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Lincoln LS: A Princely Powerhouse
BY MARTHA HINDES AND MYRON STOKES



Are they loco? Here's an automobile that is svelte and sexy, has the grip of a mountain cat, the intelligence of a space module and styling that would shame European royalty. And they call it Lincoln, American luxury.

What ever happened to the rest of the world that Ford was looking at when it designed the Lincoln LS to be a world car?

Yes, that was before Ford bought out Volvo cars for their noble Scandinavian breeding and class, to help lift the Number Two auto company out of its heavily American mold. And yes, it's a segment that has formidable competition in the shape of Mercedes, BMW and other stellar international nameplates.

But this is the LS, the pampered, coddled and decidedly independent thoroughbred at the top of the Lincoln line, conceived and brought forth in championship form. Let's rethink that description for a moment.

What’s in a Name?

According to critics who give "import" special status right out of the chute before it is earned, we had no reason to expect this kind of car with - after all - an American nameplate. But we got it just the same. This is an extraordinary Lincoln in no uncertain terms.

Someone was on the right track at Ford this time. There were engineers who bent steel and strength into a sleek, nimble frame and formed a no-excuses, rear-drive powerhouse with an impressive zero-to-60 between 7 and 7.5 seconds depending on the model, and a top speed "in excess" of 145-miles-an-hour (in Germany with Z rated tires, according to Ford honchos).

There were the designers who knew when enough was enough and left the look clean and inviting. And there were the seers - those who foretell what deliciously futuristic gadgets will tease the most discriminating of appetites before they're created out of ideas - who weren't clouded by the mundane.

Even the financial folks must have kept their distance this time, allowing the vehicle to emerge as it should be and not what it almost could have been. Where did that message get lost?

It is - according to one perplexed enthusiast - "sort of like being handed an F-15 Eagle and having it marketed as a Sopwith Camel."

Apparently the folks who dream up these pearls of wisdom have never been behind the wheel of the LS. Pity. From the perspective of driving 90-miles-an-hour on a twisting, winding five-mile course of wet truck gravel, this is one automobile not to be trifled with.

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