When the MKZ replaces the Zephyr in Lincoln’s lineup it will carry with it a higher price tag to offset the cost of additional features. Chief among the new hardware is Ford’s new 3.5L V6 and six-speed tranny, both designed in-house. All-wheel drive and a nip-tuck up front also set the MKZ apart from the Zephyr.

The higher fee will likely help Lincoln move any remaining Zephyr’s off the lot when the MKZ arrives, though we won’t know the price difference between the two until closer to the MKZ’s official launch. AutoWeek expects it to be around $2,000, which would raise the current car's sub-$30k price to around $32k.

The Zephyr has been doing very well for Lincoln, with sales on pace to reach 40,000 units in 2006. The MKZ addresses most of the Zephyr’s flaws that were uncovered in our review of the sedan, so we would expect sales to hold steady or even increase despite the name change and price jump.

[Source: AutoWeek]