It was origionally a crown vic chasis, we worked with jag to try an implement a platform based on the crown vic and it wouldnt meet the pedestrian saftey tests. Due to the right hand drive layout the chasis was substantially weaker and they had alot of problems with the front foot wells rising being pushed into the cabin.
The Panther (Crown Vic) is a separate frame car, and much larger than the S type (In fact, it's larger than the XJ). Unless you can prove otherwise, all my Jag and Ford sources have shown that the DEW platform for the S and Lincoln LS was a clean sheet, and that it was the original design spec for the LS AND S type, and that the Panther platform was never even brought up, as that was teh old chassis and they wanted a lighter, smaller car to START with. Even the SAE (Society for Automotive Engieering) has never made mention of that in engineering papers on the car (which I used to get back in the day. Development work was being done before I moved from Seattle to Baltimore, and I don't have with my most of my older reference material to scan). Nick Barter never mentioned it, even though he unabashedly talked about the links with Ford on deveopment of the car.
According to the Lincoln LS product developers Chet Dhruna, Matthew List, and Jaime Venezia, "The Lincoln Town car is a large, full-frame, rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan and shares its chassis and drive train with the Mercury Grand Marquis and Ford Crown Victoria. It is often associated with limousine use. The Town Car has a very plush and soft ride. The driver is as totally removed from the outside conditions as is possible. The seats are cushiony but not particularly supportive and the trunk and rear seats are expansive. It is “traditional” in styling and demographic. We wanted something completely different for the LS, so we sarted from scratch, and created the DEW98 platform.
DEW98 is the industry term used to identify the chassis that the Lincoln LS sits upon. (It is actually a name used by Ford to identify the project that developed this chassis.) This platform was co-developed in the 1990’s by Lincoln and Ford’s newly acquired subsidiary, Jaguar. The two companies teamed to create an entirely new chassis that would be the foundation for a class of sport-sedans that would compete with the best in the world. Currently, there are three vehicles that employ this chassis – the Lincoln LS, The Jaguar S-Type, and the Ford Thunderbird. Each of these cars, therefore, shares a common chassis and suspension. They also share very similar engines, transmissions, and other mechanicals. As a result of this shared heritage, these cars boast a fully independent suspension, unitized construction, rear wheel drive, aluminum unequal length A-arms, anti-dive/anti-lift geometry, front and rear stabilizer bars, and near 50/50 weight distribution for neutral balance.
When Ford engineers set out to create the Lincoln LS, they wanted to produce a car with world class driving dynamics, excellent ride and handling, and accessories and creature comforts that people have come to expect from a Lincoln. To achieve these goals, the Ford engineers decided to use a front-engine/rear-drive layout with a weight distribution as close as 50/50 as possible. These two design attributes are at the core of the engineering built into every Lincoln LS, and translate into one of the best handling, best riding cars in the world.
The foundation for good weight distribution, excellent crash protection, and great handling is a sound body structure. Ford used Cray supercomputers to develop a body that is stiff enough to provide a firm foundation for the suspension yet able to absorb crash impacts. The body uses a double rail and double torque-box lower design that is stiff against twisting and lateral forces, but helps dissipate impact loads in front or rear collisions. The 5-mph bumper beams also add to the torsional rigidity of the LS. Other safety measures include side door beams and a fuel tank located beneath the rear seat where it is protected by the rear subframe. Computer simulation helped position the high-strength steel where it would be most effective for both safety and stiffness. Even the weld locations were optimized with the use of computer modeling. The result is a body structure with a first-mode bending natural frequency of 24 Hz and a first-mode torsional natural frequency of 29 Hz (the higher the value, the stiffer the body and the less it is affected by powertrain, wind, or road noises)."
I think your missing the point, it was droped in europe with out taking into account the wiggly roads and layout diffrences. The higher traffic volumes etc etc. Thats what made it unsafe.
We have just as high traffic volumes as Europe, and we have some of the twistiest roads areond, as well. I drove an Explorer on California Route 1 north of San Francisco and had no problems. If you want, I'll show you a picture of that road.
We have roads like that all over the country, and most states on both coasts are made up primarily of roads like that. Some of those states are larger than whole European countries... The problem is people driving it on those roads without taking into account the dynamics of a tall 4x4, both in the US and in Europe.
And, as was mentioned, SUVs that are larger simply won't sell very many, any more than very many V12 Mercedes are sold. With fuel prices the way they are, teh average buyer can't spend a whole bunch of money on a vehicle AND spend a whole bunch of money on fuel.