The text says that they are both under development and regardless of which car is launched first, there is no way of tell who has copied who if any one of them has in fact copied the other. Could just be coincidence as the only real similarity are the rear light clusters. Everything else is down to current design trends more than anything else.
Why is it a surprise that two current cars look similar? The Mito and Milano/149 show that Alfa have reverted to the sort of badge engineering that was rife in the 60's and 70's when you had things like the sporty Sunbeam or Riley, the luxurious Humber/Singer or Wolseley which were all basically Hillmans or Austin/Morris with a bit of tat added!
The new Alfa (like the Lancia Delta) is so obviously a "posh" Bravo just as the Mito is obviously a "posh" Punto. (Sorry Mito owners!)
The worrying thing is that while the Punto was an innovative design which spawned the Corsa and has influenced a great deal of current superminis - Fiesta, Ibiza, Mazda 2 etc. The Bravo was NOT - being a development of the equally non-innovative Stilo.
I know all models histories are complex, but I buy Alfas because they are different. The 147 which the Milano/149 will replace was a derivative of the Tipo/Brava/Stilo but the differences between the Fiat and Alfa versions were enormous. This is what promotes desire. To my eyes, the Milano is a Bravo with a new grille - and I've already had one of those - and I just don't want one again the same as I don’t want an Astra. I really hope I am proved wrong but the spy pictures do not bode well!
If you actually look at the Milano's design details, you'll see a lot of them are in the Mito, so maybe Opel are the copycats.
The lip on the bootlid and the curvey bumper,
the swoopy curved window which looks sporty is just a bigger version of Mitos,
rear lights are Mito on the edges and 159 in the middle,
the shoulder line and crease are straight from the Mito,
it has the Mito's doorhandles.
Other than that, it has 5 doors, 4 wheels and wingmirrors...
In biology it would be called 'convergent evolution'. There is a need to make 5-door variants look less family-like, and design-wise there are such and such things that one can do. And there is a certain trend for a more dynamic rear end, where one can do such and such things again (pseudo-spoiler sprout at the base of the glass, mean-looking tailights etc..)Well, if there is indeed some copying involved somewhere in the process I would easily bet on Opel. At the end of the day THEY are the ones who are overly-anxious to shed their boring image. Alfa is without a doubt a good source of inspiration. By the way, have you noticed that there is yet another similarity - in the front this time. A very visible line where the the thing opens, separated from the mask. (I read someplace that it is cheaper to fix in case of a crash, at least that was Opel's line of defence because it looks [email protected])
I think the Astra looks more sporty than the Alfa. Its just a bit more sleek, the Alfa is more rounded/friendly looking - however the Alfa has nicer features...
I think Alfa are trying to get rid of their niche tag and attract a wider market by designing their cars in a more generic way - lets face it, the 159/Brera/Spider a fantastic looking cars, but possibly over stylised & were never a sales success...
I think the Vauxhall (Opel) looks more like the Megane frankly - or even the old Nissan Almera - and is over-detailed with lines, details and pressings (look at the raised bootlid around the badge) that just make it a mess. I can't see the good looks that everyone else does, and still think the Bravo is cleaner and more handsome.
I really like the Milano, particualrly its bold yet simple front treatment. It states, emphatically and elegantly; 'I am an Alfa Romeo', whereas the Astra says; 'I am the new generation Astra and you may get me with your job if you aren't entitled to an Insignia'.