It’s really gratifying that this ongoing discussion about the world of cars has gained some readers of late, and I thank my pal Brian Caruso, who generously shared the story of his family’s museum of American motorsport in Las Vegas, with us recently. Welcome, everyone. This is a quick-hit narrative of noteworthy things going on where cars, and the life that revolves around them, are concerned. Jim Donnelly On Wheels is generally updated a couple of times a week or on an as-needed basis as breaking automotive news dictates. You never know what you’re going to find in this dialogue because, honestly, I usually don’t know myself until I get behind the keyboard. From that point, anything goes. The conversation often, but not always, involves new products. Here’s an example, with a unique twist once you consider the source. Lincoln, an acclaimed brand with some undeniable identity issues, is resurrecting a magical name from its storied past. What’s unexpected is that the new Lincoln Zephyr was introduced in China, and is aimed exclusively at that staggeringly huge automotive market.
The Zephyr is Lincoln’s first locally produced automobile intended exclusively – word chosen deliberately – for the Chinese market. And it’s not a hybrid or EVs, but instead a passenger car that’s precisely tuned to buyer tastes in the sprawling Chinese market. Over there, large luxury sedans are very much a buyer favorite, as evidenced by Buick’s longstanding success in China, along with Rolls-Royce and Bentley; just saying. This is a full-size car, larger than any sedan Lincoln has recently offered in the United States, such as the Hermosillo-built MXZ, which went out of production last year. The Zephyr will ride on a modified version of the Ford global C2 platform, which will underpin the fifth-generation Mondeo sedan and stateside, the likes of the four-door Ford Bronco Sport. Introduced at the Auto Guangzhou show, the Zephyr will be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. A 27-inch touchscreen – no misprint – that takes up the entire dashboard will be standard. Will the Zephyr come here? Given Lincoln’s current all-SUV domestic lineup, probably not, at least in this form.