New Car Review
1994 OLDSMOBILE 88 SPECIAL EDITION LSS SEDAN
by: BILL RUSS
The 1994 edition of the Olds 88 is a prime example of the direction Oldsmobile is moving to freshen its image for American car buyers. Since its introduction in 1949, the 88 has been the archetypal large All-American family sedan. In the not too distant past, because of downsizing and the sameness of design with other General Motors nameplates, Olds lost its innovative and sporty image. Now with new top management, a new philosophy and new models, Oldsmobile is actively working to create a new brand character by utilizing the perceived top-line import characteristics of quality, convenience, craftsmanship and performance. To ensure that these new goals are successfully achieved changes have been implemented at production, advertising, and dealership levels. To create success Oldsmobile has looked at many aspects of GM's highly regarded and successful Saturn operation. In addition it has established a Centennial Plan whose objective is to assure that by its 100th birthday in 1997 each of its models will be distinctively Oldsmobile and will not be confused with those of any other GM division.
A first step in this program is to upgrade and refine current products while developing new ones. While the current 88 model was completely redesigned in 1992, in a move to retain its leading edge several engineering and styling improvements were made to the 1994 model.
APPEARANCE: A subtle alteration of the grille design plus revised head- and cornering lamps gives the exterior the 1994 88 LSS a modern contemporary American appearance. Below the beltline the monochrome colored rounded body and the front and rear integrated bumpers are protected by contoured plastic cladding, Turbine-style alloy wheels accent the Goodyear Eagle all-season touring tires.
COMFORT: This special edition 88 is literally loaded with both convenience and luxury features. In addition to power windows, mirrors, door locks and remote lock/unlock, it features leather trim, power front bucket seats, excellent interior storage, dual visors, a day/nite rear mirror with compass, retained accessory power, a floor shifter, analog instrumentation, and much more. Interior comfort is enhanced by an efficient temperature control system with individual settings for each side of the car, as well as rear seat ducting. Excellent hi-fi sound fills the cabin from the six-speaker AM/FM/CD system. Touch controls on the steering wheel allow both temperature and sound setting changes without distraction while driving . The large flat low-liftover trunk with its cargo net can handle lots of luggage or groceries.
SAFETY: Most of the safety features available today have been incorporated into the newest Olds 88. prominent among these items are dual front airbags, three-point outboard seat belts, front seat adjustable shoulder harness height, child security locks for the rear seats, side-guard door beams, energy- absorbing steering column, and anti-lock brakes.
ROADABILITY: The top-of-the-line Oldsmobile 88, the LSS (Luxury Sport Sedan) is fitted with a touring suspension system that delivers a supple yet firm ride that holds the road very well in a wide variety of weather and surface conditions. When equipped with the optional ($175) traction control system both safety and handling are improved. This system is tied in with the engine, transmission and anti-lock brake control modules to almost automatically minimize wheel spin on slippery surfaces. Another plus handling factor is the larger road-holding 16" Goodyear Eagle GA P225/60R16 all-weather touring tires. A new exhaust system and added insulation have made for a quieter ride.
PERFORMANCE: General Motors time-tested and proven 3.8 liter transverse-mounted V-6 engine provides 225 foot/pounds of torque along with 170 horsepower. This fuel-injected, over-head valve powerplant offers a lot of go-power at low engine speeds, as well as plenty of performance for all sorts of driving as well as merging and passing. It is linked by computer control module to Hydra-matic's 4T60-E very smooth shifting automatic transmission. This combination insures excellent power application to the front wheels, and when tied in with anti-lock brakes and traction control, superb command of the road.
CONCLUSION: The Olds 88 LSS is a complete and comfortable traditional American luxury car that is available at a comfortable price that includes a 3 year/36,000 mile warranty and free roadside service.
1994 OLDSMOBILE 88 SPECIAL EDITION LSS SEDAN
Base Price $ 22,420 Price As Tested $ 23,170 Engine Type V-6, ohv - pushrod, sfi Engine Size 3.8 liter/231 cid Horsepower 170 @ 4800 Torque (ft/lbs) 225 @ 3200 Wheelbase/Length 111"/200" Transmission four speed auto w/od Curb Weight 3480 Pounds per Horsepower 20 Fuel Capacity 18 Fuel Requirement Unleaded regular (87 oct) Tire Goodyear Eagle Touring GA P225/60R16 M+S Brake anti-lock standard disc/drum Drive Train front engine/front drive PERFORMANCE EPA Economy - miles per gallon, city/highway/observed 19/28/24.6 0 to 60 mp 8.0 sec 1/4 mi (E.T.) 16.9 sec Coefficient of drag (cd) .31