Lincoln Unveils Zephyr Sedan, China Only Model Previews What's In Store For U.S. Market
Lincoln abandoned the sedan market in the U.S. several years ago, but the luxury brand is still making four doors in other markets, and that includes China with Lincoln execs formally unveiling the all-new Zephyr sedan, which will help shine a light into some of Lincoln's EV plans.
Design Study Transforms Into Potent Production Model
Before the production model debuted in China, it originally appeared as a design study that made its first appearance as a concept car at the Shanghai Auto Show. Not much has changed in its march to production reality, with the front styling retaining some of the concept's bold charm albeit with a modest redesign to include production headlights as well as concessions to Chinese safety regulations.
The futuristic camera mirrors have been pitched for traditional mirrors, while the rear styling sees some changes made to the lighting and the rear bumper. Thankfully, the basic profile of the car hasn't changed, and the Zephyr still retains a stylish fastback layout which is reminiscent of some of the recent moves that rivals like Audi have made with a few of their models. Performance for the Zephyr will come from a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine which will be bolted to an eight-speed automatic.
Zephyr Could Shape Lincoln EV Design
While the 2023 Zephyr itself is not a pure EV, some of its design and technology could eventually trickle down to future electrified Lincoln models, especially those sold in the U.S. An essential requirement for any EV is to craft a distinct identity for itself. Some of the traits we see here on the Zephyr could be lifted for use in those models. That includes the novel lighting elements as well as a variation of the existing front-end design.
The interior, in particular, serves as a precursor of what's to come with the dashboard here, offering an end-to-end screen layout that's filled with vibrant images and read-outs. A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster makes up the first half of the screens, while a massive 27-inch screen dominates the remaining space. The steering wheel is a new design, too, and some of the controls here could easily be incorporated into an EV. As a bonus, the 128 color ambient lighting system will be a very potent conversation starter.
As for the current status of Lincoln's EV efforts, that remains a mystery. While the Aviator and Corsair GT models are welcome first steps in the brand's attempts to go green, brand execs have so far remained silent on what's next, and it appears that we will have to wait a few more years to learn anything concrete. In the meantime, the Lincoln Zephyr's impressive amount of technology and modern flair will undoubtedly serve as a compelling glimpse into what's coming. They will certainly allow Lincoln to make a splash in the EV segment once all the pieces fall into place.
Photo Credit: Lincoln
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. In addition to his specialization with Ford, he grew up in a General Motors household and is extensively familiar with their products too. Contact Carl on Twitter at @CarlMalek3, on Instagram and Facebook for automotive news to send news tips.