It's possible the copycat may arrive before the original.
China has a well-documented history of copyright infringement. Best described as lenient, the laws surrounding intellectual property have allowed a myriad of carmakers to get away with blatant copies. Want a counterfeit Rolls-Royce, Porsche Macan, or Range Rover? China's got you covered.
Perhaps the most flagrant rip-off in recent years is the Dongfeng Fearless M50. Despite the rather appealing model name, the design is very similar to the original Hummer H1. Technically, the vehicle pictured below can't be described as a copycat - GM actually sold the company a license to adapt the tough Humvee for Chinese military use. The road-going derivative is also sold as a single cab, as opposed to the original's double-cab design.
But according to a report from CarNewsChina, the Chinese brand isn't done with this platform just yet. Dongfeng is currently working on an all-electric derivative of the M50, with production slated for 2023. It seems the company may market its EV pickup before GMC introduces the Hummer EV Pickup.
Dongfeng clearly isn't messing around with the electrified pickup, known as the M18. With a 1,070-horsepower electric motor, the battery-powered Hummer lookalike will be able to lug its heavy body to 62 mph in five seconds. Not as fast as a Rivian R1T, but still pretty impressive for a vehicle with the aerodynamic properties of a brick.
The 140 kWh battery pack is promising a range of approximately 310 miles. Dongfeng claims that, when plugged into a fast charger, the large battery can be fully charged in just 27 minutes. Surprisingly, the M18 is around 837 lbs lighter than the gas-powered Warrior but, to be fair, that is the armored military vehicle.
Positioned as a six-seater SUV, it will likely be less agricultural than Dongfeng's aforementioned rivals, but with the Hummer H1's base, we're struggling to see just how much the Chinese carmaker can do in terms of refinement.
Certainly more modern than the military vehicle upon which it's based, the M18 will also be equipped with a level 2.5 driving assistance system, according to the manufacturer. Last year, Dongfeng announced pricing for the newcomer would sit between $94,000 and $110,000, making it pricier than the range-topping Ford F-150 Lightning, Rivian R1T, and even the soon-to-be-launched electrified Hummer.
Pricing certainly is interesting, though. The Fearless M50 is reported to cost around $103,000, making the base electric model cheaper than the gas-powered derivative. Regardless of the clever self-driving technology, retro styling, and powerful electric motor, we highly doubt this Chinese-built wannabe would give the more established brands anything to worry about unless, of course, it was more keenly priced.