How does a plagiarized car stack up against the real deal?
Taking a victory lap around the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show, it’s easy to see many examples of blatant design rip offs of cars from much more established automakers. Some Chinese companies look a little too closely at the Porsche Macan for inspiration while others go for the while others target the rough proportions and seven-slat grille of the Jeep Wrangler, but the most famous example is the Land Wind X7, what is essentially a complete rip off of the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.
Chinese patent laws being a joke, there isn’t much that Land Rover, Porsche, or Jeep can do to to stop these these companies from ripping off their designs, though the British automaker famously sued Land Wind recently. While its efforts may come to no avail, it’s a signal that the automakers are sick and tired of having their margins cut down by cheap Chinese copies. With all of the infamy surrounding the car, we thought it would be a good idea to go to the Land Wind stand at the Shanghai Auto Show to check out the X7 to become better acquainted with it. After inspecting the car from the outside, we opened the doors and took a peak inside. There’s no mistaking it for a Range Rover Evoque though it’s apparent that there’s an interior decorator that tried.
On initial impression, the cabin looks slightly attractive with diamond stitched floor mats and red seat belts, but build quality is slightly appalling. Though it doesn’t feel as if it’s going to fall apart at any moment, it’s easy to see inconsistencies and imperfections in the melding of the cabin. That being said, the fact that a not so terrible copy of a good luxury car can be built and sold for slightly under $20,000 is surprising. Though it starts at a low price, the powertrain seems similar on initial impression, with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine keeping the X7 putting along. One advantage the Land Wind X7 has over the standard Evoque? It’s offered with a six-speed manual in addition to an automatic. Better look out Land Rover.