10 Of Automotive History’s Greatest Car Twins

The automotive industry is riddled with cases of cars sharing (or copying) designs, parts, and even entire drivetrains. The most obvious are the blatant knockoffs of a more successful car, usually from other nations. While they may replicate the look, they can’t quite match what’s under the hood. Manufacturers will also frequently share parts between their more expensive models and their affordable offerings.

Car twins, however, are something entirely different. They include rebadged models and cars developed by two or more brands in unison and then sold on separate markets and sometimes with slightly varying powertrains and features. The fun part about car twins is that many drivers aren’t even aware of some cars have twins selling in different markets or under a different name/brand. And indeed, while some car twins are famous, others are rather obscure.

In this list, we focus on 10 of the car industry’s coolest and most iconic cases of car twins, showing off their similarities and also identifying their important differences. How many of these have you known about?

10 Ford Crown Victoria And Mercury Marauder

For years, the Ford Crown Victoria was the go-to model for police departments around the world. It made sense from the stout frame to the powerful engine and great drive and was also used for taxi cabs too. While it seemed to have a mirror in the Mercury Grand Marquis, the Marauder is a better twin for it.

The 2004 revival of the nameplate included a 4.6-liter V8 engine sending 302 hp and 318 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels through a four-speed automatic gearbox. It also boasted the same lean and mean looks, and while it didn’t become a sales success, the Marauder did offer a classy, ​​muscular take on the Grand Marquis.

9 Mitsubishi Starion And Chrysler Conquest

Maybe they weren’t the prettiest cars of the 1980s, but the Mitsubishi Starion and the Chrysler Conquest did have some nice appeal. The Starion was introduced in 1983 as a replacement for the Sapporo, using then luxury ideas like plush leather seats, automatic climate controls, and a high-end audio system.

It was never a strong car (the best it got was 188 hp), but it handled like a dream. The Conquest was an exact twin apart from a few badges/decals. The boxy wedge shape and pop-up headlights added to the appeal to make either version a cult car of the decade.

8th Subaru Impreza WRX And ​​Saab 9-2X

This was a fun rebadge that slipped under the radar for some customers. The Subaru Impreza has been one of the company’s biggest successes especially with the WRX and STI versions and is a pretty good buy. But Saab offered their own take on it with the 9-2X.

It was pretty much identical to the WRX wagon from the 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four capable of 227 hp to the styling. It also had a bit of a sporty feel and a fun ride, thanks to the same all-wheel-drive, spirited performance and decent fuel economy.

Related: 10 Cool Cars With Rebadged Twins

7 Saturn Sky And Opel GT

Saturn may be long gone, but the sky was a good roadster. The base Sky received a good 2.4-liter inline-4 with 177 hp, while the speedy “Redline” version had a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 with a stout 260 hp. It wasn’t a strong seller and only lasted two years as Saturn was on the way out, but it was reworked into the 2007 Opel GT.

It boasted a slightly weaker four-cylinder, but the styling was on point and made the GT look like a true sports car. Sadly, neither model lasted long.

6 Dodge Charger Daytona And Plymouth Superbird

Amazingly, both the Dodge Charger Daytona and Plymouth Superbird were considered ugly cars when they came out in 1969 and 1970, respectively. Today, they’re both seen as classics as the winged wonders tore it up at the Talladega 500 among other races.

They do look a lot alike with their long sharp noses and huge wings, although there still are a few minor differences in the styling. Both were incredibly powerful and shared engine options. Output ranged from 375 hp (base 440 V8) to 425 hp (426 Hemi). Today, any of these classics will fetch a fortune on the used car market and both remain timeless reminders of the golden age of muscle cars.

Related: 10 Sets Of Car Twins That Look Too Alike To Be A Coincidence

5 Subaru BRZ And Toyota GT86

It’s become a common place for auto manufacturers to work together, and few prove that more than the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86. The cars are two of the most famous twins on the market, identical in their power trains and chassis, with small tweaks to the exterior and interior designs and suspensions.

The twins remained identical for the 2022 model year as well, both receiving the same 2.4-liter naturally aspirated boxer engines with 228 horsepower. Buyers should still inform themselves about the small differences in ride quality, suspensions and interiors in order to pick the right model to buy. But other than that, the “twins” are fully deserving of their nickname.

4 Mitsubishi 3000GT And Dodge Stealth

It’s a bit complicated how Dodge ended up selling a re-badged version of the Mitsubishi, but it worked out well for both sides. The exterior differences are notable, with the stealth having a more “American” feel in the design to look stronger and bolder while the 3000GT has a sharper look.

Mechanically, they’re pretty much identical, although the 3000GT had a convertible option the Stealth lacks. However, they both provide a sleek ride and some of the best performance from a ’90s sports car.

Related: 5 Of The Best Rebadged Cars Ever Made (5 That Were Massive Flops)

3 Opel Insignia GS And Buick Regal GS

This is one of the cases of a name change for a different market working out well. Granted, at first, it was poor as the Buick Regal replaced the Opel Insignia’s strong 325-hp 2.8-liter turbo V6 with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 255 hp.

Thankfully, that was corrected in later models, with the 2018 Regal boasting a 310-hp V6 and offering better handling. It also possessed the same good looks that made it worthy of its sports-sedan performance.

2 Holden Monaro And Pontiac GTO

The Pontiac GTO is a great American muscle car, so it’s surprising a modern take on it is Australian. The GTO had been a standout of the early muscle car era before fading into the background and being discontinued after 1974.

In 2004 the GTO was revived, now a modern sports coupe with a bit of a muscle edge that was essentially a rebadged Holden Monaro. It packed a powerful 350-hp V8 but failed to win over old-school GTO fans due chiefly to its lack of brash American style.

1 Ford Torino And Mercury Cyclone

Two muscle cars are so alike, yet somehow, slight differences make each one stand out. The Ford Torino was originally an upscale version of the Fairlane that was adapted to a strong coupe or convertible muscle car with a variety of powerful V8 engines.

The Cyclone was its platform mate that had similar but still different styling as it shared no body panels. These two are some of the coolest affordable muscle cars on the used car market.

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