Family identity is being given utmost importance by many auto manufacturers when they sketch a new design.
In the quest of making their cars instantly recognizable, are they ending up making all products too similar for their own good? Well, let us take the example of the 2013 Skoda Octavia and the European Skoda Rapid launched last year.
Both new cars use the same design language which we will see in future Skodas as well. We always thought that the Octavia's dimensions would help it differentiate itself from the cheaper and smaller sibling, the Rapid, until we saw these pictures at Auto.cz.
To our surprise, we were hard pressed to recognize the cars! So close is the design resemblance. The front fascias are strikingly similar. For your information, the car on the left (in the first picture) is the European Rapid and the one on the right is the new Octavia.
Save for a few subtle differences in the front grill and the headlamp outline there is almost nothing that sets the front fascias visually apart. The front bumpers have similar constituents. A closer look reveals that the Octavia's chin is a wee bit sharper than that of the Rapid.
Coming to the side, both cars feature almost clean sheets of metal and again the differences are hard to catch. The Octavia's rear quarter window has an upward kink while Rapid takes a more conventional route. Of course the Octavia is lengthier.
The rear isn't any better. The duo again perplexes an average beholder who would have a hard time in identifying the models in one glance. The tail lamp elements have a similar kind of detailing but the Rapid's units are a little curvaceous while the Octavia relies on straight lines. The boot lids look like they are interchangeable and so do the bumpers. However, the Octavia's rear bumper has reflectors.
While the family look lends a definitive identity for the brand as a whole, it steals away the exclusivity of an individual product. Don't you think that the car makers should put that extra bit of an effort to make each of their cars look unique?