Earlier this week, Bentley’s chief designer Luc Donckerwolke threw some major social media shade at David Woodhouse, Ford’s designer. After Ford showed off their 2016 Lincoln Continental Concept on Monday, before the New York Auto Show, Donckerwolke noticed some glaring similarities between the new Lincoln and the Bentley Flying Spur. So naturally he did what we do all do nowadays, he took to Facebook in a way that would make Rihanna proud.
According to Car Design News, Donckerwolke wrote “Do you want us to send the product tooling?” on Woodhouse’s Facebook page, implying that Ford may want to just make a complete replica. The comment may have been quickly deleted, but that didn’t stop Donckerwolke, who then wrote on his own page, "I would have called it Flying Spur concept and kept the four round lights.”
Photos Credit: Bentley [top] and Ford [bottom]
When looking at the autos side-by-side (seen above), it’s pretty easy to see the similarities: the side windows share the same look, and they both have a distinct chrome trimming around the rears and windows. There’s also the issue of the Continental name. Bentley has been making Continentals since 1984, while the last one Ford made was back in 2002. While it’s not unusual for car designers to find inspiration in one another, there’s definitely a line you can’t cross. According to Donckerwolke, Ford definitely crossed it.
Photo Credit: Bentley
Before Bentley’s PR team could reign in Donckerwolke, he spoke with Car Design News to elaborate on his feelings, saying, "This behavior is not respectable. Building a copy like this is giving a bad name to the car design world."
This isn’t the first time Ford has been blasted for allegedly copying a competitor. As Automotive News pointed out, in 2011 Aston Martin became upset over the trapezoidal grill design on many of Ford’s models, claiming it was much too similar to their own designs.
Photo Credit: Bentley
So far, Lincoln spokesperson Stephane Cesareo is dismissing the issue by saying “The Lincoln Continental is clearly a Lincoln, we're very proud of it.”
Looks like the New York Auto Show may get a little awkward this weekend.