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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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