Doppelganger Cars; Shared Parts + Badge/Branding = Bigger Margins

Ever wondered how many cars are doppelgangers? They often share engines, chassis components and more, which can mean owners are paying a heck of extra cash for pretty much the same machine under the skin. WhoCanFixMyCar website put together a little show n tell to entertain you, post General Election.

Jeremy Clarkson once claimed on Top Gear that the naturally aspirated Aston Martin V12 that powers legendary models such as the DB7, DB9, DBS and Vanquish is actually just two Ford Mondeo engines that are welded together – thus a motoring myth was born. However, that’s not the only thing that both cars have in common. The front grille on both cars is identical, often being a source of chatter on automotive forums, with some nicknaming the Ford Mondeo as the “Aston Martin Mondaudi”.

The profile of the car is also strikingly similar, in fact you’d be forgiven for thinking the Ford Mondeo was Aston Martin’s new family-friendly, 5-seater offering straight from the production line. If you want something that wouldn’t look out of place on a James Bond set, but can still easily get the dogs in the boot for a Sunday trip to the beach – opt for the Ford Mondeo.


After Aston Martin was copied by Ford, the shoe was now on the other foot when they created the Cygnet, a high-end duplicate of the Toyota IQ. The resemblance is striking and there’s a perfectly good reason for that – it’s exactly the same car. Well, not exactly the same, just all of its major components including the body, chassis, suspension and engine transmission.

However, Aston Martin did bother to add a luxury interior to the Cygnet which required the same amount of leather hides to trim a DB9, so motorists paying £31,000 to pick up the 2-seater city car can’t really complain.


How did these brands ever get together? Other than the Q30, it’s hard to see what Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz have in common. One is the high-end, luxury division of Nissan with their cars rarely seen on European roads. The other is a regional powerhouse with Mercedes-Benz’s popularity evident not only on the roads of Europe, but the world. However, as it happens, the Q30 was built on the same platform as the third generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class. With the aim being to create a small, premium hatchback, it made sense to sell the car using two diferent brands.

It’s not only the platform that both cars share; it’s also the engine, along with the dashboard dials, a Mercedes gear stick and steering wheel. In the Q30, Infiniti answers rivals such as the BMW 1 Series, Audi A3 and paradoxically the Mercedes A-Class. Creating a car which is around 42% cheaper that the A-Class and its other rivals. But would that Infiniti badge put you off? We at WhoCanFixMyCar are undecided.

Here’s another factoid for you. If you drive a Merc A Class diesel with the 1.5dci engine inside then it’s the same power unit that is fitted to the Renault Kadjar, Megane or Dacia Lodgy.


About alastair walker 11432 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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