According to dictionaries, it's an ethereal sounding name
for a breath of fresh air, a sort of younger than springtime
attitude. For Lincoln, the luxury marque of Ford Motor Co.,
it's a breath of fresh inspiration in the company's rather
settled American-side luxury product lineup that needed
some aspirational boost. Zephyr also is a time-honored name
in company history, and Lincoln hopes to recapture some
of the panache of its classic Lincoln Zephyrs from years
ago with a brand new entry lux Zephyr sedan debuting for
2006. Luxury vehicles have been on the march as of late,
and Lincoln estimates some 300,000 buyers a year turn from
standard American fare to some level of premium. That leaves
a lot of breathing room for Zephyr.
held the car in abeyance of early test drives, so we'll
have to take dealers' word that it's a true driver's car
with low mileage to boot. Too bad. Stay tuned, however,
for RTM's full test drive review on the Zephyr in 2006.
lap behind the wheel gives a lot of insight. We can, however,
report on the guts under the glam that make this baby run.
It prances out of the stable on 221 powerful horses from
a 3.0-liter V-6. It just oozes pampered comfort and style
from heated and cooled seats, "segment exclusive"
six-speed automatic (just developed by Ford), "industry-first"
600-watt THX II-certified audio system with surround sound,
an all-new DVD-based nav system, leather seating, wood and
satin nickel trim, a ton of electronic gadgets, and -- believe
it -- "more" trunk room than any segment competitor.
Lincoln's entry point in the luxury auto market, Zephyr
has a big task to fulfill. Despite a dandy, higher-end LS
that we really liked but that failed to ignite volumes of
buyers, Lincoln has lacked a trendy, performance-oriented
entry lux vehicle to excite the crowded field of successful
Gen Xers moving up in the world. Zephyr squeaks in just
under the $30 K threshold, making it a base-price bargain,
but more premium-priced with the half-dozen available options
added. Its simpler, classic design also is aimed at American
and foreign brand names with equal urgency.
make sure that prospective targets get the message, Zephyr
pairs with such staples as House of Blues and American Airlnes
(very domestic) and adds a heavy dose of internet access
for promos. If you want a real stretch of its freshly-launched
"Reach Higher" motto, think of Webster's "West
wind" description of Zephyr. It could be synonymous
with a claim of dominance by this Western-based auto over
more Easterly invaders.