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It’s a knock-off! China’s copycat cars at the 2015 Shanghai motor show

Published: 20 July 2015

Landwind Shanghai 2015

► Bumper gallery from the 2015 Shanghai motor show
► Amazing assortment of not-all-that-original designs
► Join us for a game of 'guess which car influenced this'

China is famous for many things, just some of which include The Great Wall, Terracotta soldiers, tasty food, and a cuddly and intimate definition of ‘personal space’. But when it comes to cars, the most famous thing China is famous for is building vehicles that look remarkably like those designed by other people. You might even call it uncanny.

Is this practice really as rife as the internet makes out, though? Honestly, not really – yet the 2015 Shanghai motor show is still littered with home-grown machinery that will on occasion cause you to cock your head and go, ‘is it me, or does that look like a…?’

Don’t believe us? Try this little lot out for size – some of which may well be quite legitimately built under licence, other’s most definitely not so much. Obviously (and for legal reasons…) we’re not actually accusing anyone of anything here, but see if you spot any unusual resemblances…

BAIC Shanghai motor show 2015

Let’s kick things off with BAIC, and one hell of a way to go camping. There is actually a Mercedes-Benz logo displayed on the stand, if that gives you a clue.

Shanghai motor show 2015

But there isn’t any sign of a Jeep one.

Shanghai motor show 2015

Quite why anyone would want to take styling cues from the current Cherokee is a bit of mystery, either way.

Zotye Shanghai motor show 2015

Moving on to Zotye. Does this remind you of anything?

Shanghai motor show 2015

What about this?

Shanghai motor show 2015

Audi round the front…

Shanghai motor show 2015

Rangie round the back?

Shanghai motor show 2015

It looks like an Astra VXR…

Shanghai motor show 2015

…is in fact only powered by a 1.6-litre engine. Still good for 197bhp, though – aided and abetted by the quad-exit Akropovic exhaust and double-deck ‘carbonfibre’ spoiler. Technically, this isn’t a copy, but a Chinese-market Buick (both brands are part of GM); Buick seems to sell well in Shanghai.

Dongfeng Shanghai motor show 2015

Does Dongfeng have a licence to locally build Hummers?

Dongfeng EQ2050

The answer is kinda – AM General Motors did apparently assist the firm with parts initially. Dongfeng means Eastwind, incidentally. And that’s technically known as an EQ2050.

Lincoln Continental Shanghai motor show 2015

Handbags at the ready – it’s the Lincoln Continental concept that caused an online spat between Bentley and Lincoln at New York. Who says this copycatting thing has to be exclusively Chinese?

Shanghai motor show 2015

Ah. Now this is quite remarkable. That’ll be a Ferrari from the front then…

Shanghai motor show 2015

…but a Porsche Cayman everywhere else. It’s called the Eagle Came, as lovingly scribed in authentic tribute Carrera script on the back.

Shanghai motor show 2015

Give them a break – the other vehicle on the stand looks like this. They need all the inspiration they can get.

Shanghai motor show 2015

Aww, it’s a tiny Transit. We’ve seen this DFSK C35 before, at this year’s Geneva motor show. And yes, that was a Despicable Me reference.

Shanghai motor show 2015

Since we’re on the subject of vans, fancy one with a BMW front end?

Shanghai motor show 2015 van

How about a Dodge front end instead, then?

Shanghai motor show 2015 van

This one’s more JDM Honda.

Shanghai motor show 2015 van

It could be worse. But we digress. Thanks to Brilliance for that little lot.

Event K50 Shanghai motor show 2015

The Event K50. Possibly not quite pulling off the Bugatti paint job.

Detroit Electric Shanghai motor show 2015

It’s a Lotus Elise copy! No, wait – it’s a Detroit Electric SP01, which is a Lotus Elise, with an electric motor.

Shanghai motor show 2015

Hmm. If we tell you it’s got a spare wheel bolted to the back, does it begin to look familiar?

Hawtie Santa Fe Shanghai motor show 2015

Another curious choice in 2015. But Hawtai’s early Santa Fe replica was built by arrangement with Hyundai.

Shanghai motor show 2015

Part Jeep, part Range Rover, all attitude.

Zhonghua V3

Is it just us, or does this Zhonghua V3 look like a giant Skoda Fabia? It’s just us, isn’t it?

Leopard Shanghai 2015

The rather awesomely named Leopard has carved a niche supplying nearly but not quite SUVs, it seems.

Leopard Shanghai 2015

Leopard again. The one behind is an interesting blend of Land Rover front and Porsche Cayenne rear as well.

Landwind X7 Shanghai motor show 2015

And finally, we reach the piece de resistance, the Landwind X7. Complete with eight-speed automatic transmission.

Landwind X7 Shanghai motor show 2015

Funny thing is, we saw loads of genuine Evoques on the roads around Shanghai. Didn’t see a single Landwind X7…

Linfan Auto X70

Perhaps that’s why Landwind has left it to someone else to have a go at the new Discovery Sport.

Linfan Auto X70

Enter Linfan Auto with the X70. Remarkable.

By CJ Hubbard

Former CAR magazine associate editor, road tester, organiser, extremely variable average wheel count

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