Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ

The Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ manufacture by Lincoln automobile company. Read more to view more detail and video reviews. Please feel free to comments and give rating to help others

The Lincoln MKZ, initially named the Lincoln Zephyr, is a mid-size, entry-level luxury car from the Lincoln division of the Ford Motor Company. Lincoln revived the Zephyr name in the fall of 2005 as a platform-mate for the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan; the vehicles were based on the CD3 platform, which was derived from the Mazda 6. The Zephyr’s sole powertrain was a 3.0 L DOHC Duratec V6 mated to an Aisin 6-speed automatic transmission; identical to the V6 powertrain that was optional in the Fusion and Milan. Visually, the Zephyr could be easily distinguished from its Ford and Mercury siblings thanks to unique fascias and other stylistic elements, but as much as 35% of its body panels were shared with the other cars. However, the interior is entirely unique to the Lincoln, and this, along with different equipment packaging, helped differentiate the brands. Reflecting its entry-level luxury position, the 2006 Zephyr started at a base MSRP of $29,995 USD, ranging up to $35,575 USD when fully optioned.[1]

Though slightly smaller and natively front-wheel drive, the Zephyr was a de facto replacement for the rear-wheel drive, V8-equipped Lincoln LS. To facilitate a smooth transition, the Zephyr and LS were sold parallel to each other during the 2006 model year, the first model year of the Zephyr and the last for the LS. Ironically the Zephyr’s first model year was also its last, in name. For 2007 the car was renamed MKZ, and took over the LS’ market with sales beginning in September 2006. Highlighting the MKZ for 2007, other than the new name, was a mild exterior refresh, optional all-wheel drive, and a larger displacement engine with more power. The MKZ name followed a new nomenclature used at Lincoln for new vehicles beginning in the 2007 model year (existing models such as the Navigator and Town Car have been unaffected thus far). Ford initially intended the “MK” to represent an abbreviation of its traditional “Mark” naming series, but has since abandoned that in favor of simply reading the letters.[2] The MKZ was the first in this series of new “MK”-named Lincolns, and has since been followed by the MKX and MKS. For 2010 the MKZ was revised with new exterior and interior styling along with other new features.

The Lincoln MKZ (and the Zephyr before it) is built at Ford’s Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico plant.

The 2006 Lincoln Zephyr was initially unveiled in concept form at the 2004 New York International Auto Show as a new entry-level luxury sedan intended to appeal to a younger generation of luxury car buyers. The car was based on Ford’s CD3 platform which is shared by the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, and other vehicles. Many of the design elements of the Zephyr concept made their way into the production model, albeit with some revision. The front fascia of the Zephyr’s exterior was adorned with Lincoln’s signature waterfall grille and jeweled quad projector beam headlights (HID headlights were available). Chrome trim extends along the Zephyr’s beltline while the car’s rear fascia features wing-shaped LED taillights and dual chrome exhaust tips. All Zephyrs featured low-profile tires on 17×7.5-inch wheels with painted aluminum versions standard and chrome versions optional. In spite of unique styling relative to the Zephyr’s siblings, the Fusion and Milan, a little over one-third of the car’s body panels are shared.

Inside the Zephyr was an interior design that was thoroughly distinctive relative to the Fusion or Milan. The upscale design featured rectangular shapes in the dashboard surfaces and door panels with real ebony or maple wood inserts (depending on desired trim) in metallic frames. These surfaces were contrasted with chrome-bezeled gauges, circular, chrome-finished vents and a metallic center stack where the radio and climate controls are housed. The Zephyr’s steering wheel was leather-wrapped with real wood grips and satin-nickel audio, climate, and cruise control buttons. White LED backlighting was used for the Zephyr’s controls and instrumentation. Leather seating surfaces were standard in all models.[3]

In terms of luxury and convenience features there was little that distinguished the Zephyr from the Fusion or Milan. Most of the features that were optional in the Fusion or Milan were simply standard in the Zephyr. Some of these standard features in the Zephyr include: cruise control, automatic headlights, fog lights, power door locks, “global” power windows (all windows can lower simulataneously at the push of a button), power adjustable and heated mirrors with puddle lamps, remote keyless entry, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel with redundant audio and climate controls, dual-zone automatic climate control, a universal garage door opener, 10-way power driver and front passenger seats, rear-seat reading lamps, and a six-speaker audio system with an AM/FM stereo radio and a six-disc, MP3-compatible CD changer. Optional in the Zephyr was a power moonroof, a DVD-based satellite navigation system, HID headlights, heated and cooled front seats, and an industry-first THX II-Certified audio system with a six-disc, MP3-compatible CD changer and ten speakers. Safety features include standard dual front-side airbags, front seat-deployed side airbags, and curtain airbags that extend from the front to rear seats.[4]

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