Lincoln abandoned the American car segment, but its Chinese division is not yet ready to switch to a series consisting entirely of high-end models. It launched a sedan called Zephyr at the Guangzhou Auto Show, which was developed specifically for China and will be produced locally.
If the name sounds familiar, then you are either well-versed in the history of American luxury cars, or you have been following the news recently. Lincoln’s original Zephyr is a majestic V12-powered model with a variety of different body styles to choose from, and it was sold between 1936 and 1942. Recently, the nameplate appeared on the thin concept car launched in Shanghai as a preview of the mass-produced model.
Unsurprisingly, this car has hardly changed during the transition from design research to mass production. It gets larger, more realistic headlights and a redesigned front end, and adds a pair of traditional door mirrors (the concept is equipped with a camera). At the back, the bumper has a new look and the lighting elements have also changed, although the light bar is still strangely reminiscent of the Audi A7. What hasn’t been adjusted is the Zephyr’s proportions: it is sleek, fast-backed, and one of Lincoln’s best-looking modern cars.
“Every detail from the inside to the outside is carefully crafted based on a deep understanding of our young Chinese customers,” said Mao Jingbo, president of Lincoln China. This is an interesting statement; Lincoln’s target customers are customers on the Pacific side of us, who usually don’t see them in one of its showrooms or behind the wheels of cars. To this end, the interior has received a lot of technology, including a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and a 27-inch touch screen that occupies the entire instrument panel.
We know that Zephyr offers Lincoln’s largest puddle light (called welcome mat), four relaxation modes, several “digital scents” and a 128-color ambient lighting system. What we don’t know much about is what’s under the hood: the only specification released by the company outlines a 2.0-liter engine, presumably a four-cylinder engine, bolted to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Lincoln will start selling Zephyr in the Chinese market in the first quarter of 2022. The car will also be made in China, which is the first model the company is proud of. There is no indication that it will be sold outside the home market-let alone in the United States.