This has to be one of the easiest lists of all time. It practically writes itself with one word: "China." For sure, China's proclivities for building shameless knock-offs of Western products are so well-known they're practically a punchline at this point. But believe it or not, slightly less-than-original concepts have been known to come from other places as well.
A lot of them are from Japan and Korea, whose epic knockoffs could also easily number in the hundreds. But Americans and Europeans have seen their fair share of wannabes, too. Worldwide, some blatant rip-offs like the Acura NSX, Mazda Miata, and Chrysler 300C went on to some degree of fame. And one Toyota of note quickly became a classic in its own time. Others, like the Chery QQ, have become more infamous than famous.
The lesson here: If you're going to build a blatant rip-off, at least make it better than the design you're stealing. You never know when a Ranker author is going to come along and compare cars side by side. If these similar cars look familiar, now you know why. For comparison's sake, check out this list of cars that look like other cars.
Kia AmantiPhoto: Artform Canada / FlickrSay what you will about Kia, at least they rip off all German manufacturers equally. The Amanti could not be any more Mercedes.Agree or disagree?
NATS GT-KPhoto: Metaweb / CC-BYBefore you throw something very heavy at the screen, it's probably worth mentioning that "NATS" stands for the "Nihon Automotive Technical School." The GT-K debuted as a student project at the Tokyo Auto Salon, and it's effectively just a Suzuki Cappucino kei car with a new fiberglass body. All right, it's an ugly travesty, but still not bad for a student project. And it probably makes complete sense in Japan.Agree or disagree?
First Generation Toyota CelicaPhoto: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BYNo, that's not a 1970 Mustang Mach 1 that got shrunk in the drier - it's the 1977 Toyota Celica. Trying to break into the American market with a sports car of its own, Toyota did the smart thing and ripped the lines off of every Mustang and AMC AMX it could find. Opinions are still mixed, but most would agree the first generation Celica is still the best looking of its line.Agree or disagree?
Kapi JipPhoto: Metaweb / CC-BYOh, come on. How do you not love this Japanese kei car from 1950? The Jip is to a real Jeep what the Chihuahua is to a real dog.Agree or disagree?