11-30-2005, 04:07 AM
2006 Lincoln Zephyr
2006 Lincoln Zephyr
Lincoln gets a Fusion of its very own
2006 LINCOLN ZEPHYR
ON SALE: Now
BASE PRICE: $29,660
POWERTRAIN: 3.0-liter, 221-hp, 205-lb-ft V6; fwd, six-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT: 3410 lbs
0 TO 60 MPH: 7.0 seconds (est.)
Trivia question: When was the last time Ford.s Lincoln division introduced a new passenger car? How about five years ago? Seriously? Yes, seriously: That.s when the Lincoln LS was introduced.2001. Five years! That.s an automotive eternity.especially for a brand known primarily for its passenger cars. Now Lincoln, which Ford officials admit the com*pany has all but ignored, has a new car, or at least one new to Lincoln: Zephyr.
Zephyr is Lincoln.s version of the Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan and will be built alongside them at Ford.s Hermosillo, Mexico, plant. Lincoln officials say the hope with Zephyr is to keep Lincoln.s traditional buyers while bringing new ones into the fold.
Zephyr rides on the same modified Mazda 6 chassis and uses the Fusion.s 3.0-liter, 221-hp Duratec V6, six-speed automatic and four-wheel independent suspension. Like the Mazda 6, there are control arms in front and a multilink setup in the rear.
The Zephyr adds more sound-deadening material, a suspension tuned more to the soft side, and a higher sticker price. Zephyr.s base sticker is $29,660. The Fusion starts at $17,795.
Ford has been improving its interiors in a big way lately, and the Zephyr builds on the Fusion.s excellent fit-and-finish. The dash and instruments look expensive and the interior is void of hard plastics. All the knobs and switches feel like quality pieces. The seats (front and back) are comfortable and supportive.
Driving the Zephyr is, well, like driving a quieter, slightly softer Fusion. The Zephyr is comfortable and quiet, and rides and handles nicely.
The Duratec provides good power, but can get buzzy when you dip into the throttle. There is a little too much mechanical noise, so it.s not as smooth as a Honda or Toyota six-cylinder. We found the same thing when we drove the Fusion.
The Zephyr is a solid mid-size contender; there is every reason to believe it will compete with cars at which it is aimed: Acura TL, Lexus ES and Cadillac CTS. The Zephyr is the first of Lincoln.s .product renaissance,. which includes five new cars and trucks over the next four years. Lincoln officials hope for 30,000 Zephyr sales a year.
Totally new look for lincoln. I'm not sure about it.... so far I'm not feeling it.