Drew Smith: ethnographer, strategist and host of Rising Minds

Someone has been drinking the Opelaid.

Is it me or do the front clips of these two cars look decidedly similar?  The prominent, 5 sided grille on a central plinth? The trapezoidal lamps that break over the top surface of the wing? The three element lower intake? Even the little surface underlining the base of the headlamps is remarkably similar.

On the left we have the Chrysler 200C EV Concept from the Detroit show and on the right we have the new (as in now in production) Opel Insignia.

One is a vision of where a brand wants to be. The other is a testament to where a brand is now, based on a vision that’s maybe 5 years old now.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the Chrysler is a bad looking car (in fact, elements of it are downright sexy, the lovely interior in particular). It’s just that I would have liked to see a much stronger, forward looking statement about the future of Chrysler, especially give their current financial situation.

 I breathed an epic sigh of relief when I saw that they had finally ditched the baroque/kitsch theme that has done them such a disservice over the last few years but such an homage (intentional or not) to just another average, mid-sized car (that is already on the market) seems like an opportunity missed for the team in Aubern Hills.

Designers: we’re looking for signs of energy, confidence and an eye fixed firmly on the future, not competent me-too-ism!

Category: Car, Concept, Detroit, Motor Shows

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  1. Moose says:

    Great blog and well picked! I think there are quite a few other examples of this. The interesting thing is trying to differentiate between what aspects of a design are direct copies as opposed to those that have been influenced by a previous design at a sub-conscious level. Once a design feature becomes the accepted (pop culture) version of how a good car should look, it becomes hard for a Designer to not be influenced by that (knowingly or otherwise). It’s possible the Designer is barely aware they are ripping something off, the influence is so automatic and ingrained in their thinking.

    I look forward t you keeping the Designer’s out there honest, Drew. I’d also be interested in any other readers examples of copy cat design too.

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