And it costs just under $60,000.
DR Automobiles (DRA) is an Italian company that rebrands Chinese cars and sells them in Italy. Its latest is a weird mash-up of a Range Rover And Jeep Wrangler. This should be no surprise, as Chinese automakers are known for borrowing designs from established vehicles.
DRA chose to sell it under a new brand name called Ickx, while the model name is simply K2. We are curious to know if that's a reference to the second-largest mountain in the world or just if it's just a development code that stuck with the car.
K2 may refer to the mountain and its arduous terrain because it's being marketed as an off-roader with features like Hill Descent Control. What amazes us is that it's clearly a knock-off vehicle being sold in Italy for a whopping $60,000.
Looking at it, you know Stellantis and Land Rover lawyers are sharpening their pencils already.
The Ickx K2 is based on the BAIC BJ40, which has been around on the Chinese market since 2013. It started off looking much more Jeep than Range Rover. This latest version looks like someone has been playing with an artificial image creator.
On paper, it looks pretty decent. The Ickx K2 has a 37-degree approach angle, a 23-degree breakover angle, and a 31-degree departure angle. The front bumper is made of carbon fiber so that it can take some serious knocks. The ride height is claimed to be 8.6 inches, and the 19.6-inch wading depth is on par for an off-roader.
Unlike a Jeep or Range Rover, the Ickx K2 uses a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine, and there are no other options.
It produces a meager 159 horsepower but a useful 280 lb-ft for off-roading. The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic, and the SUV rides on 20-inch wheels. Inside, there's a leather interior with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, along with a removable hard top.
Unfortunately, we have some experience with this car, albeit in BAIC (pronounced bike) BJ40 format. A trip to South Africa, which is a huge market for Chinese vehicles, happened to coincide with the BJ's launch. Apart from trying not to burst out laughing every time someone called it the BJ, the car lacked any refinement or what we know as handling. The turbo lag was terrible, and the delay could be counted in seconds.
We don't think the Italians will spend $60k on this. We checked, and you can have a real Defender for less. However, it will be interesting to see how this copyright infringement on wheels lasts in a country with harsh patent and trademark laws.
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