When a car company takes another car and slaps their own emblem on it instead of making their own design, that's badge engineering. It's often shit. But here are ten exceptions to prove the rule.
10.) Holden Commodore/Pontiac G8/Lumina SS/Chevrolet Caprice/Chevy SS
America needed a classic V8 sedan and all it needed to do was call up Australia to ship 'em over. It worked so well (sarcasm) with the Pontiac G8, they did it again with the Chevy Lumina, they did it again with the Chevy Caprice and then again again with the current Chevy SS. And this is all after they ran the Holden Monaro as the Vauxhall Monaro as the Pontiac GTO as the Chevrolet Lumina Coupe, which they sold in the Middle East.
Suggested By: willkinton247 and Jarod Rose, Photo Credit: Chevrolet
9.) The Toyobaru Twins (Triplets?)
How is it that we get to have a light, fun-to-drive Toyota coupe these days? Because Toyota split the development costs with their little cousin Subaru. And thus, the Toyota GT 86, the Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S.
Suggested By: LWMartin, Photo Credit: Toyota
8.) Honda Accord/Acura TSX
The good part is that we Americans got one of the best-looking, best-driving sedans on the market when Honda rebadged the Euro Accord as the Acura TSX (not unlike the old Nissan Primera/Infiniti G20 twins). The bad part is that it was the best Acura on sale.
Suggested By: Chairman Kaga, Photo Credit: Honda
7.) Suzuki Cara/Autozam AZ-1
Ever wonder how Mazda designed and built a gullwinged midengine microcar out of nowhere in the late '80s? They didn't! They got Suzuki to do it for them.
Suggested By: skphoto, Photo Credit: Suzuki
6.) Chevrolet Camaro/Pontiac Firebird
Pontiac, GM's BMW of the '60s, was straight-up pissed that they'd been clamoring for a sporty two-door all through the decade and then Chevrolet got to have one of their own. So they got to rebadge the Camaro as a Firebird, which developed into one of GM's most successful cars of the 1970s, not to mention surviving through to the 2000s.
Suggested By: Maxyenko, Photo Credit: Pontiac
5.) Lotus Elise/Opel Speedster/Vauxhall VX220/Daewoo Speedster
This stretches the term 'badge engineering' a bit into something closer to 'platform engineering.' GM paid Lotus to develop their Mk1 Elise into a sports car for their Opel and Vauxhall brands, money which let Lotus develop the Mk2 Elise. The Lotus/Opel pair have different engines, body panels, and wheels, but are basically the same under the skin.
A similar pair to this is the VW Phaeton/Bentley Flying Spur twins.
Suggested By: DSC Off, Photo Credit: Vauxhall
4.) The Mitsubishi/Mopar Coupes
Ok, let's take a deep breath before we go into all of the '80s to '90s Mitsubishis that lived on as "domestic imports" in the American Mopar brands. Mopar had been doing this since the sixties with the Colt, so it's a long relationship. Alright, here goes: Mitsubishi Starion/Chrysler Conquest, Mitsubishi Eclipse/Plymouth Laser/Eagle Talon, Mitsubishi 3000GT/Dodge Stealth. Honorable Mention goes to the Mitsubishi Celeste/Plymouth Fire Arrow.
Suggested By: MrTheEngineer and feather throttle not hair, Photo Credit: Mitsubishi via VAGDave
3.) Opel Rekord C/Chevrolet Opala SS
Ok, now we're getting into badge engineering that wasn't just cool, but actually improved the cars themselves. Brazil got what was in Germany a staid middle-class coupe and turned it into a hot rod, albeit one with a straight six. Awesome.
Suggested By: Hoccy, Photo Credit: Old Car Manuals
2.) Mitsubishi Colt/Proton Satria GTI
ChryslerCo just rebadged their Mistubishis. Malaysia's Proton made them better, as our very own SatriaFanboy explains.