Secondhand Smoke? The Ford Lynx RS, unlike its MP3 progenitor, is neither a limited edition, nor a pricey sports model. Through creative packaging and pricing, it comes out within the price range of less powerful cars, and far below that of its prime competitors.Unfortunately, you may feel some of that cost-cutting yourself, as the Lynx RS does not come with leather seats, nor does it have the same degree of sound-insulation as other cars in its class... though, thankfully, it's not as noisy as one would think. I often find myself wondering what a particular little squeak or hum is until I realize it's coming from the radio station which I usually listen to.Also absent are the Racing Beat suspension and sway bars of the MP3, as well as the 17" Racing Harts. In my opinion, however, the 16" wheels are more distinctive than the Mazda's, and the larger tire size helps reduce a lot of the ever-present crash and bang over asian potholes.Driving Impressions Don't expect to win flat-out drag races against Civic SiRs. The Lynx may jump the SiR in the 1st-2nd gearchange, but the peppy little 1.6 will pull away with surety once speeds get over 100kph. It's still good for 210 kph, but suffers from the lack of a cruising gear, as the gearing is very short. One nice thing about the Lynx RS is that the speedometer is not as inaccurate as in some other cars. Rest assured, if the speedometer says 100kph, it MEANS it.The dreaded Proteg? Gear Shift is something most others complain about, but I find it an ambiguous topic. Reverse is hard to hit (good thing, because you may try to shift into it at highway speeds... that's how low 5th gear is...) while the rest are easy enough to hit if you do it smoothly. Shifting may flummox ham-handed drag racers, but soft fluid movements produce easy and quick changes.The suspension is as stiff as you could possibly want it to be, yet is more liveable than the suspension available on the Lancer EVO or the Subaru WRX STi. In fact, it is about on par, in terms of damping, with most of the other cars on the market, with the odd crash due mainly to the low profile tires.The grip reserves are enormous for a stock car! Turn-in is crisp, with little of the understeer expected of a front-wheel drive vehicle. Unlike the previous generation Civic SiR, which offers understeer-biased handling transitioning into neutral turn-in, the Lynx RS toes the line between neutral steer and a well-modulated amount of oversteer. It is a car you can accurately maneuver with the throttle and brakes.CAUTION: You may find yourself taking corners a little faster than normal just to feel this car hustle... but you'll definitely need better side and hip bolsters on the seats, as they're pretty slippery.