By on November 3, 2017

New Landwind X7, Image: Jiangling Motor

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 filed a lawsuit accusing the Chinese automaker of copyright infringement and unfair competition. It was an unprecedented move, as Chinese courts aren’t in the habit of favoring foreign automakers in such cases. (The Landwind facsimile is one of many copycat designs fielded in China.)

New Landwind X7, Image: Jiangling Motor

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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32 Comments on “World’s Biggest Rip-off of a Vehicle Gets a Facelift...”

  • avatar
    Car Guy

    You think things like airbags and seatbelts would work properly from these rip-off artists? I don’t care how cheap they prices them, I would never take the risk of riding in a Chinese car.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s what they used to say about Japanese cars……

      • 0 avatar

        The Japanese don’t mistreat their people or have a reputation for low quality.

        • 0 avatar

          Mike, the Japanese most definitely abuse their workers, just in a different manner:


          It is not uncommon for employers to force employees to work well over 100 hours a week and because of their culture you literally cannot say no. This has lead to Japan having the highest rate of suicide in the world, many times higher than the Chinese plants they like to make big media sensations about.

          I would much, much, rather work for a Chinese company than Japanese companies, most Chinese companies reward innovation and creativity while Japanese companies are still mostly run via seniority and there’s basically no real accountability at all since the Japanese government regularly bails out every single failing company, leading to zombie firms everywhere run by people who literally got the job by being old.

          As for quality, sure there are great firms like Toyota that build extremely high quality cars. But what about garbage companies like Takata? Or Kobe steel just lying about their metal quality?

          Chinese car companies may not have caught up in technical capability to the Japanese but your post is terribly misinformed. Look at how folks who work for Geely fare-they’re excellent stewards of Volvo as a subsidiary and encourage people to contribute what they can and get creative. Nobody’s forced to work 110 hour weeks until they die of exhaustion, and people who work their way up are well paid. It’s actually like this at the majority of modern Chinese firms.

          Chinese cars aren’t yet better than Japanese cars, but top Chinese firms treat employees far better than Japanese firms, and while quality isn’t quite there yet with Chinese cars, you’re horribly underestimating the Chinese if you don’t think they’ll catch up much faster than anybody else has. China was a great and innovative nation that was ruled by years of misrule and communism but it’s finally putting some of the worst mistakes of the past behind it and the folks there are ready to innovate and show the world how good they really are.

          • 0 avatar

            Working for a Japanese corporation is definitely not sunshine and roses.


    • 0 avatar

      Hmmm…you don’t say

      Jiangling Motors Corporation Limited, abbreviated JMC, is a Chinese automobile manufacturer. The company has operated a commercial vehicle joint venture with Isuzu Motor Company since 1997. Wikipedia
      Stock price: 000550 (SHE) CN¥18.25 -0.45 (-2.41%)
      Nov 3, 3:59 PM GMT+8 – Disclaimer
      Headquarters: China
      Founded: 1968
      Number of employees: 16,865
      Key people: Tiangao Qiu, (Chairman); David Schoch, (Vice Chairman); Thomas Fann, (President)
      Subsidiaries: Landwind, Jiangxi ISUZU Co., Ltd, MORE
      Parent organization: Ford Motor Company

      • 0 avatar

        I doubt Ford had anything to do with the X7, neither the first one that copied the Evoque nor the current one that rips off the Explorer.

        Honestly, I think it *looks* better than the bloated Explorer. I emphasized looks because I don’t think its as good or better in comparison of anything except proportions.

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t know where you found that. Chang’an is a JV partner with a number of automakers, not just Ford. they certainly aren’t the “parent organization” of JMC.

        which is beside the point anyway, since no foreign car company can operate in China unless it’s via a partnership with a Chinese domestic company.

        Just one more of those hilariously imbalanced trade situations which put us at a disadvantage. People should stop griping about NAFTA and worry more about us being in trade deals where we throw our doors wide open for Chinese companies to set up shop here, while they can place onerous “partnership” restrictions on any company who wishes to do business there.

  • avatar

    Any idea what this costs? Any chance to actually review it? We’re laughing now, but quality is improving in Chinese cars. It’s slower than expected, but they’ll figure it out eventually.

    • 0 avatar

      In China x7 starts at about $21K retail. If brought to America this would sell for about $13-14K considering all the Chinese taxes/fees removed. It has weak engine and typical economy interior. But it probably will sell in decent numbers if imported into the US.

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah it would, that price would have it competing with the Kia Soul, and I imagine its on par or better than the Soul.

        • 0 avatar

          “Yeah it would, that price would have it competing with the Kia Soul, and I imagine its on par or better than the Soul.”

          It would only be “better” if it was equipped with AWD. Otherwise your statement really has no merit considering that KIA continues to wipe the floor with the competition.

      • 0 avatar

        Thanks a lot! I wasn’t aware the Chinese were taxing their cars so hard. 13-14k is a ridiculously low price for any new car.

  • avatar

    That is actually pretty good looking. But I assume it is powered by something as sophisticated as a coal fired steam engine.

  • avatar

    I’ll just leave this here

  • avatar

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

  • avatar

    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.

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