Vitriol and observations from an extremely angry little man.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Badge Engineering

Recently spied in San Francisco:

At first glance, this Scion XB in BMW clothes would appear to be the epitome of rice: A cheap, Japanese car festooned with badges and styling elements from a much more prestigious, better-performing make and/or model.

However, I have to give this car's owner some credit, because it appears to be more of a rolling sight gag than an attempt to disingenuously elevate the status of the vehicle or its driver. In fact, it is a rather well-executed gag. Any fool can glue a BMW badge to a Scion, but who takes the time, or has the skill, to retrofit the twin-kidney BMW grille, or to acquire genuine BMW rims and make sure they fit properly?

I do find it curious that this car's front end wears a Mini emblem, whereas the rear carries the badge of an entirely different model, the 2.5ix.

The Mini badge is interesting in that Mini is actually a separate marque owned by BMW, as opposed to being simply a BMW model. But never mind. The overall effect is rather whimsical. Unlike so many of the customized look-at-me cars out there, here's one that doesn't take itself too seriously. I like that.

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