“Alright, alright, alright” might be something Matthew McConaughey will soon say in a car commercial as he smoothly drives away in a 2016 Lincoln Continental that’s been re-released after a 13-year hiatus.
But is the Continental concept version to be unveiled at the New York Auto Show just a rip-off of the much more expensive Bentley Flying Spur? The high-end luxury brand’s head designer Luc Donckerwolke has claimed it is.
Though company executives have yet to put a price tag on the Ford-built Lincoln luxury sedan, it’s likely to be in the high $90s or $100,000 range. The 2015 Flying Spur, however, is priced a bit steeper and will set you back between $186,000 and $222,000, depending on the model purchased.
Feeling his company and its Grey-Poupon image have been stolen — ’cause that’s what we all want, right, to look likes a dowdy lady-that-lunches or stuffy rich dude — Donckerwolke fired away at his Lincoln counterpart by posting “I would have called it Flying Spur concept and kept the four round lights” on his Facebook page. Another derisively wrote “finally a ‘Bentley for the masses.’”
Isn’t it great when rich fellas get in a tiff over which luxury brand designer is looking over another designer’s shoulder? Hey, do I need to remind them most cars are inspired or modeled on others?
Here are the two vehicles you decide if they look THAT similar.
— LincolnMotorCompany (@LincolnMotorCo) March 30, 2015
By bringing back the Continental, Lincoln is looking to hopefully take back some of its lost market share in the luxury-sedan sector. If Donckerwolke thought hating on the car would bring bad press and scare off buyers, he’s probably wrong, though. My suspicion is that people want to drive something that looks like something else, just look at how well the Chrysler 300 sold after being compared to the Bentley. At around $29,000, the tremendously cheaper luxury sedan sold quite well. It might have anyway, but as the old Hollywood saying goes, “No press is bad press.”
Plus, the new Lincoln is aimed at emerging markets in China and overseas where an appetite for luxury brands and the American-made cachet and Lincoln logo still carry significant weight.
Once the domain of mobsters, connected friends and wannabe gangsters, this version of the Continental has definitely gone to a Euro-look, but that doesn’t mean “Der Baron Donckerwolke” should just start firing away at the once-inimitable flagship American luxury brand. Talk about hating on ‘merica, this is a cause the French fries name changers, nativists and foreign haters should really get behind.
Where you at, Larry the Cable Guy? I would expect more outrage at Donckerwolke’s comments, such as, “He can’t talk bad about our giant, fuel-guzzling and drives-like-a-boat-brand like that!” When is the protest forming? Let’s get it together, Middle America!
Noah Zuss is a reporter for TheBlot Magazine.