Chinese car makers have often been accused of pinching European designs, but LandWind’s latest SUV, launched last week at China’s Guangzhou motor show, looks like a particularly blatant rip-off of the Range Rover Evoque
The LandWind X7 shares the Evoque’s sporty silhouette, its wheelarch design, its silver valance, the shape of its lights, and even its ‘clamshell’ bonnet - a Range Rover design feature that harks right back to the 1970 original.
On sale for around £14,000 instead of the Evoque’s £40,000 plus (in China), the LandWind X7 aims to steal a significant chunk of sales from Jaguar Land Rover in China.
Following some fighting talk last week from JLR boss Dr Ralph Speth, LRO asked Land Rover for more details, but they remain non-committal for the time being. ‘Once the matter has been investigated thoroughly, we will take whatever steps are appropriate to protect our intellectual property,’ said a spokesperson.
Considering JLR’s recent 50% investment in its new £1.1 billion Chinese factory, that started making Evoques for the Chinese market just last month, it’s understandable why Land Rover wants to tackle the matter head on.
LandWind X7 vs. Range Rover Evoque
Fortunately, under the skin the two cars are a bit different. It may be less than half the price of the Evoque, but the 188bhp from its Mitsubishi-derived 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine is no match for the 237bhp of the Evoque’s same-sized Si4.
The Evoque boasts an extra cog too, with a nine-speed auto ‘box rather than the X7’s eight-speeder (or six-speed manual).
The X7 won’t have undergone Euro NCAP safety tests, but if it ever does, we’d be surprised if it can match the Evoque’s five-star rating, considering that the last LandWind vehicle to undergo the tests earned zero stars. Yup, none whatsoever.
The X7 also won’t have anything like the Terrain Response system that comes as standard in the Evoque, and there doesn’t appear to be any off-road information on LandWind’s website. We can't even be sure if it's a 4x4.
Still, we’d like to give one a thrash around a quarry!