Interestingly, a facelift for the MKZ also debuted in 2016 with a new nose that uses the Continental’s new family grille. Despite that, the MKZ kept its name. If the Continental takes off, or even if it doesn’t, the Zephyr name looks likely to replace the MKZ when it debuts in either 2018 or 2019.
Which is all kind of fitting because the MKZ name was introduced in 2005 to replace the Zephyr badge, even though that car was barely a year old at that point. Following on from Cadillac, Acura and others, letters and numbers were all the rage back then amongst second tier luxury players because they seemed more European.
Now, it’s a case of back to the future.
Ed’s disclaimer: this could all be for nothing. Car makers renew trademarks on defunct badges all the time, just to make sure they still own the rights to them and any merchandising that could still flow from them. On the same day, Ford renewed its trademark on the Thunderbird badge.