Kyle Johnson
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Maybe Lincoln Should Bring the Zephyr to America

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New Lincoln Zephyr Coming to China 2022
Could America handle the Lincoln Zephyr and all its sweetness?
Photo: Lincoln

Lincoln is facing down a seismic shakeup. Sometime within the next few months, the luxury brand will debut its first-ever electric vehicle. That will lead to the complete overhaul of the lineup, resulting in an all-electric portfolio by 2030. And it’s a safe bet that all of those EVs are going to be crossovers and SUVs — not unlike Lincoln’s current offerings.

But what if Lincoln did things a bit differently? What if it deviated from the path set forth by its parent company and dipped its toe back into the luxury sedan pool? It might look a little something like the Lincoln Zephyr. Which means it’d look goodt.

Stylish Zephyr made with China in mind

In November, Lincoln debuted the production model of the Zephyr at Auto Guangzhou. Based on the Zephyr Reflection concept that bowed in Shanghai this past spring, the Zephyr becomes Lincoln’s first locally produced sedan for China when it launches next year.

Lincoln has been pretty clear about the fact that the Zephyr will be exclusive to China. Mao Jingbo, president of Lincoln China, said that “every detail from the inside out is crafted based on a deep understanding of our, young Chinese clients.” Lincoln President Joy Falotico echoed these sentiments, saying that the Zephyr was “specifically designed for the young, Chinese customer.”

But never mind all that, because here’s what matters: The Lincoln Zephyr looks danged sweet. It feels like a pretty sizable evolutionary step up from the killed-off MKZ and Continental, and it gives us some clues as to what to expect from the first Lincoln EV before we lay eyes on it next year.

Photos: Lincoln Zephyr launching early next year

  • New Lincoln Zephyr interior digital dash head-on
  • New Lincoln Zephyr interior digital dash
  • New Lincoln Zephyr high angle action shot
  • New Lincoln Zephyr rear action shot
  • New Lincoln Zephyr side profile with person standing at rear

Namely, the Zephyr has a light bar that runs from the headlamps across the grille, meeting in the middle at an illuminated Lincoln star. This aesthetic is noticeably similar to what we see in the teaser image for Lincoln’s first EV.

Inside, the Lincoln Zephyr looks to be the template for the brand’s EVs with a space that’s more refined and tech-focused. The highlight is a 27-inch coast-to-coast dashboard touch screen, which makes the Zephyr the first Lincoln to move the brand in the direction of a fully digital dash. It also gets some fancy stuff like 128-color ambient lighting and “digital scents.”

So here’s the thing: A lot of these features are going to wind up translating somehow or some way to the new Lincoln EV that’ll debut in a few short months. Which is great! But what if Lincoln brought these features to America in a sedan not unlike or perhaps quite a bit like the Zephyr?

Lincoln won’t offer electrified Zephyr for now

The Zephyr is also not a part of Lincoln’s big switch to plug-in hybrids and electrics — or at least not yet. It’ll launch with a 2.0-liter gas engine early next year, but it could very well accommodate electrified powertrains in future iterations. If Lincoln were to someday change its mind about offering a luxury sedan in America, it’d almost certainly be a PHEV or electric.

Okay, sure, the idea of Lincoln reversing course and rolling out a new sedan probably seems far-fetched at the moment. But go back a few years and think how improbable it would have seemed for Lincoln to only sell SUVs, never mind the idea of only selling electric vehicles.

However slim the chance may be that the Lincoln Zephyr would come to America someday, it’s worth holding out hope because, again, this thing looks goodt. And there’s just something to be said for that luxury sedan profile that you don’t quite get with a crossover, ya know?