When people talk about Lincoln, we often hear the terms “unremarkable,” “dated,” “second-tier,” and “Beluga whale” used to describe its cars.
Why is that?
Frankly, it’s because the company’s cars have been unremarkable, dated, second-tier luxury automobiles. The SUVs and crossovers look a little like, you guessed it, Beluga whales.
It’s no wonder Lincoln hasn’t been on the shopping list of many luxury buyers in recent years. But a drastic design change and the return of a legendary name could start to change that.
Chatter surrounding the new Lincoln Continental concept has been amped up in recent days for two reasons:
- It’s the best looking car Lincoln has ever created.
- It’s a copy of a Bentley.
By now you’ve probably read about the kerfuffle created when Ford, Lincoln’s parent company, debuted the Continental concept at the New York International Auto Show. For those who haven’t heard: Bentley designer Luc Donckerwolke took issue with the design and called it a blatant copy. He even posted a snide comment on Lincoln designer David Woodhouse’s Facebook page, saying, “Do you want us to send the product tooling?”
Ford isn’t a stranger to taking design cues from higher-end cars. Remember the controversy behind the redesigned Fusion, which had a front end that looked awfully similar to an Aston Martin? Ford took a lot of flack for that at the time, but now the design is accepted as a Ford. I predict the same thing will happen for Lincoln.
In fact, this is probably exactly the kind of media attention Lincoln needed. Being compared to Bentley isn’t exactly a bad thing, and now luxury shoppers will associate the super-luxury brand with the Continental.
Design controversy aside, the car is being praised even by British media. The BBC said:
Seats coddle passengers to the tune of 30 different variations, including a synchronized gyration programme that inflates and deflates certain air bladders to facilitate entry and exit. The glass roof turns opaque from clear at a finger tap’s command. Lambswool shearling carpets are plush enough for sleeping on. Tally up the detailed chrome and aluminium, the rich use of colour and the car’s overall haute comfort, and the Continental cocoon seems beguiling enough for far loftier segments.
That seems worthy of a Bentley comparison to me!
The car will likely enter production, and we’ll see how close it holds to the striking design of the concept.
Do you like the design of the Lincoln Continental concept?