SUVs are the call of the hour – apart from the mainstream car makers, even the exotic car makers are shifting their focus on making their respective SUV offerings to make sure they continue their cash registers ringing. China, being the largest car market in the world, is one hotly contested arena, where every major automaker wants to have a bunch of SUVs in their line-up.
Seeing this trend rising up very rapidly, the homegrown car makers from China are capitalizing on the popular models from various other renowned car makers from other parts of the world. They are relying on their infamous conception of making clones of popular models from other makers, which has seen the introduction of many clone SUVs in the local market. From the Mercedes GLA to the Porsche Macan, the Chinese automakers are making blatant copies of famous SUVs.
Following is a list of top five popular global SUVs which have recently been cloned by automakers of China:
1. Zotye Damai X7 – VW CrossBlue Coupe concept/VW Tiguan Coupe (TBA)
The VW Tiguan is one of the most popular C-SUVs globally. This year, rumour has it that a coupe version inspired by the VW CrossBlue Coupe concept from 2013. Zotye, infamous for its copycat models, has developed a very similar-looking 'Damai X7' SUV for China. However, the front grille has been tweaked to make it look wider and more angular in comparison.
Zotye has made the Damai X7 available with three different engine options. The smallest engine is a 1.5-litre petrol engine which produces 150 PS of power. The slightly bigger 1.8-litre engine makes 170 PS of power. And at the last, the biggest of them all, a 2.0-litre petrol engine churns out 190 PS of power.
2. K-One – Mercedes GLA
While many of you might not have heard about K-One as an electric car maker from China, the fact that they have made a copycat of the Mercedes GLA brings some light on it. Interestingly, the clone model is a fully electric vehicle, unlike the original model that is available with only conventional petrol and diesel engines.
The front-end has the most similarities to the German model. The K-One is taller for some extra headroom. Also, the tail lamps have a slightly different design. The K-One sources its power from a lithium-ion battery sourced from Harbin Coslight Power, which puts up a maximum power output of 130 PS.
3. Zotye S21 – Audi Q3
Yet another Volkswagen Group model cloned by Zotye is an Audi - the Q3. While the overall exterior looks very similar to that of the first-gen Q3, the front-end is reminiscent of the T-Roc that was introduced by Volkswagen later, in 2017. Inside, there's a large, Tesla-style vertical touch screen in the centre.
The Zotye S21 is powered by the same 150 PS 1.5-litre petrol engine that is available in the Zotye Damai X7.
4. Landwind X7 – Range Rover Evoque
Possibly the most popular copy-paste job in the automobile industry which drew the attention of the worldwide media to Chinese clone models is the Landwind X7. This model is a blatantly copied version of the first-gen Range Rover Evoque. Sure, the design of the headlamps, grille, bumpers and other elements does look different, but there's no denying that there's Range Rover Evoque written all over it, and it's particularly because of the strikingly similar proportions.
The Landwind X7 employs a Mitsubishi-made 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, which pumps out 192 PS of maximum power and 250 Nm of peak torque.
5. Zotye SR9 - Porsche Macan
Zotye hasn’t left luxury models either. The company has copied the smallest SUV from Porsche, the Macan, as well. Christened the SR9, the compact coupe-like SUV looks a complete mirror image of the Macan, with some very mild changes to headlamps and tail lamps designs trying to differentiate it from the original. While the interior doesn't look as good as that of the original model, the centre console has been copied entirely.
The Zotye SR9 is nowhere as powerful or technically advanced as the Porsche Macan. It comes fitted with the Landwind X7's 2.0 liter four cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that produces 192 PS of power and 250 Nm of torque.