- The Washington Times - Friday, October 25, 2002

Since its inception, this sporty and compact sedan has given buyers an additional reason to look toward Lincoln for their transportation needs. One of the biggest reasons is that they get Lincoln luxury along with a sporty, less limo-like sedan, one that can actually be fun to drive.
Not that other Lincolns aren't enjoyable, it is that they are not necessarily vehicles that people equate to being sporty.
The freshening that the LS has received has given the car more power and better handling characteristics. This has added abilities and raised the fun factor on this Lincoln.
One of the main components in raising this fun quotient is the increased power from the changes Lincoln made to both available engines.
The aluminum V-6 now produces 232 horsepower and 220 foot-pounds of torque and the V-8, which is also all aluminum, makes 280 horsepower and 286 foot-pounds of torque. Most of this increase can be attributed to a new, variable valve timing system that breathes better response into these engines.
It isn't just the power in these engines but the smooth and quiet manner in which they transfer it to the road that makes them notable, particularly the V-8. This engine is quite a piece of work. And, while it may not be the power leader in the realm of V-8 engines, it does it in a splendid manner.
I did note a bit of delay in the throttle response during the transition between lifting off the throttle and on to heavy acceleration.
This was noted while testing the LS on the Mid-Ohio race track, under very demanding conditions. It is not something you would notice during normal driving. Going along with the increase in performance are a reworked suspension and steering systems that add to the enjoyment. The suspension system improves this Lincoln's handling abilities while maintaining a comfort that is expected of a vehicle of this caliber.
One of the features of new cars that I have a difficult time justifying is the electronic stability control systems. The major reason is as Lincoln officials put it, "It makes an average driver feel as though they are a good driver." On one side this is good, on another, questionable at best.
When confronted with an emergency situation, these electronic systems reduce the possibility of an accident. But, on the other, does it make an average driver so overconfident that he drives over his abilities, perhaps getting into a grave situation.
While we can't solve that quandary here, it is something to think about as we delve deeper and deeper into electronic vehicle-assist features. Even though the LS is much more sporty and enjoyable to drive, it is no less a Lincoln, which means that it is also a luxury automobile.
Giving the LS even more luxury for 2003 is a redesigned interior that adds new storage areas buyers asked for and richer leather on the seats and steering wheel.
The carpet is plusher and the interior has rich wood and satin nickel trim. All of these changes give the passenger compartment a more luxurious appearance.
With the LS sedan, Lincoln takes another step toward satisfying buyers' desires to have European handling and performance in an American luxury car. The new LS takes another step or two closer to that goal and gives buyers a vehicle that can be considered a driver's car.

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