Car rip-offs don't get much more blatant than this, but there are a few key design changes.
Chinese automakers are notorious for copying the designs of mainstream manufacturers. Consequently, seeing a car in China that shamelessly rips off an established design is nothing new. This example, however, is rather unique. What do you do when you've exhausted an automaker's current line-up when looking for car designs to copy? You trace through the company's history, of course. In this latest example, Chinese automaker Eagle has launched a new car dubbed the EG6330K sporting a design that's heavily "inspired" by the 1950s BMW Isetta.
Unlike the original Isetta, however, the EG63330K has four doors, resulting in a highly unusual design. Eagle doesn't even pretend to disguise its design inspiration, openly admitting on its website that the EG6330K was made to resemble the Isetta. As CarNewsChina points out, however, it more closely resembles the BMW 600, but both cars look similar. The front fascia of the Isetta's Chinese counterpart looks virtually identical and has two circular headlights like the original model but the front doesn't double as a door like the original model did as the nodes doesn't open up. Unlike the original Isetta, the EG6330K is powered by a modest electric motor delivering the equivalent of 5.3 horsepower.
Combined with a 72 kWh lead-acid battery, the Eagle can reach a top speed of 37 mph and has a range of 75 miles. There's room for four occupants and the car weighs just 750 kg. While the exterior is clearly heavily inspired by the Isetta, the interior has more in common with modern cars. Retro-inspired analogue dials are complemented with black plastic, air conditioning, and a radio with MP3 support. Prices should start at around $4,000 according to CarNewsChina. This isn't the first time a Chinese company has copied a mainstream manufacturer, and it certainly won't be the last.