Nine of the Best Rebadged Cars Ever Made

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Dean Smith

Sometimes, automakers need to borrow from each other in order to build a car. Swap a few body panels, change some badges, and presto, you have a new car. Here are some of the best rebadged cars, according to you.

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Vauxhall
Lotus Carlton / Lotus Omega

Though the Lotus Carlton looks eerily similar to its Vauxhall and Opel siblings, a whole lot is updated underneath. The engine is turbocharged, and the suspension is completely overhauled to live up to Lotus's famous handling characteristics.

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You probably see a Pontiac on this list and assume it was a victim of GM's big bailout, but this one wasn't. Pontiac revived the GTO name when it began importing the excellent, rear-drive Holden Monaro coupe from Australia, but it was a sales flop. People complained that it didn't look cool enough to wear the GTO name, but all I see is a big, V8-powered burnout machine.
Pontiac
Pontiac GTO

The mid-2000s marked the return of the famous GTO nameplate, this time in the form of a rebadged Holden Monaro. The body shape and powertrain remained largely the same, save for the front fascia.

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<p>In the 1980s, Mitsubishi decided it needed to get into the sports car game, so it built the Starion: a rear-wheel-drive, four-seat hatch with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Chrysler thought it was a good idea to import the car and sell it as the Conquest, selling it under the Chrysler, Dodge, and Plymouth names.&nbsp;</p>
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Chrysler Conquest

In the 1980s, Mitsubishi decided it needed to get into the sports car game, so it built the Starion: A rear-wheel-drive, four-seat hatch with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Chrysler thought it was a good idea to import the car and sell it as the Conquest, selling it under the Chrysler, Dodge, and Plymouth names.

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<p>Back at the beginning of the decade, Toyota and Subaru joined forces to create a small, rear-wheel-drive, fun,&nbsp;two-door for the masses. What resulted is&nbsp;the car you see above. It's called the <a href="http://quizcards.info/car-culture/a18083/scion-fr-ssubaru-brz-same-but-different/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S</a>&nbsp;(RIP), or <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/news/a28490/2017-toyota-86-scion-fr-s/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">Toyota 86</a> in the US, and the Toyota GT86 overseas.&nbsp;</p>
Subaru BRZ / Scion FR-S / Toyota 86

Back at the beginning of the decade, Toyota and Subaru joined forces to create a small, rear-wheel-drive, fun two-door for the masses. What resulted is the car you see here. It's called the Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S (RIP), or Toyota 86 in the US, and the Toyota GT86 overseas.

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<p><a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/reviews/a9675/2004-chrysler-crossfire-1/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">The Chrysler Crossfire</a>, while mildly different from its Mercedes-Benz SLK underpinnings, still shares drivetrains and a platform with the German roadster. But unlike its European sibling, this car could be had with a fixed roof hardtop.&nbsp;</p>
Chrysler Crossfire

The Chrysler Crossfire, while mildly different from its Mercedes-Benz SLK underpinnings, still shared drivetrains and a platform with the German roadster. But unlike its European sibling, this car could be had with a fixed roof hardtop.

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<p><a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/road-tests/reviews/a11930/cadillac-xlr-v/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">The Cadillac XLR</a> was meant to be a Corvette-based flagship for the luxury brand in the mid-2000s. The V&nbsp;trim slapped a supercharger on it's 4.4-liter Northstar V8, and mated it exclusively to a 6-speed automatic transmission.&nbsp;</p>
Cadillac XLR-V

The Cadillac XLR was meant to be a Corvette-based flagship for the luxury brand in the mid-2000s. The V trim slapped a supercharger on its 4.4-liter Northstar V8, and mated it exclusively to a 6-speed automatic transmission.

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After the front-wheel-drive Lotus Elan ceased production in 1995, Kia purchased the rights to manufacture its own version, and dubbed it the Kia Elan. Virtually zero changes were made from the switch from British to South Korean production, except for some badges, of course.
Kia
Kia Elan

After the front-wheel-drive Lotus Elan ceased production in 1995, Kia purchased the rights to manufacture its own version, and dubbed it the Kia Elan. Virtually zero changes were made in the switch from British to South Korean production, except for some badges, of course.

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<p>At first glance, <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/first-drives/reviews/a10089/saab-9-2x/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">the 9-2X</a> might seem like any other Saab stationwagon. But look a little closer, and you'll see some hints of Subaru there. That's no coincidence, as the 9-2X was essentially a second-gen&nbsp;Impreza under the skin. There's a reason people called it the <em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Saab</em>aru. </p>
Saab 9-2X

At first glance, the 9-2X might seem like any other Saab station wagon. But look a little closer, and you'll see some hints of Subaru there. That's no coincidence, as the 9-2X was essentially a second-gen Impreza under the skin. There's a reason people called it the Saabaru.

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The Chevy SS might look like a harmless Malibu from the outside, but underneath tells a much different story. It's actually a rear-wheel-drive, LS3 V8-powered muscle car with over 400 horsepower that shares virtually all of its parts from the latest Holden Commodore. 
Chevrolet
Chevrolet SS

The Chevy SS might look like a harmless Malibu from the outside, but underneath it's a much different story. It's actually a rear-wheel-drive, LS3 V8-powered muscle car with over 400 horsepower that shares virtually all of its parts with the latest Holden Commodore.

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