Look-a-like: BMW Z4 Concept and… [w/ poll]

The new BMW Z4 Concept is a good, maybe even great-looking car: it has great proportions, some really nice and aggressive detailing, and is finished in a very eye-catching combination of sunset orange and brushed aluminum. But is it a great-looking BMW? Cover the grille, or simply merge the two kidneys into one single item, and many would struggle to ascribe the car to a particular brand – the Z4 blends a lot of cues, many seemingly from other carmakers, making the finished product seem a bit too un-BMW-like for my taste. And while the outside influences could be ascribed to many different sources, there is one concept in particular that the Z4 reminds me of…

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Look-a-like: Toyota C-HR and…

Let me come clean right from the beginning: I am a big fan of the Toyota C-HR, as it is the only car right now that seems to be carrying the avant garde torch in the subcompact SUV segment that was once kick-started by the equally adventurous-looking Nissan Juke. What’s more, the model’s looks are clearly not hampering it with consumers, who have taken to the model really rather well (European sales data, US sales data, US subcompact SUV segment comparison). However, despite this love, I always found it curious that this willfully different-looking car is, from the rear, very similar looking to another car that came before it…

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Look-a-like: VW Arteon and…

I have to admit I have a soft spot for the outgoing VW CC (née Passat CC) – it was a handsome car, especially once the facelift sharpened up its front design and rid of the weird oval graphics in the rear lights, and it seemed like a reasonable step up from the more humdrum Passat (in fact, the nickname the press gave it before it was launched, “Passat Plus”, captured its market placement pretty perfectly). What’s more, it sold pretty well, reaching around 30,000 units in its best years both in Europe and in the US. But now VW has grander ambitions for its indirect replacement, the Arteon, and wants the model to go after Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 4-series Gran Coupe. To enable this the carmaker has allowed the Arteon to grow in size, and given it sharper styling which it hopes will imbue the model with a sense of classy sportiness. So far so good, it’s just a pit that in the process the Arteon ended up looking quite a bit like another decidedly non-premium model…

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Look-a-like: Fiat Argo interior and…

There are many ways in which Fiats have stood out over time: innovation, good looks, spaciousness, charm and value-for-money. You’ll notice that one of the things not on this list is interior design, with Fiat interiors more often than not being just a sea of gray plastic (notable exceptions include the 500 range, especially the original small 500, and cars like the mid-1990s Coupe and Barchetta). Given the lack of form in this respect it makes sense that Fiat would look elsewhere in the industry for inspiration for the interior of the newly-revealed Argo, and what better place to look than at the carmaker that is seen by many as leading the industry in terms of interior design (if not always quality).

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Look-a-like: VW Atlas and…

When the VW Atlas was finally revealed after what felt like the longest gestation period the main responses that could be heard were those of disappointment. “This is it?”, most people said, “it’s way too conservative”, said others. And then there was a sizable group of people who thought the Atlas was straight-up ugly, mainly because of the character line that runs down the side of the car. In fact, not only is the concave/convex line controversial, it’s also very reminiscent of the side-treatment another less-than-beautiful SUV received a while back…

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Look-a-like: Bentley Bentayga and…

The Bentayga Bentayga has gotten plenty of flack ever since it came out, and pretty deservedly in my opinion. First, there is the shape with its long front overhang, which largely determined by hard points inherited from its platform twin, the Audi Q7, and which lacks the gloriously long hood that gives the Mulsanne and even the Continental GT their recognizable look. But Bentley did itself no favors with the detailing either – the oft-maligned cock-eyed front, the gauche fake air outlets in the front fenders, or the overdrawn “power curve” over the rear wheels that was cribbed from the Continental GT and forced onto a slab-sided SUV surface. But my biggest disappointment was always the rear, which is the worst thing for a luxury car – anonymous. The blame here lies mostly with the rear lights, which on top of being rather bland also remind of those of a mainstream non-premium car…

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Look-a-like: Opel Insignia and…

The new Opel/Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport is a fine-looking machine, though I may be a little bit less hot on it than some of the more enthusiastic commentators on the web. In particular, I feel that its detailing is a bit under-resolved, the rear is bland, and the whole looks less sporty than the model it replaces. One thing that I have to say I like a lot on the new model is the new prominent grille, which gives the car an aggressive aura that was maybe missing from the previous model. It also gives it, however, a more than a passing resemblance to one of its more premium competitors…

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Look-a-like: Audi Q5 and…

The new Audi Q5, as is pretty common with cars from the German automaker, got a bit of a mixed reception. Some people are tired of Audi cars always looking like updated version of the previous generation, rather than all-out new designs. Others, myself included, appreciate the new model’s tauter lines, good proportions, fine detailing, and most importantly the front view which is much better resolved than either on the old Q5 or the larger Q7. And it’s from the front that the new Audi looks a lot like another car that made its market debut a little bit earlier than it did…

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Look-a-like: Seat Ateca and…

When the Seat Ateca came out I remember being disappointed – the car is by no means bad-looking, but I felt it should have been much more adventurous than it turned out. By taking design cues from the Leon and stretching them over a more upright, formal crossover body the Ateca lost a lot of what made its hatchback sister model so handsome and attractive. But what really killed me is that that the Ateca looks less like a stablemate to the Leon, but rather more like a smaller, 5-seat version of…

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Look-a-like: Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and…

Imagine you’re a car company on the brink. There was a time that you produced some great cars, but that was decades ago, so no one really remembers that. So you decide that you need to be bold, and rather than build another “me too” hatchback you design a bold mainstream crossover will put your name back on the map. Hell, you’re desperate for success, so you even decide to resurrect the nameplate from the most-loved sports car from your past. And since you’re already started copying to ensure the new model’s success, you figure “ah, what the hell, I should crib parts of the car’s styling from a car renowned for its looks”. You do some quick research into the most frequently Googled car name and you come up with the perfect inspiration!

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