Is this the production version of the Lincoln Zephyr concept?

Lincoln stepped out of the sedan segment when it ended production of the Continental in late 2020, but it’s already planning a comeback. Leaked patent images suggest that the stylish Zephyr concept unveiled at the Shanghai show earlier in 2021 is well on its way to production.

Uncovered by Japan’s Sun News, the sketches show the outline of an elegant-looking sedan whose proportions match the Zephyr‘s almost perfectly. It’s a three-box sedan with a long wheelbase and an almost fastback-like roof line. Some details tell us we’re not merely looking at renderings of the concept, like more realistic headlights, redesigned air intakes in the front bumper, bigger door mirrors, and a reshaped rear bumper. These are the changes we’d expect Lincoln to make in order to turn the concept (pictured below) into a car it can build and sell.

Powertrain specifications were not leaked, though we’re guessing the sedan will use turbocharged engines sourced from the Ford parts bin. Similarly, we don’t know what it looks like inside; the concept’s cabin featured a two-spoke steering wheel and an extra-wide screen. Just like the exterior design, the interior was futuristic enough to earn the “concept” label but not to the point where building it wouldn’t be feasible.

Lincoln hasn’t commented on the patent images, but it has already confirmed plans to turn the Zephyr into a production car. The model is scheduled to make its official debut later in 2021, though there’s a catch: It will exclusively be sold (and presumably built) in China. As of writing, nothing suggests the firm will add another sedan to its lineup in the United States, where demand for low-riding cars has crashed.

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