According to Robert Farago at The Truth About Cars, the Lincoln Zephyr is "another nail in Lincoln's coffin".
Unfortunately, I have to agree. I don't see what the Zephyr will do to advance Lincoln's image. It really can't compete with the other "entry level" luxury cars on performance, although I think the looks are sharp.
Fundamentally, Ford won't be able to convince people that the Zephyr is not more than a prettied up Fusion. The Zephyr will ship with a powertrain identical to its less luxurious sisters, the 210HP 3.0L-4V "Duratech" V6. This is not a bad motor, but it is not sufficient for a car that is supposed to compete with other entry-level luxury cars in the $30,000 range. And the only transmission choice is a FWD automatic; no manual transmission or AWD has been announced.
For about the same price, someone could choose a BMW 3 series, with a 255HP I-6, RWD. Or an Acura TL, with a 270HP V6. Or an Audi A4 with a 200HP I-4 turbo, and all-wheel drive. Or a Cadillac CTS. Or a Saab...
All of Zephyr's competitors have world class interiors, great sound systems, sharp styling. Many of them can be had with a manual transsmission, or RWD, or AWD. Pretty much all of them will outrun the Zephyr. And, I am afraid, pretty much all of them will outsell the Zephyr.