The Chinese motor industry has caused quite the stir with some of its copycat creations in recent years; take a look at the best examples from this year's show
19 April 2017

Chinese motor shows have long been tarred with the copycat brush.

True to form, a disconcerting number of clones taking to the stands alongside their western counterparts at this year's Shanghai motor show. We're here to please, so here’s our list of this year’s most flagrant copycats from Shanghai 2017:

Zotye Z700 – Audi A6 / Volkswagen Passat

The Zotye Z700, a near-clone of the premium Audi A6 and previous-generation Volkswagen Passat, has a 1.8-litre turbo petrol engine and uses plenty of 'new tech' according to a spokesman, including soft-closing doors, "like BMW", and a big sunroof.

He said the model is the most luxurious car in the brand's line-up and is used by government officials. It costs ¥98,000, which equates to just over £11,000 and, funnily enough, is not exported.

Zotye E200 – Smart Fortwo

The Zotye E200 is an all-electric city car which holds a striking resemblance to the Smart Fortwo model. A Zotye spokesman said it has a 124-mile range when fully charged - a 25% increase on that offered by the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive - and has "performance like Smart".

He said the model, which is sold in China and also exported to the US, is typically bought by women and younger buyers. Costing around ¥100,000 (£11,300), it is more expensive than its premium saloon sibling, the Z700. However, China offers both central and local government incentives for electric vehicles (EVs), which is likely to bring this price down. Evidently, the issues of EV pricing are a worldwide problem.

Hanteng EV – Jaguar F-Pace

This one’s a double whammy; not only does it halfheartedly ape the Jaguar F-Pace’s styling, but it’s got a fetching blue prancing horse badge up front. It’s hardly a surprise; the F-Pace is one of the suavest of SUVs, but the EV is more of a clumsy copycat.

Take a close look to see the Kia-like quad-foglights in the faux lower air intakes, too. 10/10 for unoriginality, 2/10 for execution.

JMC S331 48V – Range Rover Evoque

Look at the S331 48V from the front and you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a funky, originally-styled small SUV. Take a look from the side, and you realise that the Chinese car market has a bit of a thing for the Range Rover Evoque.

Points for beating Land Rover to the punch at electrifying the Evoque, but let's face it, it’s no Landwind X7.

BAIC BJ80 PHEV – Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen

What’s G-Wagen in Chinese? BJ80 PHEV, apparently - it’s just the front grille and wheels that mark the outrageous BAIC model out from its 'donor car'.

It’s guaranteed that the BAIC (Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co.) version of Mercedes-Benz’s legendary off-roader undercuts the G-Wagen’s £91,145 starting price, but our money would be on the German if the two were to tough it out off-road.

Landwind X7 – Range Rover Evoque

It wouldn’t be a Chinese motor show without everybody’s (least) favourite Chinese copy car clone, the Landwind X7.

Landwind had Jaguar Land Rover royally miffed upon the £14,000 Evoque clone’s reveal at the 2015 Guangzhou motor show, but the Chinese government ruled both parties’ patents invalid – both designs had been displayed before a patent application was issued. 

They do say imitation is the ultimate form of flattery, but we can't imagine JLR design boss Ian Callum is too happy.

Read more: 

Shanghai motor show 2017 - picture gallery and latest news

History of the Chinese copycat car: picture gallery

Jimi Beckwith, Rachel Burgess and Sam Sheehan

Our Verdict

Range Rover Evoque

The Range Rover Evoque draws heavily on style as a selling point, but also possesses the substance to back it up

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Comments
8

19 April 2017
Nah, the front-end on the Hanteng EV is quite distinct from the F-Pace: The head-lights are shaped completely differently as are the 'air intakes' sitting below them on either side; and the grille with the blue badge seems to say Volvo more than Jaguar.

The BAIC BJ80 PHEV, on the other hand, is as ugly as the G-Wagen original.

As for the Landwind X7, it's sheer car design criminality!

19 April 2017
...this is a non story. However, it was free so I won't complain too loudly.

19 April 2017
...that this story is a copy of the one before. And the one before that. And the...

20 April 2017
To prevent the Chinese from plagiarising Western designs, either stop manufacturing cars or charge them premiums for IP rights.

There are other countries that can manufacture cars far more cheaply such as India, Thailand and Indonesia.

de_design2  l  Exclusively Bespoke®

20 April 2017
DdWorks wrote:

To prevent the Chinese from plagiarising Western designs, either stop manufacturing cars or charge them premiums for IP rights.

There are other countries that can manufacture cars far more cheaply such as India, Thailand and Indonesia.

Problem is China won't let Western manufacturers to sell in China if they don't build and partner up with a local company. And as we know, the Western companies will sell their own kins to get access to the Chinese market, seeing as it's the largest for car sales. Short-termist profitability rules ok.

20 April 2017
LOL....a car industry older than Korea's.....yet it's still best known for making cheap tacky clones of Western designs.....the chinese trolls won't be happy!!

20 April 2017
More like the Volvo XC60..

21 April 2017
This is a non story, half the cars here are nothing like the car that Autocar reckons has been copied and even the ones that do only look a bit like them. The Chinese are known for copying, they do it much less than they used to and they ll eventually find their own style. The vast majority of electronic goods come from China, including most smartphones (even if they do have a well known brand name on the front). The Chinese here to stay manufacturing stuff, they aint going away, get over it.

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