Cars share parts, in case you didn’t know.
Many of the cars that look distinct on the exterior and interior are very similar beneath the hood—the mechanical parts are occasionally alike or even identical (as in badge-engineered vehicles). Sometimes, they share common chassis, engines, powertrains, and MANY times, share the smaller components—door handles, side mirrors, lights, and whatnots. There’s a good reason for this.
Car manufacturing is expensive! These costs are even higher for supercars because of their typically low-volume production. Automakers can lower development costs by using car parts from other models or brands instead of fabricating from scratch for every new model.
For this reason, sharing parts is the norm in the automobile industry. It would be impossible to make a list of cars that have similar car parts. The list would be inexhaustible. However, in this posting, we've listed a few cars with a shared engine, chassis, and auto parts.
What Cars Share the Same Engine?
Lotus Evora (2009-present) and Toyota Camry (2006-2011)
British manufacturer Lotus first used Toyota engines in the series 2 of its Elise models in 2001. Since then, it hasn't only continued to use Toyota engines in its Elise cars; it also started using them in their high-end Lotus Evora models in 2009.
Toyota engines take the biscuit in the league of engines most famous for their use in other brands’ cars. The Toyota GR series seen in these cars are also found in specific Lexus models, Toyota Kluger aka Highlander (2007-2014), and a host of other vehicles. It's important to mention that sometimes the engine is tweaked to have a supercharger and higher horsepower. This is particularly common in Lotus vehicles.
Audi S8 (D3) and Lamborghini Gallardo
In the late 90s, Lamborghini was broke. Audi came to their rescue by taking over the luxury brand completely. Afterwards, it was easy for both brands to borrow parts from one another. The Audi S8 sedan (the high-performance version of Audi A8) uses the same engine found in the Lamborghini. However, Audi did most of the engineering work in the development process. So yeah, if you drive an Audi, you’re safe to say you’re being powered by a Lambo!
What Cars Share the Same Chassis?
Cadillac ATS and Chevrolet Camaro
General Motors’ Alpha platform is, hands down, one of the best American chassis in production. The platform is relatively light despite being fabricated from high-strength steel. It is designed as a platform for both mid-sized and compact model vehicles, making it quite versatile. This platform is the basis for the relaxed-looking Cadillac ATS and the Camaro muscle car.
Volkswagen Touran and Audi TT
The plan had always been that Volkswagen group’s four major passenger brands— Audi, Volkswagen, SEAT, and Skoda—would share chassis; a decision that has paid off quite handsomely.
It got to a point where Volkswagen struggles a bit distinguishing between their marques. In a few instances, however, the cars couldn't be more dissimilar. One such case involves the Touran and Audi TT, where the German maker masked their similarities nicely and came out with distinct-looking models.
Who would have guessed that the minivan— Volkswagen Touran shares the same chassis as the cool-looking Audi TT sports car? Well, they do. Of course, there are significant differences in the suspension setup and other components. Still, picturing it now, it's hard to accept that both vehicles share the same chassis.
What Cars Share the Same Auto Parts?
Nissan 300ZX and Lamborghini Diablo – Headlamps
It's pretty common to have supercars and average cars lend their parts to each other, from the Aston Martin Virage using Audi 100 headlights to the Callaway C12 using Vauxhall Tigra taillights. In this case, the high-end Lamborghini Diablo borrows headlamps from Nissan 300ZX.
Jaguar XJ220 and Citroën CX – Side Mirrors
Here is another instance where an average car lends its part to a supercar. The Jaguar XJ220 was once the world’s fastest car with a top speed of 350 km/h. It was initially designed to be a V12 engine with gullwing doors. However, a few compromises had to be made in other to cut down costs. These compromises included doing away with the gullwing doors, using Rover 200 taillights and borrowing Citroën CX’s side mirrors.
The Jaguar XJ220 wasn’t the only car that used Citroën CX’s mirrors. The mirrors were also used on Lotus Esprit V8, Lotus Excel, MVS Venturi, Aston Martin Virage, and TVR Griffith. These mirrors were used for more than 13 years after Citroën CX had gone out of production. One reason these mirrors were popular is they were not integrated into the door, unlike in other cars. This made them easy to fit into low volume performance cars.
Morgan’s Automax and Lancia Thesis – Taillights
Morgan is notorious for not building cars in vast numbers. Consequently, they are often found borrowing engines and other auto parts from other brands. In the Aeromax, for instance, Morgan uses BMW's V8 engine. The Aeromax is an aesthetically marvellous car with rear end designed to look like a boat's rear end. The gorgeous rear features a Lancia Thesis's taillights.
Lancia Thesis is a luxury car that was in sales from 2001 to 2009. This car has virtually zero semblance with the Automax. Yet, one would think the rear lights were built for the Automax and not for the Thesis. Don’t we all have those friends who borrow our clothes but look better in them than we do?
So there, you have it – some of the cars that shared car parts without many of us knowing it. Why should you be interested? If you happen to own a Kia Sportage, for instance, you might want to know that it shares the same platform as the Hyundai Tucson. That being the case, they’d be sharing several components. That information becomes handy if you’re searching for a Sportage part that’s hard to find. You can always resort to a Tucson substitute, but you need to make sure that the part numbers are identical.
By Damilare Olasinde