Is Elon Musk a Copy Cat? Maybe

When the new Aston Martin Vantage came out, I criticized the brand for producing a car that looked like a serious rip off of the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Now, as I was looking over the news from the past week, I see that there’s another look-alike out there, and this time, it looks like Tesla decided to copy the Honda NSX and slap a Tesla Roadster badge on it. Now, it isn’t a blatant and condemning rip-off, and maybe not even as bad as the Vantage vs. MX-5 copying scheme, but it’s pretty bad. I would say the Roadster looks like a blurry version of the NSX – almost like cars in 128-bit video games used to look compared to their real-life counterparts. Don’t believe me? Check out the quick comparison below.

Tesla Roadster vs Acura NSX

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Even the lines below the headlights appear remarkably similar to the outer and lower edge of the corner vents

As much as I hate to say it, as I usually give Tesla the benefit of the doubt, it really does look like the brand took the blueprints for the NSX, dulled them down a bit, and made some minor alterations. Now, it doesn’t have the fancy radiator grille (not like it needs it, anyway) but it has the same general body line. Even the lines below the headlights appear remarkably similar to the outer and lower edge of the corner vents. And, take a look at the hood (or where the hood would be on the Roadster) the swooping lines aren’t quite as muscular but there are there and even at the same pitch. The wheel arches at the front fenders – near identical for three-quarters of their length, at which points Tesla’s bodyline continues toward the headlights. Speak of which, the headlights are different shapes, but the recess for the roadsters headlight is the same shape as the NSX’s headlights. It’s so similar; it almost looks as if the NSX’s headlights would fit right in there if they didn’t come to such flat point at the inner edge.

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The rear quarts are nearly identical save for the air intake that the NSX requires for the engine to breath

Moving to the side, look at the opening behind the rear quarter glass – it’s painfully obvious that it’s identical. What about the shape, pitch, and curve of the A-Pillar? Yup, it’s the same too. The rear quarts are nearly identical save for the air intake that the NSX requires for the engine to breath. The lower body line on the side is nearly the same, with the only difference being the variance in grade of about one percent. Even the wheels look almost Identical as do the little vents in the fender between the door and the front wheel well. Even in the rear. Take a look at the rear spoilers. The Roadster’s is a little flatter, but it’s nearly the same. The taillights are almost identical too, but because of their design, they are a little blurrier at a distance. The Roadster may not have the rear vents in the corners, but if you look at the diffuser-like element, it’s quite similar to the NSX’s opening in the rear fascia. Even the rear glass features the same general grade from top to rear.

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Even the rear glass features the same general grade from top to rear.

As I said, I normally give Musk and Tesla the benefit of the doubt, but there sure are a lot of similarities here, and I’m not the only one that is noticing them. What do you think? Did Tesla, which is burning through money like it’s going out of style, (link recent article) borrow its design from Honda to save a little cheddar on R&D or is it just a wild coincidence paired with my paranoia and annoyance that almost every car out there looks like a copy of one another, effectively killing the uniqueness that once made the automotive world so great? Let me know in the comments section below.

References

Tesla Roadster

2020 Tesla Roadster
- image 746110

Read our full review on the 2020 Tesla Roadster.

Acura NSX

2016 Acura NSX High Resolution Exterior
- image 652845

Read our full review on the 2017 Acura NSX.

What do you think?
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