Lincoln recently announced that they are dropping the easy-to-pronounce and heritage-rich "Zephyr" name in favor of "MKZ."
The advantages of Lincoln avoiding alphanumeric names has been previously discussed, but this case is a mistake for additional reasons. Cadillac has shown us that replacing the name of an existing model with a series of letters can work if done properly, but Cadillac made the change to models that were years into their production. The resulting letter combinations were easy for prospective customers to relate to the old names. Lincoln released a bold, new car as the fresh face of Lincoln, and has drastically changed its name just over a year later. This will undoubtedly cause customer confusion which Lincoln may not be able to afford, furthered by the fact that the MKZ moniker brings the names of all three new Lincolns within one letter of each other.
If there is good news regarding the MKZ, it is that for 2007 it gets a new 3.5 liter V6, an AWD option, and other upgrades. Still, none of that will matter much if customers can't keep the names straight.
I'm glad someone agrees with me; Like Cassio Cortes of Racer magazine, for example. He brings up the good point that not only are there loads of alphanumeric cars already out there, but MKX, MKZ, and MKS are all very similar to a few competitors. At least enough that Honda is suing Ford because MKX is a little too similar to Acura's MDX for their liking.
This whole Lincoln naming fiasco has earned top What Were You Thinking marks in my book.