For 2011, the popular MKZ sedan, formerly known as the Lincoln Zephyr, gets a complete cosmetic makeover that makes it look like all the other Lincolns, with that toothy split-wing grille, but more importantly, it is Lincoln’s first-ever hybrid passenger car, and the first Lincoln ever powered by a 4-cylinder engine.
The entire second-generation Ford hybrid system has been picked up from the Ford Fusion and installed in the more luxurious and more expensive MKZ with which the Fusion shares platforms. That means a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine coupled to an Aisin E-CVT transmission, an electric motor, a 275-volt Nickel metal hydride propulsion battery, and regenerative braking.
It also means that the very clever and easy-to-use digital display screens developed for the Ford hybrid have been carried over to the Lincoln, including the four-phase driver assist system and the virtual leaves that grow the more carefully you drive. Like the Fusion, the MKZ will drive on pure electric power up to 47 miles per hour, when the engine comes on automatically to assist or accelerate.