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With the current model, neé Zephyr, getting quite long in the tooth, Lincoln is getting ready to launch its successor, with a concept scheduled to be unveiled at the 2012 North American International Auto Show.

The next generation MKZ will utilize the same architecture as its high volume stablemate, the Ford Fusion, as well as the European Mondeo, which means it will retain front-wheel drive, with AWD likely available as an option. As for powertrains, a Hybrid is rumored to be part of the mix (the current model has proved quite popular) along with a V6 and turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder.

However, the new MKZ, expected to be introduced as a 2013 model, will likely break the mold in terms of styling. Lincoln’s new design boss, Max Wolff, who worked at Cadillac before moving across town, reportedly arrived in time to leave his signature on the latest Z, so expect something a little edgier and more distinctive.

In addition, look for the introduction of MyLincoln Select Drive, with adjustable settings for the steering, throttle response and suspension system.

Further down the road, there are rumors circulating that Lincoln could get a version of the platform that underpins the rear-drive Australian Falcon, which could make for some very interesting vehicles, though the brand doesn’t have enough clout yet to be asking for such things. However, provided Lincoln gains some solid ground with upcoming new or revised products, such an idea isn’t beyond the realms of possibility.

[Source: Car & Driver]
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