It’s been a while since we posted anything about our favorite Lincoln: the Lincoln LS. Since Ford cancelled their most advanced rear wheel drive chassis ever, there hasn’t been much to post. However, we’re watching the news and this item caught our eye.
As our readers know, it was originally Ford’s intention to use the DEW98 platform (underpinning the LS, Thunderbird, and Jaguar S-Type) for an all-new Mustang. This aluminum-intensive platform features short/long arm coilovers at all 4 corners. It is Ford’s own analogy to the famous Nissan/Infiniti FM platform. The main problem with the platform for Ford was production cost: all the forged and cast aluminum pieces (including all three crossmembers) were expensive to build. Never mind that other manufacturers do it en masse, and use their luxury brands to pay the expenses for less-expensive mainstream cars (Infiniti hands the exact same platform down to the 370Z), Ford wasn’t capable of doing this. So there was a tremendous loss of potential when this platform was cancelled. And now that it’s 2011, this type of platform is exactly what Lincoln is missing.
Another problem was that Ford’s own 4.6 liter engines were just a tiny too wide to go into the platform from below with normal manufacturing methods (they would only fit from above). That question could have been resolved, but anybody wishing to build one on their own would have to drop it in from the top. And that speaks to a long-time interest of ours: if Ford couldn’t build an “SVT Lincoln LS” why not do it ourselves? A Cobra-based 4.6 liter DOHC V-8 and 6-speed transmission would approximate what Ford could have built and didn’t (Ford engineers privately built one example with a supercharged SOHC 4.6 and raced it in the Car & Driver One Lap of America series, although it had over-heating issues).
So we’ve been waiting for somebody to do a V-8 LS on their own… and someone finally did. Sort of. Instead of a proper Ford engine, they used a ubiquitous Chevy V-8. Hence, a “Lincoln LS1”.
The engine is a great fit, the hydraulic steering makes a swap easier, and therefore the only challenge is electrical.
You can follow the forum thread here, although as forum threads too-often do this one quickly devolved into Ford-vs-Chevy nonsense: http://www.lincolnvscadillac.com/showthread.php?t=71103.