2006 Lincoln Zephyr
The Zephyr is due for North American release in September 2005
22nd April, 2005
With the all-new 2006 Lincoln Zephyr, Lincoln will introduce in North America an entirely new generation of consumers to the qualities that have made Lincoln a classic luxury marque for more than 70 years.
Qualities such as bold and distinctive exterior design; an interior that is rich and inviting, featuring high-quality materials throughout; and a driving experience that can be both luxurious and spirited, according to the driver's desires.
As a mid-size, five-passenger sedan, the Zephyr will offer younger buyers a luxury automobile with the comfort and refinement befitting a Lincoln. In this way, Zephyr will appeal to a completely new segment of buyers.
This closely mirrors the mission of the original 1936 Lincoln Zephyr, which was introduced as the entry point for Lincoln luxury with a starting price of $1,400. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
EXTERIOR: Classic, understated elegance
The exterior design of the Zephyr incorporates classic elements of Lincoln style – elements that have, over time, become essential to the visual heritage of the brand.
The family resemblance starts at the front, with Lincoln's traditional waterfall grille. Situated between a set of jewel-like, quad projector-beam or optional HID headlamps, the treatment is recognisable as Lincoln.
The Lincoln Zephyr's side profile features chrome trim at the beltline and on the mirror caps, set off by the wheels. The 17-inch alloy wheels are an important design element, available with a machined appearance or a chromed-aluminium finish. Low-profile tyres reinforce the low, purposeful stance of the car.
The rear bumper surface is nearly flush, contributing to the clean, uncluttered lines. Twin chrome tailpipes are set wide apart below thin horizontal reflectors in the lower fascia, similar in placement to the front fog lamps. Together, the flush bumper and chrome-tipped dual exhausts communicate a subtle athleticism.
INTERIOR: Unpretentious luxury
In the interior, real wood, high-quality leather, and aluminium trim highlight a cabin that continues Lincoln's reputation for interiors that deliver visual and tactile interest using genuine materials. White electro-luminescent lighting illuminates the round, chrome-ringed gauges, complementing the interior's white lighting, which uses white LEDs to backlight controls and switches at night.
The instrument panel features a horizontal band of contrasting trim in one of four natural surfaces: Finely ribbed aluminium, finely ribbed aluminium with a dark finish, dark Ebony wood or light Maple.
The 2006 Lincoln Zephyr is designed for comfort, too, with quite reasonable rear-passenger legroom. The spacious feel of the cabin was achieved by stretching the width of the base architecture by 30 millimeters and the wheelbase by 55 millimeters.
The Lincoln Zephyr features a large boot with a flat load floor and a low lift-over height. The bootlid has compact hinge mechanisms that won't impinge on boot space nor will it crush cargo. The rear seats feature standard 60/40-split backs that individually fold flat with a convenient spring assist, giving access to the boot and affording cavernous storage space.
Thanks to a rigid and robust structure, the quiet interior is the perfect environment for the industry's first THX II-Certified® audio system. Optional on the Lincoln Zephyr, the system features surround-sound worthy of an upscale cinema. The system features ten speakers and a sophisticated processor that inputs bandwidth, peak audio levels and coverage uniformity to deliver a smooth spectral balance and wide dynamic range. To ensure that driver and passengers always travel well – and with the right directions – a new DVD-based navigation system is available.
POWERTRAIN: Powerful and green
The Duratec 30 V-6 is the heart of Lincoln Zephyr's powertrain. Using intake Variable Cam Timing (i-VCT) to improve torque and reduce emissions, the engine generates 210 horsepower and 200 foot-pounds of torque. More importantly, it is the cleanest Duratec 30 ever, and will be rated for ULEV II tailpipe emissions in California, with a U.S. federal government rating of Tier II, Bin 5 tailpipe and LEV II evaporative emissions in states outside California.
The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transaxle – gradually emerging as the new industry standard for luxury cars. The innovative, wide-ratio transmission plays a key role in Lincoln Zephyr's performance and smooth operation. The overall span of the ratios is approximately 6:1 versus 4.5:1 for a typical five-speed, which allows this smaller, more fuel-efficient engine to deliver efficient mileage along with a strong performance feel. Another bonus is that the modern six-speed automatic is lighter than some competitor's four- and five-speed transaxles, boosting performance and economy further.
The Lincoln Zephyr also uses an electronic throttle control that works with the electronically controlled transaxle to ensure seamless shifts.
SUSPENSION: Quiet ride, nimble handling
Lincoln Zephyr's chassis is tuned for a quiet, comfortable ride with confident, responsive handling. All aspects of the fully independent suspension – dampers, spring rates and bushings – have been specially selected and tuned with an emphasis on ride comfort, without sacrificing precise and nimble response.
The standard 17-inch tyres, with their wide P225/50 profile, were selected to complement the suspension tuning, and for their quiet tread design. In fact, compared with other tyres tested, they reduce interior sound levels by six decibels.
The rack-and-pinion steering system was tuned to be in harmony with the suspension and tyres. Utilizing the car's stiff structure, the Lincoln Zephyr mounts the steering gear to the front perimeter subframe for reduced noise and vibration. Doing so enables the driver to better experience the car's relationship to the pavement via the steering wheel – no matter if it's a power-assisted parking manoeuvre or a high-speed lane change.
SAFETY: The essential luxury
Lincoln Zephyr incorporates a number of highly advanced safety technologies. It was designed with Ford's Personal Safety System™ and a body structure optimised to help manage energy in a crash.
Lincoln Zephyr's Personal Safety System includes standard driver and front passenger air bags, seat-deployed side air bags for torso protection, and three-point safety belts at all seating positions, with front-seat pretensioners and retractors. A full-length safety curtain provides enhanced head-protection coverage over the length of the window glass area – for both front- and second-row occupants from A-pillar to C-pillar.
The new air bags can help prevent both front and rear occupants from hitting their heads on the side window or roof pillars in a severe side collision.
Lincoln Zephyr's two-row side air curtains also feature "roll-fold" technology – a Ford Motor Company exclusive in the mid-size segment. If an occupant is improperly seated and resting his or her head against a window, the air bag is designed to slide between the glass and occupant as it inflates. Typical side air curtains unfold like an accordion, using the occupant's head to keep the bag between the glass and the body. Lincoln's roll-fold keeps the air curtain against the glass, even when the occupant is out of position.
Lincoln Zephyr features four-wheel disc brakes with a four-sensor, four-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic brake force distribution (EBD). By measuring brake force and directing braking to the wheels that have the best grip, EBD helps achieve shorter stopping distances even before ABS activates. Traction assist is also standard.