The Lincoln LS may be a Lincoln, but if you think it's a rolling sofa, then you're way off the mark. This is Lincoln's most youthful car and it's no cushy-mobile. In styling, style and performance, the LS is fashioned in the image of a European sports sedan. The LS is aimed squarely at the import competition, and in a broad sense it covers the mark. One indication of that is that it uses rear-wheel drive, the first mark of a sports sedan, like those from Mercedes and BMW. Last year, the Lincoln LS benefited from major revisions, involving more than 500 new or redesigned parts. As a result, the LS feels more refined and more comfortable. Its V8 and V6 engines are more powerful and more sophisticated, benefiting from the addition of variable valve timing. The interior was improved substantially and now features an attractive platinum-colored center panel that has a look and feel of quality. Comfort and convenience were enhanced with power-adjustable pedals, increased center console space and an electronic parking brake. The biggest benefit was in the area of suspension tuning and a reinforced chassis, which improved handling and ride quality. The LS feels firmer, sportier, more European than before. The 2004 Lincoln LS is further improved. The five-speed automatic transmission has been upgraded for smoother shifting and engagement. Additional chassis improvements reduce noise, vibration and harshness in the cabin. And satellite radio is now available. Even the least expensive LS comes very well equipped. In the midsize sport-luxury market, few sedans can compete with the LS on the benefit-per-dollar scale.