• Jan 28, 2008
click above for more spy shots of the Lincoln MKZ

We knew this was bound to happen, as the split-wing grille first seen on the Lincoln MKR Concept made its way to the production MKS sedan and Lincoln MKT Concept that debuted earlier this month at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. Now it's the MKZ's turn to get a new face that toes the corporate line. Through the heavy camouflage on the front of this test vehicle we can see the now familiar vertical slats the make up the brand's new trademark split-wing grille. KGP Photographers tell us the camouflage on the rear of the vehicle is also obscuring new taillights. Hopefully they're a bit smaller than the ones on the current car, which are so large as to suggest they come straight from the Navigator.

The MKZ is a fine car, but Lincoln admittedly made some mistakes when it was first introduced a few years ago. Not one year after introduction, its name was changed from Zephyr (a perfectly fine name) to MKZ, at which point confusion began to build about whether or not it should be called the M-K-Z or the Mark Z. It's the M-K-Z, by the way. It also received a few styling tweaks after that first year, as well as the first application of Ford's new 3.5L V6. That engine coupled with a six-speed automatic and all-wheel-drive helped the little Lincoln start to pick up sales, and in nearly sold as many units as the less expensive Mercury Milan (34,363 vs 37,244) in 2007. Perhaps a nose job will help sales even more by further associating the MKZ with Lincoln's new look.

[Photos: KGP Photography]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 35 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Another new grille? Lincoln seems to have fun changing the grille on the Zephyr-turned-MKZ, it seems like almost every year this car has been on the market it shows a new face.

      I think that the new grille won't help matters for the MKZ. The car looks just as anonymous and sleepy as before, and I'm pretty sure that small, awful-looking, square-shaped "retro" interior remains. I don't care about all the great features the MKZ has, its Fusion/Milan roots are too obvious the styling in and out is bad enough that I would never consider buying one.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The front end is actually very attractive and not anonymous -- if you scroll up to post linking to a Mexican website. I wouldn't buy any car like this, but I think the present EMMKAYZEFR is pretty, if, yes, blah.
      • 6 Years Ago

      AT LEAST they are finally trying for a brand identity which is not muddied by Mercury?Lincoln? Lincoln?Mercury? grilles. I was shocked, after the Zephyr came out, to see it had so many body panel differences from the other 2--- you have to look twice.

      But I dont like EMMKAYZEY any more than I like EMMKAYESS or EMKATIE. lol
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why do they keep messing around with the front? It's that baboon-faced rear they need to tamper with.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agreed. I like MKZephyr a lot, but the rear lights look really garish on any paint colour except red. Interior's fine, handling's pretty good, price and feature content are spot on--but that taillight cluster's a dealbreaker.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm surprised no one has said anything about them upgrading the engine to the 3.7L. Even though it only gets like 12 more hp I'm pretty sure the torque curve is better making it more fun to drive. My only gripes about the current MKz is the interior and rear. Put the new nav and AC setup and lose the retro feel, fix the rear tail lights, and give more performance and this car could be very competitive. Oh and all this can't change the price.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The new MKZ should be better looking, but what I'm more interested in is seeing the new Taurus.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I for one actually like the MKZ. When will it get the Fusion/Milan hybrid drivetrain? That would have me down at my local dealership in no time -- especially since Cadillac hasn't announced any hybrid sedans.
        • 6 Years Ago
        mullaly or someone said that the fusion/milan hybrids were coming this year in the detroit autoshop press conference.
        • 6 Years Ago
        When will the Fusion/Milan get the Fusion/Milan hybrid powertrain. Ford's been promising it for a while now, and I still haven't seen the production version at a car show or in public. What gives?
        • 6 Years Ago
        2009, 2.5 4 cyl hybrid

        should be 30/35 mpg
      • 6 Years Ago
      The MKZ does look quite a bit like the MKS -- not just grille, but overall. That's just my opinion. I do agree on the need for Lincoln to adopt a signature grille -- but really, these alphabet soup names are silly and they don't mean anything. What would they rename the Navigator -- MkN?
        • 6 Years Ago
        you know that is never gonna happen... Just like caddy will never rename the escalade...
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Milan is still my fav. variant of this platform - and we don't even get it in Canada :(

      The MKZ is nice, but its too similar to the Fusion and Milan. A nice THX sounds system and some faux-aluminum trim isn't enough. The 3.5/6speed is a great addition, and if anything it should be kept away from the Fusion and Milan if only to increase the Lincoln sales.
        • 6 Years Ago
        My original post was just of the opinion that most Fusion/Milan buyers probably aren't looking for high-end horsepower. The bigger/more powerful engine would be right at home in the 'high-end' variant (MKZ)

        Having said that, a Fusion SHO/SVT would be awesome.
        • 6 Years Ago
        mercury is on its way out, once ford strangles all the mercury dealers out of existence, the brand is dead

        the 3.5 should make its way into all the surviving fusion based cars
        • 6 Years Ago
        Making the Fusion/Milan wouldn't make the Lincoln better, but it would help Toyota, Honda, and Chevrolet sell more cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I meant to say "Making the Fusion/Milan WORSE wouldn't..."
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ahh, the 'Zephyr' vs 'MKZ' argument... What fun those were...

      I recall a bunch of us laughing over the press release that said something like "Lincoln is a uniquely American luxury vehicle." Then, later in the same release announced "We are changing the naming method to use the Asian / European convention of letters." (quotes paraphrased from memory) Some asked if the press release was written by the same two people in one head, or if it copy / paste from different talking points.

      We all agree that it is frustrating and embarrassing, that's for sure.
        • 6 Years Ago
        seriously, that fairlane/flex naming fiasco is more evidence

        is there anyone out there that likes Flex?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ford marketing borders on schizophrenic in it's lack of direction and leadership. It's wholly unlike, say, GM, which uses to the enormously effective "shout the same phrases over and over again and people eventually believe them" technique.

        Ford, by comparison, mixes messages so often it's scary. It really gives buyers no confidence if they can't plan more than a year in advance. The whole 500/Taurus thing was dumb. The MKZephyr was dumber. The Fairlane/Flex thing had people in tears.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I always thought the mkz was a couple tweaks away from being something really nice. They look pretty well put together in person. From what I see here, the tailights look thinner and more horiztontal (hopefully).

      The new Lincoln Grille will be a huge improvement also. By the way, Zephyr was a cool name. Sorry they let it go.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I really want to like this car... and on paper it's a home run! Problem is, it's an expensive tarted-up Fusion... which sez more about how good a car Fusion is... and it will take more than a new grill and taillights to compensate for a $20K+ premium price. Of course that little 'Polo' emblem or the word 'Nautica' printed like a sandwich sign on a garment gets a pretty good premium too... but after so many years of opportunity gone, it is frustrating that this is the best luxury mid sized sedan Lincoln can manage to scrape up!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Talisman I don't know where you got your numbers, but I ckd out a MKZ AWD Saturday at the Auto Show and sticker was $38K-- although well equipped, not top line from what I could see! This vehicle has specific interest for the Mrs since we want to get her into an AWD MKZ, MKX, or other high line and out of a CLK RWD that can't get out of its own way. While the Ford dealer might drop his drawers to $18 or so for a Fusion, Lincoln dealers don't like to let their jewelry go too cheap. Heck $23-26 for one wholesale at the auction. See for yourself!
        • 6 Years Ago
        The premium is not 20k dollars. Its 10k at most. Typically it's less than that seeing as how a 3.0 V6 Fusion is going to run you 23 to 24k and you can get into a 3.5 MKZ for 29 to 30k. It really averages out to about 6k dollar premium for a completely different interior, different drivetrain, much higher quality materials inside, one of the best soundsystems on the market, and more upscale looks (LED Tails, HID lights, etc).

        If you actually compare the MKZ and its features to other entry level "luxury" cars, its priced very competitively and has great reliability ratings.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Somebody wake me up when the MKZ gets the 340hp Ecotech in AWD form, then I would consider getting one.
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