Hooniverse Asks- What's the Most Indistinguishable Major Model Redesign?

New S

Almost all vehicles these days go through a model life comprised of a debut, followed – two to three years on – by what’s called a mid-cycle refresh, and then some years after that another major re-think. The mid-cycle changes are typically minor, usually amounting to nothing more than a taillight design change and maybe some new wheels and color options. The major redesigns however are a different story altogether.

Consider if you will the 2004 and 2005 Ford Mustangs. The model year switch-over from SN95 to the Thai-Tang designed S197 was a night and day difference, and even Stevie Wonder could tell the disparate models apart. That’s not always the case however, and in fact on some of the more venerated cars and trucks, such as Porsche’s 911, major model turnovers can evidence far more changes below the skirt than above.

This past week saw the debut of  a car that seems to evidence this evolutionary rather than revolutionary tact on redesign. A major model event, the 2014 Mercedes S-class is nonetheless indistinguishable form the current model at a cursory glance. This is one example of a major redesign that doesn’t seem all that major. Is that the littlest big change ever? Or, does another car or truck come to mind as being even more similar to its predecessor following a big refresh? What, in your mind, is the most indistinguishable major model redesign? 

Image: Motor Trend

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49 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- What's the Most Indistinguishable Major Model Redesign?”

  1. JayP2112 Avatar

    Beetle vs Super Beetle.
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/db/1972_VW_Beetle.jpg&quot; width="400">
    <img src="http://newbeetle.org/forums/attachments/photos-other-rides/1848d1128029880-nybugmans-1972-german-look-super-beetle-super2.jpg&quot; width="400">
    The real aircooled fans could spot the differences in a second.

    1. Irishzombieman☆ Avatar

      HA HA! Took me a second.

      1. ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
        ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

        It was the pop-up roof, right?

        1. Irishzombieman☆ Avatar

          Wind wings is my guess.

          1. topdeadcentre Avatar

            Flat vs curved windshield?

          2. JayP2112 Avatar

            The first SBs had flat windshields.
            The hood and front valence were different… and the whole strut thing. Also, the rear window was supposed to be bigger but I'd never notice that.

        2. Irishzombieman☆ Avatar

          Whoops. Old one has wind wings too. Thought he was makin' a funny.

          1. ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
            ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

            I was, I was, making a funny (and striking-out). The two type-Is, they looked identical to me.

          2. Irishzombieman☆ Avatar

            Same here. I've never liked them enough to learn the differences.

  2. kayoteq Avatar

    <img src="http://i1052.photobucket.com/albums/s451/zenmonkees/picsay-1369056218.jpg"&gt;
    The type 3. Strut suspension! Curved Windshield! Bigger trunk!
    *there are vw fans that can tell scene by by scene which years Disney used in the film.

    1. dropgate Avatar

      That's not a Type 3. This is a Type 3:
      <img src="http://www.leehedges.com/davelove/leftrear.jpg"&gt;

      1. kayoteq Avatar

        Correct. Using google searches is no substitute for .. Er I meant type 1303. Yeah. Thanks. 🙂

  3. TurboBrick Avatar

    2003 Ford Crown Victoria? What do I win?

    1. Maymar Avatar

      Whatever parts from a 2011 Ford Ranger that'll fit on a '93 Ranger!

  4. Sky_Render Avatar

    I'm still not sure how these are even classified as different "generations."
    Eighth generation Civic:
    <img src="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:06-07_Honda_Civic_LX_Sedan.jpg"&gt;
    Ninth generation Civic:
    <img src="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CVC2012aaa.jpg"&gt;

    1. TurboBrick Avatar

      Same way as Windows Vista is NT 6.0 and Windows "7" is NT 6.1

    2. Maymar Avatar

      Hasn't that been Honda's thing with the Civic, going back to at least the 80s, that every other generation is a major redesign, followed up by a healthy refresh of that generation? Well, except the 7th generation, that was sort of a dead-end. But 3rd-4th, and 5th-6th are pretty similar.

  5. Jay_Ramey Avatar

    Dear Mercedes-Benz, yes we get it that this is the new, more affordable Maybach 57.
    I just want the W140 tail lights back, instead of what is happening there. (I dont want to talk about what is happening there, it's too upsetting)

  6. dropgate Avatar

    If this isn't the answer, I don't know what is.
    First generation Lexus LS400 (XF10):
    <img src="http://home.comcast.net/~minkt/xf10.jpg"&gt;
    Second generation Lexus LS400 (XF20):
    <img src="http://home.comcast.net/~minkt/xf20.jpg"&gt;
    I hope I got those pics right because I still can't tell them apart.

    1. facelvega Avatar
      1. Devin Avatar

        Waiiiit a minute…

      2. Kogashiwa Avatar

        Ohhhh, posting a pic of the new S-class as the "fifth generation LS". Very sneaky.

    2. Tomsk Avatar

      Same can be said of the ES.
      Gen 2 (XV10):
      <img src="http://www.gunsmoke.com/cars/lexus_es300/images/es300.jpg&quot; width="500">
      Gen 3 (XV20):
      <img src="http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b142/PanamaLuv117/Lexus/97_lexus_es_300-4.jpg&quot; width="500">

      1. wunno sev Avatar
        wunno sev

        i don't think these (LS 400 / ES 300) are really major redesigns though..they seem to fall under the midcycle refresh to me

        1. Devin Avatar

          They were pretty major under the bodywork, as I recall. They just didn't change the bodywork.

        2. dropgate Avatar

          The 2nd gen LS400 was "over 90% new" and on a longer wheelbase but you'd never know to look at the thing.

  7. Devin Avatar

    1968 Toyota Century
    <img src="http://cdn.motorshout.com.s3.amazonaws.com/models/system/9422/p16arnpn5qdr11t111tng1r33ch44_r.jpg&quot; width="500">
    2013 Toyota Century
    <img src="http://www.autoweek.com/storyimage/CW/20130226/CARNEWS01/130229854/AR/0/Toyota-Century-Front-3-4.jpg&quot; width="500">
    Yes, they actually are significantly different under the skin.

    1. Kogashiwa Avatar

      Either one of those is a Proper Car and had I sufficient ill-gotten gains I'd have one or both.

    1. JayP2112 Avatar

      I think the MINI owners want it that way… so they can tell their pals they can tell the difference between the Mk1 and Mk2.

    2. HTWHLS Avatar

      The first gen is nicest. Have you seem the latest ones? The Clubman looks like a Chrysler 300 had sex with a milk float.

  8. Batshitbox Avatar

    Scout 80
    <img src="http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/1962/921/4902960006_large.jpg"&gt;
    Scout 800!
    <img src="http://0.tqn.com/d/4wheeldrive/1/0/8/U/1/Scoutfool_CA_67IntScout800A_1RR.jpg"&gt;
    Can you see the extra 4 cylinders they put in? Look very closely at the badges… see the "V"?

    1. Irishzombieman☆ Avatar

      I see an extra gas cap, too.

  9. P161911 Avatar

    The first two are pretty similar, I now know to look for the shark nose on the E21.
    Gen 4, 5 and to some extent 6 look really close.
    <img src="http://static.motorstop.asia/blog/images/bmw-3-series-predecessors.jpg"width=500&gt;

  10. Maymar Avatar

    I find these two pretty indistinguishable (well, except that one is engineered like no other car in the world, and the other is designed to rust like a Mazda)
    <img src="http://s1.aecdn.com/images/gallery/MERCEDESBENZ190-W201–936_2.jpg&quot; width=500 /img>
    <img src="http://mercedes-c-class.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/1957-859-16001.jpg&quot; width=500 /img>

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Who on earth downvoted this? Couldn't have said it better myself.

      1. Maymar Avatar

        I'm assuming they own either a W202 or a Mazda. Both maybe.

  11. Manic_King Avatar

    Ferrari 550 -> Ferrari 575, did they change anything at all in exterior design?

    1. dropgate Avatar

      Headlamps, front bumper covers and wheels were all different.
      Well-known among Maranello owners is the chase scene in the movie Bad Boys 2 where Will Smith's car changes from a 550 to a 575 and back several times!

  12. facelvega Avatar

    The body was untouched, but this simple modification under the skin more than doubled the horsepower while also switching wholly to sustainable fuel:
    <img src="http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2009/12/2/1259773442721/worlds-strongest-man-lift-001.jpg"&gt;

  13. opiate withdrawal symptoms Avatar

    Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked
    hard on. Any suggestions?

  14. Pantera5321 Avatar

    Any ford pickup from 1979 to 1996

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