lincoln. That's right, a Lincoln.
The all-new Lincoln LS is aimed squarely at the BMW 5-series and hits its target right on. And it costs about $10,000 less. If you've never thought of owning a Lincoln, read on. You might change your mind.
Lincoln doesn't call them models, but there are several drivetrain combinations available for the LS. Two engines are available, a 3.0-liter V6 and a 3.9-liter V8.
The 3.0-liter V6 engine produces 210 horsepower. Amazingly, this model is available with an optional five-speed manual transmission; it's the first time a manual gearbox has been seen in a Lincoln since 1951. The only manufacturer to offer a manual transmission in this class, besides Lincoln, is BMW. Neither Jaguar, Lexus nor Mercedes-Benz offers a manual in their U.S. models. Admittedly, only 13 percent of BMW 5 Series buyers opt for a manual transmission, but nonetheless this distinction positions the Lincoln LS as a sportier model than most luxury sedans.
Most Lincoln buyers will opt for an automatic transmission, however. The V6 comes with a choice of two: a 5-speed electronically controlled automatic or a special SelectShift automatic that allows manual gear shifting without a clutch. The SelectShift system is similar to the Tiptronic and other semi-automatic transmissions used by Porsche, Audi, Lexus and Acura.
The 3.9-liter V8 engine produces 252 horsepower. It is available with the 5-speed electronically controlled automatic or the 5-speed SelectShift automatic; the manual transmission is not available with the V8.
All LS models are available with a sport package that includes 17-inch wheels, a modified suspension and variable-assist steering. It is included with the manual transmission and the optional SelectShift automatic transmission.
One of the most exciting aspects of the Lincoln LS is its pricing. With the V6, the LS costs $31,450, which is several thousand dollars less than comparable luxury models. The V6 with a manual transmission and the sport package costs $32,250. Ordered with the V8, the LS costs $35,225.
There are not a lot of options. The Sport package with the SelectShift automatic transmission adds $1,000, a convenience package including memory driver's seat, a universal garage door opener and a few other items costs $850. AdvanceTrac anti-slip traction control system adds $725 to the total bill while a power moonroof costs $995.