Those who copy everything from everybody don’t end with anything. Copying means one is working without any real emotion. - Billie Holiday (Jazz singer)
Right from when we were kids in school, we have always been taught not to copy others, but be ourselves. Today, the act of copying others has become a big trend among many young people who want to be like the big celebrities that they adore. Of course, copying has a lot to do with success; no one copies someone that is unsuccessful.
Apart from people copying other successful people, successful products are also copied, that’s why we have copyright laws governing such occurrences. Unfortunately, these copyright laws have some strict boundaries. What do we mean?
For instance, in China, their patent laws make it simple for designs to be copied easily, and tough for car manufacturers from outside the country to file for any form of infringement. That’s why we have a lot of copycat products coming from China. For this article, we would be listing copycat cars that make us sad for the original models. Later in the article, you’d be seeing outrageous copycat cars that look so much like the original from a distance, but it seems weird when you come closer.
The annoying thing about these copycat cars is the fact that they unapologetically steal the body design of big car brands like Jaguar, Benz, and Toyota and power the vehicles with poor engines—after all most of them are electric cars.
Dive in, to find out about these 20 copycats.
20 Geely GE- Rolls-Royce Phantom
Have you ever dreamt about having a Rolls-Royce Phantom? If your the answer is yes, it means that it’s still a dream and it doesn’t look like one that’s coming through anytime soon because you don’t have over $400,000 to cover the cost.
Maybe the Geely GE will do the trick for you since it shares the same design with the Rolls-Royce Phantom. The only caution that comes with owning the Geely GE is, it doesn’t allow people to get too close to it because the mirage will end. According to Motor 1, the Geely GE has an imitation Spirit of Ecstasy on the bonnet. It also has the big chrome that the Rolls-Royce Phantom possesses.
19 Hongqi LS5 – Range Rover
The Hongqi is proof that China has eyes on so many Western cars and they would stop at nothing to copy the designs. From the look of things, the Evoque isn’t the only Range Rover product that China copied. The Hongqi LS5’s styling model is similar to the previous generation Range Rover. The only difference between the Hongqi and the Range Rover is that the company stretched it a little to suit the market in China.
If you look closely at the front of the model, you will notice that it has a bit of the Jeep Grand Cherokee design. The interior isn’t left out as well because it comes with luxury and a dashboard that is similar to the old Range Rover. According to Motor 1, the LS5 uses a 4.0-liter turbocharged petrol engine that delivers 510hp.
18 BYD Yuan- Ford EcoSport
There you have it, another BYD like the one mentioned earlier in this article, and it is yet a replica of another well-known model. Can we say that it’s another coincidence? I’m sure you disagree at this point. From the back of the car, you’d start having your suspicions because few cars produced these days come with a mounted wheel.
The mounted wheel behind leaves two likely options that may have been copied: Ford Ecosport and Jeep Wrangler. It’s only natural for comparisons to result when a car manufacturer unveils a small SUV with a spare tire on its tailgate. A proper look at the BYD Yuan; you’d confidently conclude that it looks like the Ford Ecosport.
17 G Patton- Hummer
From the name G Patton, you can take a good guess that it relates to George Patton—a well-known and respected US General. George Patton was in charge of commanding the Seventh Army. From his achievements, you can also guess which country it inspired.
The G Patton is a 19 foot long 4x4 that resembles the Hummer. The Patton combines US off-roaders, a whole number of classic cars, and bespoke army vehicles. The Patton comes with two luxury chairs with a cinema in the back or a seven-seater. According to Motor 1, the model uses a 6.8-liter v10 engine that delivers 357hp.
16 Zotye SR9- Porsche Macan
Unlike the initial Zotye T600 that looks like the Volkswagen, the Zotyee SR9 is a serious upgrade. We can call it an injection of déjà vu. It’s evident that the company was extremely proud of their creation because they proudly displayed the car. The display took place in 2017 at the Shanghai Motor Show.
As long as you’re a car enthusiast, there’s no way you’d look at the SR9 and not pick up the Porsche Macan vibe immediately. According to Autocar, features like the headlights, grille, doors, and styling of the Zotye SR9 is similar to the Porsche Macan.
15 Changan CX70 T- Land Rover Discovery
When you think you’ve seen the worst, Changan is available to blow your mind out of proportion in the copycat section. It seems like the company has affection for the JLR products since this isn’t the first model that shares a resemblance.
However, based on observation, we are confident that the full-size Discovery inspired the Changan CX70 T's design. According to Autoexpress, the CX70 T has a striking resemblance with the Land Rover Discovery. Even though the model shares a similarity with the Land Rover Discovery, it only ends with the design. The performance of the model doesn’t come anywhere close to the Discovery.
14 LandWind X7- Range Rover Evoque
Who would have ever thought that the Range Rover Evoque would have had a twin brother it knew nothing about? As strange as it seems, this twin brother comes from China, and it is called LandWind X7.
We could excuse the other models listed a bit because they combine names and numbers that aren’t close to their clones, but this model has an English name—what a shame. The company copied the Range Rover Evoque’s design and painted job,which gave it away immediately. According to Motor 1, in 2017 the company unveiled the model with a white paint job at the Shanghai Motor Show—which didn’t change the similar look.
13 Changan CS55- Land Rover Discovery Sport
Does this name ring a bell? Of course, it does, it does; just like its previous counterpart, this is the sports version. It was rather easy to spot this one out because Jaguar Land Rover continues to create some unique styling in the recent times.
Due to the uniqueness of their styling, it’s easy to spot out any model that got any form of inspiration from their cars. As we expected, the Changan is a clone of the Land Rover Discovery Sport according to Motor 1. One of the striking features that gave the Changan out is its large curvy body.
12 BAIC BJ80- Mercedes G-Class
When the BAIC BJ80 was first displayed at the China International Automobile Exhibition in November 2016, the automotive world knew that the engineers at the automaker, BAIC were equal to the task. But let’s face facts, it was only going to take some paper design and a straight focus to copy the iconic design of the Mercedes G Class.
According to Motor1, a spokesperson, Toby Mueller, for Mercedes-Benz pointed out on Instagram that the BAIC BJ80 was a contention of controversy since it looked exactly like the Mercedes-Benz G Class Wagon. There were also rumors that Daimler of Benz asked the company to kill the marketing of the vehicle, but BAIC refused.
11 Chery Riich M1- Toyota Yaris
The name Chery Riich M1 is not a typography error; it’s the real name of the small hatchback vehicle, which looks like a replica of the Toyota Yaris, with a single “r” in the Chery and a double “i” in the Riich. According to Autocar, the manufacturer designed the vehicle for inner city commuters.
Since, 2009, the car has been in production, but it hasn’t been able to succeed anywhere else except the Chinese market where it’s produced. Many countries have refused to accept the car because they believe it’s a replica of the Toyota Yaris. Who needs a Chery with one “r” when we can get a Toyota Yaris?
10 BAIC X424- Jeep Cherokee
It appears that the engineers in the Chinese car manufacturing company are either lazy or lack ideas to create original car designs like other big car auto companies. If that’s not the case, how come all their cars are copycats of big car brands?
Once again, BAIC produced another copycat vehicle called the BAIC X424, but this time the vehicle looks like a combination of two cars rather than a single one. According to Motor1, the front part of the BAIC X424 looks like a Jeep Cherokee, while the rear side of the car looks like a Wrangler. What a wonderful combination!
9 Hanteng Electric SUV- Jaguar I-Pace
Hanteng Autos is a relatively new auto brand in China which started its production in 2016. In the space of one year, it has managed to achieve what took Jaguar 86 years to establish by releasing the Hanteng Electric SUV which has a strong resemblance with the Jaguar I-Pace.
According to Motor1, Hanteng Autos launched the Hanteng Electric SUV as a concept vehicle in early 2017 at the Shanghai Auto Show. By the end of 2017, the company released the first production vehicle to the market. The engine of the car generates a low 129hp and a torque of 192 lb.ft with a lame top speed of 88mph.
8 Brilliance V5- BMW X1
In China, Brilliance Motors have been the primary partner of BMW for years. Thus, they thought it was wise or foolish to produce a car similar to the BMW X1. The BMW X1 was very successful in China when Brilliance Motors marketed it. According to Autocar, the company saw how the BMW X1 was successful, so they decided to start their brand.
The Brilliance V5 is the cold competition of the X1 in China. As a way to make the car available to a lot of the audience, the company made the car far cheaper than the BMW X1 SUV.
7 Eagle Carrie- Porsche Cayman
Even though the Eagle Carrie is an electric car, it doesn’t excuse the fact that it isn’t an original design. The car manufacturer, Suzhou, released the Eagle Carrie at a motor show over in China.
According to Daily Mail, a lot of industry experts have called the Eagle Carrie a “pastiche.” The Chinese automaker seems to have combined the headlights and front grille of the Ferrari with the complete bodywork of a Porsche Cayman. The car looks so copied that even the Porsche emblem and its emblem look so identical. The automaker claimed that the vehicle could accelerate from 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds.
6 Dongfeng Jingyi S50- Volkswagen Passat
According to Motor1, the automaker, Dongfeng Motor Corporation has an extensive history of partnering with big western motor brands. Renault, Nissan, and Honda have all done dealings with Dongfeng Motor Corporation for years.
Nevertheless, the Jingyi S50 saloon is one product that has no partnership of any such. Except of course you reckon the fact its body design is deceptively a copy to one of Volkswagen’s most successful cars, the Volkswagen Passat. It’s so sad that after partnering with such big companies, they end up building a copycat? It makes one ask if they ever learned anything from their partnership with those companies.
5 Lifan Xuanlang- Ford S-MAX
Another copycat from the Shanghai Motor Show is the Lifan Xuanlang. The car got into the market early 2018. To the surprise of many car experts, the car has a strong resemblance with the Ford S-Max. According to Daily Mail, the car is sold for $8,500 in China—which is far lower than the cost of buying a new Ford S-Max anywhere in the world.
No doubt, the engineers of the car didn’t have any concrete idea in their minds when they decided to build this car. Instead, they spent their idea and time looking for the best car to copy clean. How smart?
4 BYD S7- Lexus RX
There’s nothing wrong with admiring a good design and trying to replicate something close to it. However, there’s a problem when you choose to copy the exact design and take the glory. It’s safe to admit that this is the story of the BYD S7. When you glance at the model, you may not notice that it looks like the Lexus RX, but when you look at the rear, you’d confirm that it’s a clone.
According to Autocar, the tail-lights, curved windows, and small spoilers give the company out because they are similar to Lexus RX as well. No doubt, the company has done an excellent job of keeping quiet—but it’s not good enough.
3 Zotye T600- Volkswagen Tiguan
The first time that people got a chance to see the Zotye T600 was at a motor show in Beijing that took place in 2015. The moment the car was revealed there was confusion in the atmosphere because the model was a mirror image of the Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q5.
It was evident that the company had a tighter game compared to the BYD S7 when it comes to copying. According to Autocar, the exciting part of this copycat model was revealed entirely when the latest version of the SUV was revealed; it looked exactly like a Volkswagen Tiguan. Can we conclude that it’s a coincidence?
2 Hongqi electric concept car- Maybach 6 concept
It was no wonder at all when the Chinese marque, Hongqi which appears to be part of the FAW Group, took to borrowing designs from production cars. We were wrong to think that it would end there because the company took their copy skills a little further when it chose to take inspiration from European concept cars as well.
According to Top Speed, the result of the Hongqi electric concept car is a clone of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6. Without reasonable doubt, the company planned to display an ultra-luxurious and huge future grand tourer with a well-duplicated design.
1 FAW Besturn X40- Mazda CX-5
When the China International Automobile Exhibition took place, the company seized the opportunity to reveal its production which is the FAW Besturn X40t fans were anticipating. It would have looked like the perfect car if it didn’t look like the Mazda CX-5’s clone at a glance.
It doesn’t come as such a surprise though because if you research the company’s background, you will discover that Besturn is in the habit of using Mazda’s older platform to build its cars. According to Autocar, the company also shares technology that’s similar to that of the Volkswagen Group and its numerous brands.
Sources: Motor1, Autocar, Top Speed