Uh oh, there is trouble brewing between Bentley and Lincoln following Lincoln’s announcement it will reveal its new Continental this week at the New York Auto Show. Bentley’s chief designer has a few choice things to say about the images released thus far and he is going so far as to call the car basically a copy of the Bentley Flying Spur, pictured above. There has been no comment thus far from Lincoln or its parent company Ford.
However, Bentley’s chief designer Luc Donckerwolkes couldn’t keep his thoughts to himself Tuesday and headed straight to the internet, where he called Lincoln out on the similarities. He wrote, “I would have called it Flying Spur concept and kept the four round lights,” in a Facebook post on his own page.
Of course, automakers take inspiration from each other all the time, much like what happens in many industries. Just look at what goes on in the fashion industry, for one. But Bentley’s design team says Lincoln took it too far this time.
In a follow-up interview with Car Design News, Donckerwolke claimed that Lincoln’s move is “not respectable” and building such a ‘copy’ is giving a bad name to the car design industry. Donckerwolke even went onto the Facebook page of Lincoln chief designer David Woodhouse to comment, “Do you want us to send the product tooling?”. The comment was immediately taken down.
Here is an image of both cars, so you can judge for yourself.
Ford’s Lincoln luxury division so far isn’t commenting publicly on Bentley’s aggressive stance.
The new Continental will debut this week in New York, where we’ll get a much closer look at it. Lincoln is bringing back the storied Continental nameplate after a 13-year hiatus. It will replace the MKS.
In its press release, Lincoln says The Continental has a long history. It first hit the road in 1938 after being developed specifically for Edsel Ford. The car got so many compliments from his friends, Ford decided to mass produce it and it had several successful production runs over the years before sales peaked in 1990. Lincoln finally gave up on it in 2002 when Ford acquired other luxury brands such as a Jaguar and Volvo. Plus, Lincoln’s own midsize LS and Town Car models both helped edge the Lincoln out, too.