New Lincoln Zephyr Concept Car Introduced for China Market; Is a U.S. Version on the Horizon?

This week at Auto Shanghai, Lincoln debuted the Lincoln Zephyr Reflection preview car, showcasing the best of Lincoln’s global design expertise in a vehicle designed solely for the China market. The all-new Lincoln Corsair plug-in hybrid (PHEV) also made its debut as Lincoln’s first locally produced new energy vehicle (NEV).

Lincoln released no information about the Zephyr’s powertrain options, but production versions of the Zephyr are expected to hit the Chinese market later this year, so should already be well advanced in design.

According to Lincoln, “Our global momentum is building, and we continue to lean into the strength of our world-class vehicles and Lincoln Way experiences,” said Joy Falotico, president, Lincoln Motor Company. “Lincoln’s strategy for growth in China is firmly rooted in our deep understanding of the discerning Chinese consumer. Their desire for sedans is the inspiration behind this progressive and distinctive vehicle for China and underscores our commitment to the China market.”

Full width digital screens across dash highlight interior design.

The Lincoln Zephyr Reflection “teaser” model serves to preview the latest expression of Lincoln’s Quiet Flight product DNA, and hints at the future of Lincoln’s design philosophy and signature features ahead of the production model debut later this year.

Consumer demand for luxury sedans in China is strong and the Zephyr Reflection will provide Chinese consumers with a unique vehicle designed for China. With a dynamic exterior and tech-forward interior that provides an immersive sanctuary, the Lincoln Zephyr Reflection is a fresh take on American luxury.

Design cues from recent MKZ models combine with sportier look on Zephyr Reflection concept car.

Mao Jingbo, president of Lincoln China, added, “we gathered Lincoln’s global wisdom and Chinese design talent to create the Zephyr Reflection specifically for a more youthful, Chinese customer segment. With a dynamic and futuristic exterior design, and a lightweight interior, the Zephyr Reflection embodies the current digital era with advanced, intuitive technology that redefines American luxury.”

The Lincoln Continental concept vehicle introduced in 2015 and viewed at the LCOC Western National Meet in San Diego closely resembled the later production Continentals.

Continental concept car closely resembled the production version. Will the China Zephyr follow suit?

Is the new China Zephyr Reflection concept an accurate preview of the production Zephyrs to come? Will the planned 4-door sedan eventually make its way into the U.S. market? Only time will tell. While today’s U.S. lineup of SUVs is popular, many current Lincoln owners are traditional sedan customers with no new purchase option within the Lincoln family following the company’s cancellation of the MKZ and Continental models. Perhaps the sedan’s future in the U.S. depends on the Zephyr’s reception and sales results in China.

Or maybe lessons learned will result in something totally different for American consumers. One thing is certain: successful automotive ideas breed copies so a U.S. Zephyr might be on the horizon. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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