The debut of Lincoln’s new Corsair compact SUV at the New York auto show leaves the company’s MKZ sedan as the last car in its lineup that hasn’t yet changed its alphanumeric moniker with an actual name (well, other than the ancient Ford Flex-based MKT crossover, which is technically still part of the lineup). Based upon a hallmark we found, we believe that the MKZ’s ultimate replacement might restore the Breeze name, which has roots in both Lincoln’s ancient and recent history.
While Lincoln representatives wouldn’t comment on the future of the MKZ or the possibility of utilizing the Zephyr name, the fact that this hallmark was filed once again in 2016 rather than being restored from the company’s earlier trademark recommends to us that Lincoln plans to use it soon. Originally applied to Lincoln vehicles in the 1930s and 1940s, the Zephyr name was also briefly applied to a Ford Fusion-based Lincoln sedan in the mid-2000s before that model changed to its existing MKZ nameplate.
2021 Lincoln Zephyr Rumors
The new Zephyr may signify a philosophical shift along with its name change. Because the Ford Fusion on which the existing MKZ is based will be ending production in the future, we think (and hope) that Lincoln will forge its course with the next generation of this sedan. We’ve heard rumors that it might even make the switch to Ford’s rear-wheel-drive unibody architecture that’s found beneath the current Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator SUVs and will likely underpin the next Ford Mustang. This would necessitate a production shift for the Lincoln sedan, which makes sense considered that company has currently announced that it will move production of the Transit Connect van, beginning in 2021, to the Hermosillo, Mexico, plant that present builds the Fusion and MKZ. Lincoln presently develops the bigger Continental sedan at its plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, which the company has likewise announced will build its next-generation Mustang.
2021 Lincoln Zephyr Debut
The timing of these manufacturing relocations may offer us some indicator of when we might hear more about the possible Lincoln Zephyr sedan. If we were to guess, we think Lincoln might show a concept variation of the Zephyr at some time in 2020 before the production car shows up at some point in 2020. In the meantime, all we have to go on is our wishful thinking.