5 of the most blatant copycat cars out of China

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Jiangling T7
Is that you, VW Amarok? Nope, this is the Jiangling T7...

Inspired by the recent news that Jaguar Land Rover has filed a lawsuit against a Chinese automaker for blatantly copying the design of the Range Rover Evoque, we decided to pick out a few automotive clones created in the world’s most populous state.

Yes, the practice of automotive copycatting is relatively common in China, where the clone vehicles generally go for a fraction of the price of their respective four-wheeled muses.

Here are five of the worst from recent years…

1. Jiangling T7 vs. Volkswagen Amarok

There’s little doubt from which German bakkie the Jiangling T7 draws its styling inspiration. But, despite boasting a bigger engine than the Volkswagen Amarok (before the new V6 arrives, anyway), the T7’s 2,8-litre mill makes a paltry 74 kW.

Jiangling T7

Jiangling T7

Volkswagen Amarok

Volkswagen Amarok

2. Suzhou Eagle Carrie vs. Ferrari California T/Porsche Cayman

Clearly not content copying just one automotive design, Suzhou Eagle created this sports-car, which apes the Ferrari California T at the front and the Porsche Cayman at the rear. Interestingly, it’s an all-electric vehicle, with a claimed range of 260 km.

Suzhou Eagle Carrie

Suzhou Eagle Carrie

Ferrari California T

Ferrari California T

3. Zotye E30 vs. Smart ForTwo 

For whatever reason, the basic design of the previous generation Smart ForTwo is pretty popular with Chinese automakers, having been copied a fair few times over its lifetime. One of the most blatant, however, is this Zotye E30, which employs an electric powertrain.

Zotye E30

Zotye E30

Smart ForTwo

Previous generation Smart ForTwo

4. Geely GE vs. Rolls-Royce Phantom 

Can’t quite afford a Rolls? Geely has you covered (and has for some time now: this model came out as long ago as 2009). The GE features a chrome grille almost identical to that adorning the Phantom Series II, complete with a knock-off Spirit of Ecstasy ornament.

Geely GE

Geely GE

Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II

Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II

5. LandWind X7 vs. Range Rover Evoque

View these two vehicles in profile, and you may well struggle to tell them apart. Jiangling, the company behind the Evoque clone, even used a similar font for the badging on the clone’s bonnet. And now, it seems, Jaguar Land Rover has had enough

LandWind X7

LandWind X7

Range Rover Evoque

Range Rover Evoque

  • Anonymouse

    What about the GWM sailor? That is a copy that merged an Isuzu KB/D-Max and a Nissan Hardbody.

    Then there is the GWM Florid (I call it the Horrid) which is a copy of a Toyota.

    • Tigeress

      imitation is the best form of flattery.

  • Kaido Alex

    What about the Chery J5? That is a knock-off of the American 2008 Nissan Maxima, which isn’t sold in SA! Don’t forget the GWM Florid, it is a knock-off of the Toyota ist, not sold in SA either. WHY DO WE GET CHINESE KNOCK-OFFS OF CARS NOT SOLD IN SOUTH AFRICA?

  • Selwyn

    why knock off? “cos poorer chinese folk also love cars and if they can’t afford the real thing’ a knock off will do fine. And if enough people want them ,they will make ’em

  • Larsen Bjorn

    Bet you the “LandWind” is more reliable than the Evoque…

  • Eldon

    They must be so proud of themselves…