The chinese copycat car: an ultimate guide

2y ago


Chinese copycat cars are fast becoming a staple of the local market. With the Kotye SR9 and Weikerui V7 having recently landed as blatant Porsche Macan and Volkswagen e-Up clones, it shows no sign of slowing down, either.

Now that the Shanghai Motor Show is underway, we thought it'd be a good time to round up some of the worst Chinese copycat cars we've found...

Lifan 320 - Mini Cooper

The Lifan 320 is a 1.3-litre supermini produced by Lifan. First revealed at the 2008 Beijing motor show, it gained notoriety for its similarity to the Mini hatch. A facelift in 2013 distanced it from the Mini comparisons, but the car now bears more resemblance to the Fiat 500 - curious.

Landwind X7 – Range Rover Evoque

The X7 made waves in 2014 for its remarkable impression of the Range Rover Evoque. In fact, Land Rover was so impressed that it took Landwind to task over the X7 – although Chinese authorities took the side of Landwind and the £14,000 X7 was put on sale.

Shuanghuan sceo - bmw x5

It may have the front end of the first-gen Lexus RX, but in profile and rear views the BMW X5 influence is impossible to miss. BMW certainly didn’t miss it, taking Shuanghuan to court over the SCEO. As a result, the car was banned in Germany.

Ch auto lithia - audi r8

You’d think the Audi R8’s distinctive profile could only feature on the R8, but CH Auto liked the design so much that it decided it would work well on the Lithia – its electric supercar. The front and rear aren’t so familiar, and are both distinctive and attractive, but the profile is unmistakably R8.

Geely Beauty Leopard – Hyundai Coupe

Proving that China’s automotive copycat culture isn’t a new thing, the Geely BL managed to take inspiration from the Hyundai Coupe at the front and the Toyota Supra at the rear. Thankfully, Geely hasn’t taken the same approach to design with Volvo.

Youxia Ranger X – Tesla Model S

Resembling the Tesla Model S both inside and out, the Youxia – Chinese for Knight Rider (yes, that one) - features Kitt-inspired LCD lights inspired by its namesake. A 0-62mph time of 5.6sec and range of 286 miles are claimed. When contacted, Tesla would not comment on the car.

Shuanghuan Auto Noble – Smart Fortwo

Don’t let the name fool you; this car is neither a copy of the Noble M600, nor are its design intentions noble. Despite its appearance and similarity to the two-seat Smart Fortwo, the Noble has seating for four – although how comfortably those four can be seated is unknown.

Yogomo S325 - Range Rover Evoque

One of the most tragic things we've ever seen...

As copycats go, this one's an innovator. The front end and rear lights are miniaturised versions of the Range Rover Evoque, but everything else is a tall, awkward supermini. We don't think JLR will be losing any sleep over this one stealing the Evoque's sales.

Geely Merrie 300 - Mercedes-Benz C-Class

From the rear, the Geely Merrie is another anonymous Chinese saloon. From the front, it's a Mercedes-Benz C-Class. There's no slight tweaks or alterations here, just a C-Class's front end, complete with Merc-inspired (read copied) hood ornament emblem.


So there we have it. Some absolutely shocking rip-offs, some of which are painful to look at. It's incredible really that they get away with it!

Which one do you think is the worst? Let us know in the comments below...

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