If you don't want to pay full price for a Louis Vuitton purse, a Rolex watch or a Burberry scarf there are no shortage of knockoffs for sale around the world.
In a few months from now car buyers in China will be able to purchase a vehicle that looks strikingly similar to the Range Rover Evoque.
The new Landwind X7 debuted recently at the Guangzhou Auto Show and is an almost-perfect clone right down to the lettering above the grill. Even though it is said that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, Jaguar Land Rover isn't pleased. The X7 is going to sell for about a quarter the price of the Evoque – $24,000 as compared to $107,000 – and, according to Bloomberg, JLR is investigating whether Jiangling Motors, which jointly owns Landwind, has copied design elements.
The U.K.-based auto maker said it would "take whatever steps are appropriate to protect our intellectual property." A JLR representative wrote in an e-mail to Bloomberg that "the stand-out design is a key element that makes Evoque so desirable with our customers around the world."
The Evoque is JLR's best-selling SUV.
So how similar are the two cars? Car News China reports the X7 has more luxurious seats, but the wood for the interior is fake. The start button is right next to the air vents, just as in the Evoque. The bumper, rear window, lines and lettering are identical. However, the X7 is going to come with a rear wiper and a roof rack.
Chinese car makers have imitated other designs for years including the Mini, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Hummer and Rolls-Royce, but this is closest to an exact clone with one possible exception -- safety. Foundedin 2004, in 2005 Landwind manufactured an X6, which looked like an Isuzu Rodeo. It received zero stars on a safety test recorded by Germany's ADAC, which conducts tests for Euro NCAP safety standards.
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