IAB Picks – 10 Chinese cars that “derived inspiration” from global vehicles


Nithyanandh K, As a toddler, those wheeled machinery fascinated me even before I knew what they’re called as! So here I'm, petrolhead by birth, Mechanical engineer by qualification and automotive reporter by profession!

It appears that the term copyright infringement has no bearing in China, as suggested by the number of Chinese cars that are blatant knock offs of popular global models. What’s even more shocking is that several of these automakers are state-owned!

Almost all the cars that have their roots in China ‘derive inspiration’ from one or more models of global manufacturers but in the interest of keeping this article short only 10 copycats are featured.

1. Mingjun M3 S1

Minjun M3 S1 is a copy of Land Rover Freelander 2

Land Rover Freelander 2 LE special edition side

The Land Rover Freelander 2 is all set to be replaced by the Discover Sport next year but the aging British SUV will have an imitator in China in the form of the Mingjun M3 S1. Of course one could buy about half a dozen of M3 S1s for the Freelander 2’s money. [Image: Auto Sohu]

2. Diablo VT

Diablo VT is a copy of Lamborghini Diablo

Lamborghini Diablo

This one not only shamelessly copies the legendary Lamborghini Diablo’s design but also its name! Only difference is, here Diablo Auto is the name of the company which claims to be the “first supercar builder in China” and VT is the name of the so called supercar. Chassis is hand welded, body panels are made of fibre glass and the engine is a Toyota V8 serving home to some 450 horses. [Image: Carnewschina.com]

3. Hengtian T3

Hengtian T3 is a copy of VW Amarok

VW Amarok 2011

Those angular headlamps, twin-slat chrome grille, bumper and the stance, all sum up to be a faithful reproduction of the VW Amarok.

4. BYD S6

BYD S6 is a fake Lexus 350

Lexus 350S

Not enough money to afford a Lexus 350S? Worry not, says the BYD S6. There are even cases where the S6 owners “convert” it into a Lexus by replacing BYD badges with the Toyota-owned luxury brand’s badges!

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