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Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ



  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Well if I thought it would generate more than 3 posts I would, but doesn't sound like much info's out there. Just was following up with ANT's comment. Really curious as this sounds like it could be a completly different car than the F-type was going to be.
  • wkarsonwkarson Posts: 4
    So, I'm pretty aware that once an auto manufacturer puts a name on a car, even a concept such as the Zephyr, it's a tough sell to change. However for me it conjures up negative images of those wonderful 1970's downsized pieces of garbage (Lincoln Versaille...errr Ford Granada anyone?).

    Please Lincoln, if you're listening or roving/monitoring here, please change the name to something a bit more contemporary. And while I'm definitely not a fan of the alpha-numeric naming convention so popular w/ the Euro & Japanese manufacturers (and forced down the collective consumer throat -- Acura Legend, nay, RL anyone???), I would like to see something a bit more creative, though not so flowerish or nose-in-the-air-ish as Lincoln has been so prone to prior to the LS (no fan of that name either), which is exactly why I would never even consider buying a Lincoln prior to this.

    Oh, and Lincoln, I'm a 33 year old single male living in San Francisco w/ a six-figure income. I have no car (sent my '95 Mazda Millenia to the family in the Mid-West...very fond of Mazda products, so there, you have my admitted bias), so I need a compelling reason to buy one for my not-so-insubstantial commute. I'd love to get a 3-series, but they're way too cliched. I'd even love the G35, but same deal there. There are some serious money cars in the parking lot at work, so I'll want to come to the table strong if I get a car. Hence, I want something different that someone in my demographic would stand out in, but still be the envy of my friends for owning. And it would be nice if it carried some resale value into the future (this point is absolutely key, as perception is reality in this example. All apologies to LS owners). BMW doesn't worry about resale value, and neither do thier owners, which is why it's such a safe bet to buy one, let alone the brilliant performance and handling they offer (yes you can argue BMW produces a tiny amount overall in comparison to Ford, but it's the concept I'm speaking of here).

    I would generally never consider a domestic product, though Chrysler has some sexy product in their stable now (it's about time). What needs to happen is for Ford to come out w/ this Mazda 6-based sedan w/ a real effort. No jeking the public's chain w/ the wonderful concept, and then pulling the rug from underneath us w/ the production model. Don't water it down. Don't let the competition make a joke of you. Please give it a real effort. Full-time AWD w/ a real-rear-wheel-bias would be nice, and since European Ford uses that already in the X-Type, the concept I'm speaking of isn't so far fetched (though pricing may be an issue...which I find hard to believe since the X-Type was designed to compete w/ the BMW 3-series class anyway). Yes I'm absolutely aware the X-Type is based on an entirely different platform, but as long as we're discussing bringing new cars to market here, then why not throw that idea out there?

    My $0.02 (if it's even worth that) is Lincoln really nailed the design. I truly enjoy the overall look. There has been some Town Hall discussion here about the interior color scheme and not liking it, but I'm a big fan of the pictures put out there. What I'd be terribly disappointed about is if the production model is so very clearly cheapened on its way to market, and thereby cheapening the overall look and feel. We all know that concept cars look great, but rarely (if ever) make it unscathed by the accountant's scalpel. I'd hate to see the production model die the death from a thousand cuts. Please keep the quality in. Quality sells. Period.

    Thanks for listening. And hey, these are just my opinions, so maybe they're worth nothing. I'm a humble guy...but probably someone dead-on in Lincoln's juicy demographic cross-hairs.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    "However for me it conjures up negative images of those wonderful 1970'"

    Thing is, many people won't. I myself am 28, and if it wasn't for researching the vehicles, I wouldn't know what a Versailles was really about... Let alone even vaguely remember what it resembles... I do not remember nything prior to the Aero cars of the 80's I grew up around.

    The Zephyr will be more of a competitor to the Lexus Es330, and drive a bit more like it...than that of a BMW 3 Series. In other words, a bit cushier but not Buick like either. Ford positions the Jag X-type as the closest offering to a 3-series, more so than the Zephyr will... But the X-type will undergo it's own changes in it's next redesign to better compete with the 3-Series.

    And as for drivetrain, it'll be FWD, but AWD version will be available soon after. 3.0L V6, with a higher output 230-240HP and 6 Speed automatic, which will make thorse horses seem much stronger.
  • jerry3840jerry3840 Posts: 7
    To the Ford/Lincoln monitoring this board... based on a variety of previous posts, the message is clear. You've got to pick a better name than "Zephyr".

    This space you are about to get into is too brutally competitive to go in with a car name that most think is ugly and reminds then of 1970's junk.
  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Posts: 518
    Heh, the Zephyr and Futura names definitely do remind me of the late '70s Fords...except for me, that's actually a plus. I love the way cars from that era looked. I guess I'm just odd, though I think it's worth noting that I'm 20 years old (not a senior citizen, the group usually associated with liking '70s cars). Both my brother and his girlfriend (both 18) own cars from the '70s too. They seem to consider cars from that era to be a sort of counterculture fashion statement, whereas I just like them for what they are. Everything old is new again, I guess.

    -Andrew L
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Sadly, NOBODY is old enough on Edmunds to probably remember the original Lincoln Zephyr (If I had any skill, I'd find you a pic and post it here, but I don't). It was beautiful, and an "entry level" Lincoln, the first one IIRC, and kind of saved Lincoln at a time when money was scarce. This little Lincoln is being true to the heritage of the name, and unfortunately, the Mercury Zephyr diluted the image for those of us still able to remember.

    Still, this name isn't getting much of a nod from anybody here, is it? Must admit, I'm not sure it works for me either. OTOH, my Dad (deceased, of course) remembered the original, and liked it and the name. Maybe just not the time to exhume Zephyr?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Ahhh, thank you much, buckwheat! Just what I ordered!! I'm sure in its day, it was a headturner.....
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    I turned my head alright...

    I'm sure 50 year's from now people will look at our cars of today and wonder "What were they thinking"... Oh wait, we have the Aztek to wonder about...
  • wkarsonwkarson Posts: 4
    Buckwheat, you rock for sending that link! Thx.

    Hmmm...let me see...the 1936 Zephyr has fender skirts, suicide doors, fender integrated headlamps, and no waterfall grill. Wow, exactly like the new concept Zephyr! Now it's so clear to me why Lincoln is drawing on its nomenclature heritage.

    Truth is boys & girls, that Ford is ceding German territory to their very own Jaguar to carry the torch and take that battle on. As ANT14 said, it will be more Lexus ES330 (read: Buick [please remember, Buick said they want to be the domestic Lexus]) than Auto Union, Benz, or Bimmer.

    Also, ANT14, you have wonderful insight, and I very much want to thank you for your commentary. Your views are great!

    Lincoln, please read what a_l_hubcaps says above. While he's only 20 years old and won't be able to buy a new Lincoln for years to come, he at least has bit the hook dangling in the proverbial consumer waters. No, I'm not agreeing that "old is new again" as a_l_hubcaps said (though apparently Ford/J Mays believes in certain selections that it is...evidence the current [and about to die] Thunderbird, new Mustang, new GT, etc), but at least you have a young consumer that wouldn't mind stepping into one of your cars in 10-15 years, and simply needs the excuse of a promising and competitive automobile to keep him there. I promise you this...he is not alone.
  • jerry3840jerry3840 Posts: 7
    Hey Lincoln team -

    You're on a roll with that name and heritage thing. Why not take it even further? Perhaps your marketing folks can come up with a catchy advertising back the guy who designed the 1936 Zephyr in ghost form in fuzzy images with cool, modern lighting, overlooking the shoulders of the current designers of the 2006 model, and have having him making suggestions and comments. Yeah...that's the ticket...that'll get the pulses zooming of the 30-something entry-level luxury buyer!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Well, the connection (as I stated previously) is that the new Zephyr will be an entry level Lincoln, as the 36 Zephyr was. Not defending the choice of the name here, but that's the connection, since you asked.

    I hate the thoughts that Lincoln is ok with becoming competition for Buick though....especially with what Buick has now become.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Let's keep in mind, Buick yet doesn't have a clear path. They are turning it into the price segment that Cadillac will be abandoning.... While Cadillac goes upwards to fight the upper echelon vehicles MB, BMW, JAG, etc. Thing is, it didn't work for Cadillac because their buyer's were expecting there "luxury" vehicles to have RWD, which is now why they are reverting. Now Buick will stick to that path, but again... With FWD ? So what's the point ?

    Just another reason to push Cadillac upwards, so GM doesn't have as many brands competing in the same field price wise... (Pontiac, Saturn, Chevy). Saab already has a clear path (copies of Subaru's), Suzuki (rebadged Daewoos), Isuzu (on ICU), etc.

    Ford has better direction/plans for their brands. While it's fuzzy sometimes (because as previously mentioned)... each time a new management comes in, new ideas come up. Therefore, plans are altered. And let's take an example of how Ford has been able to keep each brand distictive. Volvo, Jaguar, LandRover, AstonMartin.... Unlike GM who's coming up with Saabaru, Isulet, and Suzuwoo.

    Ford has better plans for Lincoln now, than they did 2 years ago... And it'll continue with the introduction of 5 more vehicles within the next 3 years. Just takes time....
  • wkarsonwkarson Posts: 4
    nvbanker, I completely understand where you were coming from w/ the 1936 Zephyr comparo & point. Good points to be sure, and I agree w/ you on all counts. Good stuff.

    ANT14, again, I agree that GM is lost somewhere in the wilderness. No direction. No passion. Way too big for their own good. Cut three divisions (1. Saturn, a joke anyways, and a bad one at that; 2. Pontiac, badge engineering at its very worst; 3. Chevy/GMC truck, few real differences any longer) and simplify the profile. Witness Toyota (Scion on the bottom, Toyota doing the bulk of the work, Lexus the premium brand), where from only three divisions they manage to offer five SUV's and two trucks, as well as all the cars and hybrids you can eat. And they rock like no tomorrow. Hey, I'm not making the story up...the marketplace does.

    Sorry, I don't want to get too far off the track there. Let's get back to this particular Lincoln Zephyr concept. Somewhere in this thread, you'll note that one gentleman said his wife finds the FWD to be an advantage -- and that's great! Remember, FWD hasn't made it in this auto-world because no one buys it. To the contrary...people buy tons of FWD vehicles, and many of the offerings out there are very fine machines. However, if Lincoln wants the Zephyr to be a hit, they're keenly aware that in this league, perception is reality, and reality demands RWD at best, or AWD at minimum. And please, let's credit Ford for realizing this and doing something about it -- at least in concept form. Production trim may be entirely a different thing, so as ANT14 pointed out a while back, let the collective auto world hold their breath until the car debuts, then feel free to judge. Or as I like to say, "Let the people judge, and they will." People vote w/ their dollars. They're the only ones who matter in this vote, and Lincoln hopes that my personal demographic is in that crosshair.

    Lincoln, I say, nice conept, finely executed. Period.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I always like your arguments, ANT - but I have the same concern about Lincoln, as what they seem to be planning for new product is also FWD or AWD, yet Cadillac finally acknowledged that large FWD sedans don't compete with the big boys.

    I guess survival of the brand is first, then refinement of the mission can come second. Not sure if there's a sedan in there for me or not yet - we'll have to see what the next Town Car or equivalent becomes.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Personally, anything over 220HP/220TQ should be placed upon a RWD vehicle (in most cases). Once your in the mid/upper 200's range FWD becomes an obstacle as torque steer possess an issue. That's where RWD is much more beneficial. Although an issue for those in snowbelt areas, RWD might be a concern for them. To quell their concerns, stability control systems are able to compensate. Next up, AWD.

    Not all AWD systems are the same, and depending upon the system, it can magnify or delute the particular vehicles potential. European Ford Mondeo is a good example...A FWD vehicle. It's platform cousin the Jag X-type utilizes permanent AWD with RWD bias, which allows this original FWD platform, to perform as a RWD/AWD performer.

    As for Lincoln much will depending upon the AWD system they'll use. (All are vastly different from one another)... If Ford decides to use a permanent AWD system without the fuel penalties, then it'll be better than RWD, while allowing them to use an already safe/known platform...

    Here's an interesting tidbit, Ford produces the highest number of RWD vehicles in the world. Ford produces the highest number of 4x4/AWD vehicles, in the world.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Good to know. The Zephyr probably isn't my cup 0 tea, but I'd like to stay with Lincoln. They've been good to me, and the dealer is a friend. I'll probably do another Navigator in 18 months.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Speaking of Lincoln loyalty... Lincoln placed 1st for dealership service satisfaction.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    That is remarkable, but then again, I love my dealer too.
  • wrxdriverwrxdriver Posts: 6
    Some suggestions for Lincoln from a guy in the urban 'demographic sweet spot' as somebody here put it. I tend towards imports but have owned a domestic car before. Virtually all of my friends buy imports. I can only think of one or two who drive a Saturn Ion (the poorest friend) or who drive an Escape (the outdoorsy friend)

     I can tell you that before I buy a domestic luxury car, the perceived quality (the quality of the switches, and leather etc.) inside the car is going to have to be top-notch- Audi-like, let's say. If there isn't a reason for me to switch to domestics, I'm not, and neither will any of my friends. I like the outside of the car, but the inside isn't a kind of retro I find cool. Retro is fine for clothes that wear out after a year but it gets old fast. I might like it for a week but I would never buy it for every day use.

    Also, there are a lot of cars in the $30K range which now are players that I would consider. For example, Passat TDI which gets 38 miles to the gallon highway (which I wouldn't have even considered a few years ago- gas mileage meant nothing to me then) or the new Subaru Legacy- these are all in the 30K range and offer a unique package which differentiates you from everyone else. All of these will be competing against Lincoln's Z-car.

    One last word- if corporate would let you build a wagon, do it. I think there is a market for an upscale wagon- many of my buddies are now driving outbacks but are moving upscale now.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    What is your main reason for disliking domestics in general? (Follow up question...) It is perceived quality, or perceived coolness?
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    "I can tell you that before I buy a domestic luxury car, the perceived quality (the quality of the switches, and leather etc.) inside the car is going to have to be top-notch- Audi-like, let's say."

    WRX, that's interesting because that's a common complain I have dealt with... VW/Audi (by survey and research) has the highest "perceived quality" numbers in the industry.... YET, their reliability is almost Kia like. And for the past couple of years, it has allowed them to bring in quite a bit of buyers.

    Personally, I had 12 friends who had everything from Passat's to Jetta's, Toureg's, etc... EACH and everyone has, had major issues with them, and have moved on to other brands altogether. Yet, they all stated the same thing... "beautifully crafted materials, textures and presentation"...but like I would tell them (after arguing I was NOT taking the car in to the dealership to have another fight) it's the engineering that counts....

    Ironically, flash fast forward a few years.. Same guy who designed for Vw/Audi (J Mays) is now working for Ford. Therefore many of Ford's interiors have received praised because of the great quality of materials and textures implemented. F-150, Expy, Navi, or some examples that have debuted. The Ford 500/Freestyle/Montego will be the next crop that has yet to be judged by the media. Ford has publically stated years ago they will spend 3 times more, on the interior finishing on cars, and we are seeing that now.

    Have you seen some interior pics of the Zephyr yet ?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    are they available?
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    From the concept, you haven't seen it ? The concept is about 80-90% of what will debut...
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Is it me, or does this car remind you of a Mazda 929/Millenia?

    Love the interior design and looks - but also looks like a really high cowl. That would be a deal breaker for me.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    The photos are quite nice. There are a few things I can pinpoint the auto critics will have to say about the design. The climate controls are at a very low position, and is blocked by the shifter when in park. There is enough room between the navigation system and climate controls to move it up a little.

    The outside mirrors seems very small (Cadillac-like), or maybe I don't have a very clear photo. I like the bigger mirrors like those of the Lexus and Acura.

    My personal opinion that the steering wheel might not be very comfortable, but it's very nice, though.

    It's a good thing that the photos are released soon enough for consumers to comment, so Lincoln will know what to improve. So folks, voice your opinion! (Unlike Toyota and especially Honda, most of the time they release information on a new vehicle about 2 months before releasing the product itself).
  • eaton53eaton53 Posts: 356
    Are the best set of pics I have seen. Nice big ones.... you can see everything well.
  • fsvfsv Posts: 196
    Have no problem with the name. Concept presented is easily associated with it, even without any heritage. There is a niche in the market after Iinfiniti I30 departure - and LZ will fill it perfectly. Every woman in tri-state loved it. This car will be competing with Lexus 330 easily, just keep it exterior & interior appearance and features. Any changes will make it compete with Pontiac G6 - which was great-looking as concept and look what it is now. I'd started at low profit now, since Lexus customer base is very loyal. More. I'll buy this car in 3 years (have a Mercury now) - granted everything I said above is in place.
  • great photos! In one of the many, it appears pretty clear there is that same encroachment on the driver side footwell, the photo shows the angled wall on the left. This appears on the Five Hundred/Montego as well even though the Zephyr is not on the same platform. I found this a bit distracting in the Five Hundred. Others have commented about the same thing. I hope this doesn't really cut down foot placement enough to to be annoying in the Zephyr. This car is a good looker and from its projected contents will be a contender. I look forward to it being built.
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