You can count me in as a fan of the current Lincoln MKZ. It looks great in person, has a very luxurious interior, avoids the huge center console of its Fusion cousin, and, perhaps best of all, has a push-button automatic transmission. But like a lot of cars these days, two-dimensional views of it seem a little short and stubby. So I fixed that, and gave it a real name, instead of an abbreviation: Zephyr L.
Here’s the original, seen this past summer at Strieter Lincoln. Very sleek, and with its subtle chrome trim, looks very elegant in pearl white. But in this picture, it looks smaller than it actually is.
It looks even better with less racy alloy wheels and dark blue, bronze or black paint. This one is my favorite: Bronze Fire with off-white leather! But in this picture, it looks smaller than it actually is. One of these might be replacing the V50 someday…
And here they are together! I added to the overhangs to reduce the stubbiness, raised the glass area, sectioned the body in the middle to lower it, gave it a longer wheelbase, and also made the roofline much less fastback-like. Quite the change, eh?
Well done, Tom! While I really like the MKZ as well, it does look high and somewhat stubby from a full side profile (as most modern cars do). Your changes work quite well! My only two quibbles: 1, I like the fastback-ness of the car, but that’s just my personal preference (and I’m sure the wide c-pillars aren’t great for visibility). 2, it still “looks” FWD. I’d prefer a little more space between the wheels and the front door, and a little more hood length. Just because a car is FWD (or AWD in this case) shouldn’t mean it has to have those proportions!
Overall, though, a huge improvement. Also fully agree that Zephyr L would be a much cooler name. Lincoln needs to banish the alphanumeric nonsense, which is a me-too of literally every other player in the segment, and go back to real names.
Oh, C-Body Park Avenue is always good at pretending being traditional rear wheel drive 😉 plus the supercharger engine, it’s good at pretending being V8 also!
All cars look stubby these days due to the high roofs. I was told by a dealer that it was so that circus ringmasters could drive without taking their hats off*
*may not have happened
Very nice Tom. I like it in profile, but wonder if in real life it would suffer from the same proportional challenges as today’s 90s Imperial.
The suffix “L” on a model like that would imply a big stretch solely in the rear door, especially for the Chinese market.
Wasn’t too impressed until the shot of both together. Nicely done.
While you’re at it, can I get one with a 6-Speed manual please?
It kind of looks like a Pontiac G8… sort of.
I’ll take it!
Nice! As far as actually doing something like this, I have grave doubts about the ability of current Lincoln management to do anything except reactionary, derivitive, nicely done product (like the MKZ), without any innovation. Changing the name? I don’t think so, everybody else is using letters! I’ve discussed with them the need to become “different”, a luxury car needs to appeal to a segment, not a market. The MKZ is a terrific car, but you wouldn’t kill to get one. This is a constant topic with LCOC and a source of much frustration…we seem to be far more passionate and concerned with the brand’s future than the employees.
You would think that the Lincoln execs would want to hear from folks who love the cars and respond accordingly.
Apparently not. Too bad.
Lincoln really needs to ditch the alpha bit soup names. They mean NOTHING. At least with numerical names a larger number usually denotes a more upscale model. Zephyr, Continental, Navigator even Town Car bring a mental image of the car. Can anyone say that about MKZ, MKS, ABC, XYZ or whatever the models are now designated? VERY forgettable designations. btw BEAUTIFUL Zephyr you have created there. Lincoln please take notice.
Both Lincoln and Caddy have been using three-letter “alpha bit soup [sic]” names for nearly 10 years now, and they’re not going anywhere.
MK=reminiscent of the “Mark” series
MKX=”X” sounds like “Edge”
MKT=full-size crossover, but meant to replace the Town Car
MKS=I don’t know, but it’s the only one left to remember after all the other mnemonics.
I thought the ‘X’ in MKX was supposed to imply “crossover”, similar to the Acura MDX and possibly the Nissan X-Terra (I say “possibly” because X-Terra is a true SUV on a pickup chassis). I believe the MKX name also predates the general adoption of 3-letter names by Lincoln, so they may have originally intended it to also mean “Mark 10” (X being the Roman numeral for the number 10).
Given the era I think the X in X-Terra was more than likely short for Extreme, as in Extreme Terrain.
Also X sounds kewl! MISZPELINS R XTREME KOOL!!
And yeah, “X” because it was the first X-over.
X in these sorts of names always makes me think they never got over the 1990s, getting Xtreme with Pepsi MaX while watching X Files…
And reeling over the demise of the XFL lol
The shorter is: “as is”. The longer one has a bit more powerful appearance… Nice artwork.
Looks much better than the production MKZ. Long, low, and wide!
I like what you’ve done there. Even on the original that extra crease line would benefit the appearance, but removing the wedge shape and the mild extensions have certainly made it sleeker.
Made me wonder how a certain other wedge shaped car might have looked if it were ‘on the level’.
Urk! And please tell me that wasn’t an original factory colour scheme. I’m all for seventies colour choices and vinyl roofs but, just…no.
A subtle restyle that turns it into what it should have been all along. Nice work Tom!
I can still see a Mondeo in there but I admit I like it nice job Tom, While the fan bois bemoan the passing the “big” Falcon here they dont like to admit the Mondeo Fusion is bigger inside, and FWD done well is a really nice drive, A friend has a near new diesel Mondeo and is currently looking at new Peugeots as he knows who made his engine and now wants the whole package.
Aggghh the thought of a diesel Fusion 6-speed wagon makes me feel funny in certain places.
Ive driven a diesel 6 speed auto Mondeo real nice.
that’ll be the toxic fumes
Have never been very impressed with these. Too plain on the sides. Too futuristic looking. Gun slit windows and hemmed in feeling disappoint. Also don’t care for the plain center console with no shifter. When I’m all of a sudden faced with a huge road going down hill I want to slap a shifter down into a lower gear quickly not have to take my eyes off the road and hunt and peck for buttons to push up on the dash. I do like what you did to the rear though as I can’t stand many of today’s stubby trunk lids and a proper chrome insert bodyside molding in the middle of the doors would also make these cars look less top heavy and chunky in the middle. Your rendering is for sure an improvement on a lackluster looking car.
I have to agree on the console. If you have a big FWD car with no shifter on the floor, why on earth do you need a massive console integrated with the dashboard center stack? With a slightly tidier center dash layout, they could have had the center stack end at the base of the dashboard and then had just a demi-console between the front seats with a flip-up armrest for storage and cupholders. That would have left a lot more room for knees and would also immediately make the MKZ feel less like the Fusion/Mondeo inside.
Now this is how modern cars should be proportioned! I approve 🙂
Your new version does look nice. Much nicer than the original. I’m not sure you need that extra line across the doors. I can see why you added it, but to my eyes it makes the lower part of the doors look too busy.
Interesting. The MKZ is not a small car, so I don’t know that it needs more overhang in any practical sense, but the stretched tail gives it a surprisingly coupe-like profile — a little Audi ur-Quattro, a little Z32 Nissan 300ZX — and accentuates the decklid spoiler. The lowered beltline makes a big difference in that regard.
Something else that’s apparent is that stretching the tail removed or at least deemphasizes the standard car’s pronounced rake. The rake ends up emphasizing the stock MKZ’s height because the angle draws the eye upward toward the rear, so minimizing the rake effect makes the car look lower, although it doesn’t appear that it actually is.
Love! Love! Love! There is no excuse cars today have to be such fat pigs. Long, low, and wide for life! Death to short, narrow, and tall.
I confess i was surprised with The size of this lincoln. Great job! By The other hand, at he end wAs frustrated with The fact in true this is a struggled linc, today’s junk.
The bitterness is strong in today’s comments.
Nice job, Tom! Your love of Lincolns is probably greater than my love of Cadillacs. I like what you’ve done with the MKZ, but what I really like is the idea of going to names for models. Just like Cadillac, Lincoln has a treasure trove of names they could use for these new models. Between Cadillacs, Lincolns, Acuras, M-Bs, BMWs Lexus’, the model names are all one big alphabet soup. I like to think I’m a pretty decent motorhead, but mention the SRX, TLX or MKX and I *really* have to think hard about which car is which.
As it happens, I like this generation of MKZ far better than I did the previous one. On that one you could definitely see the Fusion bones underneath, a real turn off for me. This one disguises it’s roots much more effectively, although it brings some new design language to the domestic mid size luxury (or near luxury) car market. I still feel that Art & Science is the leader in that regard, but I’m seeing less Ford in Lincolns and something new emerging. I also see some “heritage” cues, and am waiting new releases to see what develops.
One thing, while I generally like the sectioning and the enlargement of the greenhouse area, I’m not too sure about lengthening the tail that much. At least without moving the rear wheel back so that it falls at the intersection of the C-pillar and the rest of the body. I see what you did trying to emulate RWD wheel to cowl proportions, but the rear wheel needs to go back a little too.
Otherwise, great job!
This thing even makes the new Cadillac look good.
Amazing job, Tom! While I like the current MKZ a lot, your redesign looks much better. It addresses the main issues I have with the MKZ and modern cars in general. And I’d suggest one more modification–get rid of the chrome triangle at the base of the A-pillar.
I think in all honesty that Lincoln is on its way out. They have nothing that is not simply a warmed over Ford. Even the 98-11 Towncar was outdated from day one of its existence.
Massive improvement. If modern cars actually looked like this, I actually might be interested in buying one.
Instead, we get short, stubby, fat, ridiculous front fender height, and gun slit greenhouses. No thanks.
The Town Car may have been outdated but was selling well. I was hounding Lincoln on Twitter about the lack of rwd and they get extremely defense about their offerings.
They need a reboot or will die.
They did recently announce a large infusion of cash to be directed into Lincoln over the next few years, plus the MKC puts them into the burgeioning small SUV segment. (I still find a “premium small SUV” to be kind of silly, but it is a legitimate segment…)
So I think that’s the “reboot” you’re looking for, short of completely starting from scratch. From what i’ve heard, the MKS will be replaced, the MKT dropped, and we’ll have a legitimately new MKX (doesn’t it seem like the current one has been around forever? Or is it just that it’s had three entirely different front end designs?) I guess the MKZ and MKC are new enough that the money will be spent elsewhere. Not sure what, if anything, this means for the Navigator.
The MKX and the Edge _have_ been around forever, since 2007 (forever in the auto world), with only one refresh since then. The new MKX will probably (but don’t take my word for it) have unique sheetmetal from the ’15+ Edge, much like the MKC is unique from the Escape.
The car company we knew and loved is already dead, they just have not pulled the plug yet. Cadillac will survive Lincoln by a short time. Had they stayed out of the truck business and kept their RWD road insulation practices they would have still been in good shape, but that would have required them to learn about customer service, so instead they just handed that market over to Lexus and started building station wagons, trucks, little sports cars, etc.
I’ve always thought that the tiny little slit of a taillight bar on that HUGE rearend was out of proportion. Now just redo the taillight bar to reduce the look of the rear! I like everything else you’ve done!! 🙂
Call me crazy, but I want to see the Touareg stretched and flattened.
This will sound silly, but I’m used to that so here goes: the car is a great design – very handsome. However, for me, it’s NOT a Lincoln look. Lincolns should be ‘grand touring’ or ‘luxury’ and this design is ‘sports’. This should have been a Mercury – it’s too nice for the Ford line-up…..but since there IS NO Mercury any more, I guess it got slipped into the Lincoln fold.
As for names, all Lincoln are annonymous now. They were trying for synonymous but failed.