World's Biggest Rip-off of a Vehicle Gets a Facelift

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
worlds biggest rip off of a vehicle gets a facelift

You’ll never guess what Indian-owned, UK-based model this once looked like. Yes, the Landwind X7, arguably the closest automotive ripoff ever fielded by an automaker, no longer resembles its alleged muse.

The Chinese SUV, built as a joint venture between Changan Auto and Jiangling Motors Corporation, has received a mid-life refresh that erases some of the tell-tale cues of the model that inspired not only the vehicle, but its very name. Meanwhile, certain executives in Coventry, UK, are worried the Landwind X7 saga might happen again.

It was Roger Moore eyebrows all around at Jaguar Land Rover headquarters when the X7 debuted in 2015. The X7 wasn’t just inspired by the Range Rover Evoque — it was damn near a carbon copy of the compact SUV.

After all attempts to compel Jiangling Motor to pull the China-only vehicle from the market (and presumably start over with a clean-sheet design) failed, an infuriated JLR

The case remains on the books, but as we can see in these official photos, the refreshed X7 no longer quite resembles the Evoque when viewed from the front or rear. It now sports a Ford Explorer-esque front fascia and taillights whose inspiration is anyone’s guess. Side-on, of course, the tell-tale silhouette remains.

The Landwind experience has left a lasting impression on JLR. Company brass no longer feels confident in releasing a new design in advance of a new model debut, fearing another automaker could copy it and bring it to market first. The iconic automaker has since filed new paperwork targeting Jiangling Motor.

Speaking at a new vehicle launch in mid-October, JLR design boss Gerry McGovern said the company is “wary of showing new concepts,” Auto Express reports.

“The success of Jaguar Land Rover is based partly on its unique design and engineering attributes, which we believe are worth protecting across all markets,” a company spokesperson told the publication.

Is the Landwind X7’s styling refresh the result of JLR’s litigation, or was the Chinese market just getting bored of the old design? Who knows. It’ll be interesting to see what the company does for a second generation X7.

[Images: Jiangling Motor]

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4 of 32 comments
  • Vanillasludge Vanillasludge on Nov 04, 2017

    No way they could match Land Rovers build quality however. These will probably be much better.

    • See 1 previous
    • JimZ JimZ on Nov 04, 2017

      @JohnTaurus that's like when Packard signed the contract to build Rolls-Royce Merlin fighter engines under license. They basically had to re-design the engine because they couldn't mass produce it with Rolls-Royce's hilariously loose tolerances.

  • IBx1 IBx1 on Nov 06, 2017

    You'd have to be legally blind to say the refresh looks nothing like the Evoque anymore. All they did was change the shape of the headlights to look like the Explorer and add a chrome squiggle from a current-model AMG in the grille.

  • SCE to AUX It's worth considering the recall rate (recalled vehicles vs sales), rather than just recall notices or vehicles affected.The newest calculation for this that I could find was for 1985 - 2016, so not very relevant today.As for the Veloster, sealing printed circuit boards is not new tech, but it must be perfect to be truly effective. My son's 11 Sonata was recalled for a similar problem on the power steering circuit board.
  • MaintenanceCosts When is the actual new stuff coming out? I don't make shaky YouTube videos of myself running from the police, so yet another Hellcat is boring.
  • NotMyCircusNotMyMonkeys hornet is an alfa with $15k on the hood from the factory in italy
  • Tassos This "Eldorado" is a sad caricature of the far more substantial Eldorado and esp "Biarritz"s of the late 50s and 60s.It belongs to the junkyard. I can see no reason why anybody would want to restore this loser.Instead, you can get a FLAGSHIP German Luxury Sedan from the Web auctions, such as this one that was just sold for a tiny fraction of its price new, and which is still eminently driveable with little or no improvements:
  • Cprescott Yet Honduh can't even build a car with safe seatbelts.