Hot off the presses—Could a rear-wheel drive sport sedan, a replacement for the LS, be in Lincoln's future? The flowing, windswept lines on this MK-Zephyr lead the way for the return of Lincoln's classic nomenclature, now combined with alpha-prefixes.
C H O P — Based on a new press photo of the 2011 Infiniti M. The premise behind this car is that Lincoln's designers liked what was shaping up over in the Jaguar studios when FoMoCo owned both marques. They took those initial dramatic fastback concepts for the flagship XJ and shaped this new entry-level Lincoln—and deftly elevated it from its Fusion-derived first series.
Rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions would be available. Engines would range from an uprated version of the just-introduced Hybrid drivetrain, to a Twin-Charged 2 liter inline 4 cylinder making 225 hp and 225 ft/lbs, and up to a brand new 3.0 liter dohc V8 with 350 hp / 300 ft/lbs. Weight could be cut by several hundred pounds over the current MKZ through the use of computer-designed 'smart steel.' Every square inch of sheetmetal is optimized in width and tensile strength for its given 'job' and location on the monocoque for maximum strength and lightest weight. The new body-in-white would be 50% stronger than the MKZ, and 500 lbs lighter in base form.
The tagline I created for Lincoln in this ad, "Birds sing after storms, why shouldn't we? is a paraphrase of a famous quote by Rose Kennedy, mother of J.F.K. and late-matriarch of the Kennedy clan:
Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to then?
I think it's fitting to use a Rose Kennedy quote for the soon-to-be resurgence of Lincoln in the 21st century: John F. Kennedy's lasting legacy is forever entwined with those twentieth-century Camelot-era Lincoln Continentals The circle is complete.
The irony isn't lost on me that I've berated the styling of the Rapide today and then posted two more large gray fastbacks that are in no way as elegant or as well-designed as the Rapide. There goes that Gemini thing again.