Both car's patents were ruled invalid because the designs had been displayed before a patent application was issued, but Jaguar Land Rover remains committed to pursuing legal action against the LandWind copycat in a separate unfair competition and copyright case, according to news agency Reuters.
The LandWind X7 was unveiled at the 2015 Guangzhou motor show, prompting controversy as just one hall away JLR launched a locally made Evoque, the first product of its joint venture with Chinese manufacturer Chery.
At the time of the launch Chris Bryant, president of the JLR joint-venture, wouldn't comment on the X7 copycat, stating that he was, “here to speak about our joint-venture Evoque”. However, Jaguar Land Rover filed an action against copyright and unfair competition in a court in Beijing's eastern district, Chaoyang.
Senior JLR company figures have poured scorn on the LandWind since it was revealed, and you can read their comments here.
At the launch of the the authentic Evoque made in China, Bryant pointed out that the only difference between it and one built in the UK was the badge on the back, which has the joint-venture name written in Chinese. “It’s the same quality, same service, same choice,” he said.
With prices starting at around the Chinese equivalent of £14,000 the LandWind X7 doppelganger appears a steal against £40,000-plus for the locally produced Evoque.
Range Rover Evoque vs LandWind X7 - which is better?
Autocar's reporter at the Guangzhou motor show confirmed that the X7 has reasonable quality leathers and soft plastics for a Chinese car. He noted, however, that many of the panel gaps were irregular, and highligted bubbling of paintwork on corners. Furthermore, the gaps of the rear doors and boot were neither regular nor flush with the sides. He also noted that LandWind previously scored a zero-star Euro NCAP crash test safety ratings for its Isuzu Rodeo-based X6.
There are differences between the cars: the X7 is larger by more than 5cm including a 1cm longer wheelbase and most notably has a roof rack. It has an underpowered 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine delivering 188bhp coupled to either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic.
That's against 237bhp in the joint-venture Evoque with a nine-speed automatic unit.
External differences are minor and are largely a matter of detailing. This is carried over into the interior which sports a very similar dashboard layout. One of the few areas where the LandWind wins out is that it has a larger infotainment touchscreen than the Evoque.