Completely redesigned and re-engineered last year, the Lincoln Town Car is softer and quieter than any of the European luxury cars. Lincoln Mercury has one of the highest loyalty and repurchase rates in the industry. Now the division wants to lure buyers away from Cadillac and Lexus. Lincoln Mercury moved its headquarters to Irvine, California, last year to get out of Ford's shadow and establish its own identity. Even before that happened, this newest generation Town Car was being designed at Ford's California facility. And it shows with a trimmer look and rounded lines that replace the square, formal lines of the previous generation. For 1999, side air bags have been added to the Town Car. A new Alpine stereo comes standard, and Executive models come with new door trim and a new rear center armrest with cupholders. Five new paint colors are available. Cadillac's DeVille is the direct competition for the Town Car. But there are a number of smaller European and Japanese cars in the $40,000 luxury sedan bracket: Acura 3.5 RL, BMW 528i, Lexus GS 400, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.