Never heard of one? Well, the LSS initially was a sporting trim level of the 1992 Eighty Eight Royale. For ’92/’93, this was a little-publicized trim option. The name literally was an acronym for ‘Luxury Sport Sedan’.
The outward most visible difference is the 16 inch alloy wheels, which form the factory were clad with P225/60/R16 Goodyear Eagles. Inside, the LSS seats 5 passengers, one less than the Eighty Eight Royale, due the the center console and shifter. On either side of this console were power bucket seats. Underneath, the suspension was tightened up. Under the hood was a 3.8L EFI Buick Series I V6, which offered up 170hp. The GM 4T60 4-speed automatic transaxle did the shifts.
For 1994, the LSS got its own brochure, a sign of things to come. It was still called the Eighty Eight LSS at this point though.
For 1995 the LSS was getting marketed even more as its own model. This year, the Series I V6 got changed out to a 3.8L EFI Buick Series II V6. New power was found— this one rated at 205hp. A second engine was added for a new Supercharged trim level, which was what else, a 3.8L EFI Supercharged Buick Series I V6. It made 225hp which, while not bad, had more room for improvement. This first year LSS Supercharged was not sold in high numbers, making it tough to fine a used example.
In 1996, the car got a facelift, almost previewing the smaller upcoming Olds Intrigue. The seats were out of the Olds Aurora. The wheels were now of the 5-spoke variety. The standard 3.8 liter engine retained the same horsepower as before, but the optional powerplant became a 3.8L EFI Supercharged Buick Series II V6. This new forced-induction Series II made 240hp, the same as in the Pontiac GTP and Buick GS at the time. As a fullsize car, it carried the performance torch for Oldsmobile in 1996, as the Cutlass Supreme was not allowed to have the supercharged engine.
The LSS of 1997-onward were mostly carry-over models. It sold well, but the last model year was 1999. The car was dropped after the success of the Aurora overshadowed it in the lineup. After a year off, the Aurora for 2001-2003 was marketed as a fullsize car, but ultimately there was no fooling the motoring public and it was a failure at replacing the LSS. Dropping the LSS and the Eighty Eight, for that matter, quickened the downward spiral of Oldsmobile. The division was known for big cars and performance cars and what a better example than the LSS.