Lincoln MKZ etymology: What does its name mean?

The Lincoln MKZ is the luxury brand’s volume sedan, but what do those three little letters mean, if anything at all?

In 2006, Lincoln decided that, like its direct rival Cadillac, it needed to adopt a letter-based hierarchy of names in order to better compete with BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lexus, Infiniti and so on.

After just one year on market, the company rebranded the Zephyr, a restyled and more luxurious version of the Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan, as the MKZ.

The MK part of Lincoln’s then-new naming scheme was an allusion to the Mark series of cars from the brand, which range from the 1956 Mark II through to 1998’s Mark VIII.

Clearly, the Z portion of the MKZ’s name references the Zephyr which it directly replaced.

To be clear, though, the MKZ doesn’t stand for Mark Zephyr or Mark Z, it just looks like it does.