Chinese Clones - The Story of Soulless and Affordable Cars (Page 2)
Back in 2009, a story that appeared in the Chinese media made us cry. BYD, the company that encourages you to build your dreams, was reportedly planning its very own version of Porsche's Cayenne. Many people thought it was only a joke and claimed the photo that reached the Internet and showing the so-called BYD T6 was nothing more than an internal newspaper of the Chinese car manufacturer.
More, the car was believed to be a Photoshop, although some sources even pointed to some technical specs: a 2.0-liter 4 cylinder engine with no more than 200 horsepower. You can laugh now, and enjoy some real tech specs of the new Cayenne: a 3.6-liter V6 engine that develops 300 hp and helps the car go from naught to sixty in 7,5 seconds.
The technical side of the Chinese model is, let's say... decent, but only because Mitsubishi was supposed to back this model up with two engines, 2.0- and 2.4-liter respectively. In pure form, the Lexus RX350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that develops 204 horsepower and a maximum speed of 200 km/h. 0-62 mph sprint in 8 seconds flat.
The living proof is the so-called Emgrand EC8, a model revealed in September 2010 that was unofficially baptized Geely Camery. Wonder why? Because it copies the much more popular Toyota Camry, at least design-wise because the technical side makes everybody smile and forget about it in just a second.
We won't spend too much with the technical chapter, but read this: the “Camery” was equipped with either a 2.4-liter engine with 159 horsepower or a 2.0-liter unit with 136 horsepower. The price – around $16,000.
For the sake of comparison, the last Camry comes in two engine flavors, namely 2.5- and 3.5-liter, with the latter developing 268 horsepower and a top speed of 137 mph (220 km/h). Pricing for the new Camry starts in the United States from $22,000.
We won't go too much into details because it still hurts so much, but we need to mention that the T-SUV was nothing more than a Volkswagen Touareg, while the E-SUV was an Infiniti EX crossover that spoke Chinese. Last but not least, the F16 was not a plane, but an Audi A4 rip-off. Disgusting! And here are the proofs along with some short facts.
Here's the original Volkswagen Tiguan:
Called BC301, the model created by Beijing Auto was actually a Mercedes B-Klasse clone presented earlier this year. And because we're pretty sure the name Beijing Auto does ring a bell to you, this is the company that was often involved in takeover negotiations with European car manufacturers severely affected by financial problems.
Getting back to their car, BC301 resembled the previous generation B-Klasse not only in terms of exterior styling, but also when it comes to the interior. There were reportedly two engine flavors supposed to be available, 1.3- and 1.5-liter, with 99 and 113 horsepower, respectively. Pricing was expected to begin at $11,000, much more affordable than a regular Mercedes B-Klasse.
Besides the fact that it copies the original F-150 exterior design, the JAC 4R3 even comes with a Blue Oval-like logo on the grille that was really getting on Ford's nerves.
And that's not all. The most powerful Ford F-150 Super Crew version comes equipped with a 5.4-liter engine that develops 320 horsepower and 529 Nm of torque. The Chinese clone can be rough too, so it was supposed to be equipped with a four-cylinder diesel engine with a final output of... hold your breath... drums please!... 108 horsepower. Let's move on.
No, stop scratching your head, you're not having a deja-vu, that's a Rolls Royce Phantom clone, although the guys over at Geely, the same proud now-Volvo owner, claim it isn't. The British luxury car manufacturer remained tight-lipped on the subject and hoped to see buyers capable of making the difference between the two models.
Well, to be honest, we're not sure if the design manages to make any difference, but the price surely does. A Rolls Royce Phantom is, as we're pretty sure you know, a very expensive car, with a price tag of more than $300,000. Not the same can be said about Geely's GE which was expected to come with a shocking price tag: $45,000!
The one and only Jeep Wrangler comes with a 3.8-liter engine in the top configuration, reaching 196 horsepower at 5000 rpm and developing a maximum torque of 315 Nm at 4000 rpm.
At the Shanghai Auto Show in 2009, Haima proved once again that it can't forget Mazda with the so-called M2, an obvious Mazda2 rip-off. Notice the name resemblance? It's no surprise, but Haima copied the Mazda3 too, and sells it as M3.
A few words for tech heads too: the M2 was available in two engine flavors, 1.3- and a 1.5-liter, both unfocused on efficiency and CO2 emissions.
The so-called Shuanghuan Noble was clearly a smart fortwo copy, but the German officials initially reacted in a very surprising way: they said the two cars are in a different class in terms of quality.
The shocking news was that Shuanghuan Noble was supposed to be sold on the German market as well, in order to become the cheapest car sold there. With enough room for four, the car was believed to come with a price tag of 7,000 euros. How's the quality difference now, Mercedes?
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comments written so far
I'm pretty much over how we pay for both nameplate and the actual car.