China’s cheekiest copycat cars

Imitation is more than just flattery in the Chinese car market – it’s big business

JAC A6 and Audi A6

It’s one thing to imitate the looks of a car, but quite another to steal its name as well. Yet this is exactly what JAC did with its Audi A6-inspired large executive car, which is also named the A6. Its external resemblance to the German car is striking, particularly around the grille and headlamps, which are near identical but for the badge. Inside, though, any similarities end and the JAC car exhibits a rather less Germanic look with an dashboard that’s more Aldi than Audi.

The original: Audi A6 (2004-2011)

The lookalike: JAC A6

BAIC X424 and Jeep Wrangler

In designing the X424, BAIC seems to have distilled the characteristics of an entire brand into one impenetrably named SUV. You can see all manner of Jeep style references in the X424, starting with the previous-generation Cherokee around the headlamps and grille, and continuing along flanks that closely resemble those of the long-wheelbase Wrangler, complete with exposed door hinges. However, BAIC previously had a relationship with the American brand that saw it build Jeep models under license, so it may have a legitimate claim to using their likeness.

The original: Jeep Wrangler

The lookalike: BAIC X424

BYD S7 and Honda CR-V

Here’s another example of the imitation being virtually indistinguishable from the car that inspired it. Every external feature seems to have been reproduced in minute detail, which is no doubt very flattering to Honda’s designers, although its marketing team is likely to be rather more alarmed by this cut-price imposter. As with most cars in this list, though, it seems that an authentic look is more important outside than in, where the BYD car is rather different to its Japanese progenitor. There’s a traditional floor-mounted gearstick rather than the Honda’s dash-mounted item and the CR-V’s split-level dashboard design is nowhere to be seen.

The Original: Honda CR-V (2007-2012)

The lookalike: BYD S7

Continue to page 3 to see how Rolls-Royce, MINI and Volkswagen have 'inspired' Chinese designers

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