Songsan's SS Dolphin is the latest 'borrowed' design from Chinese automakers
"It seems the expression 'copyright infringement' doesn't translate terribly well into Mandarin"
The ugly truth about intellectual property is that it lies in the technicalities, which means that while brands and logos are indeed protected by copyright, it is much more difficult to trademark shapes and designs, which is why the Songsan Motors' SS Dolphin you see here is actually a clone of the 1958 Corvette C1.
The company didn't even try to hide the fact that their SS Dolphin is "openly inspired" by the Corvette and used images of Hollywood superstars like Brad Pitt and George Clooney at wheel of a Corvette on their website.
At the front, you'll find a Corvette-style chrome grille and a chrome framed windshield but things are even worse when you look at the rear section which is an exact copy of the C1 except for the two chrome strips and the exhaust tips. This is technically a new car and that's why you'll also find modern features such as LED headlights. I'm not sure that's enough to redeem it, though. The car is actually marginally bigger than the original C1, around 300 mm longer and 94 mm taller.
The cabin is slightly more original because it is essentially a combination of old school design cues with modern materials and a couple of modern features like the digital instrument panel and the infotainment screen.
The SS Dolphin is a hybrid. It is powered by a BYD-sourced 1.5-litre engine working in tandem with a small electric motor powered by a 16 kWh battery pack. The company says the Dolphin can travel up to 60 miles on electric power alone and it can reach 60 mph from standstill in just under 5 seconds.
The worst part, in my opinion, is the price. That's because a brand new SS Dolphin will set you back ¥590,000, around $87,000 at today's rate, which is not exactly cheap, is it?