A legal battle waged since 2016 ended with a historic win for Jaguar Land Rover on Friday. In 2015, China’s Jiangling Motor Corporation debuted the Landwind X7, a compact crossover that looked a lot like the Range Rover Evoque. Okay, not “a lot” — the near was damn near identical, but priced well below the Brit. (That’s a refreshed 2018 X7 you see above; the first was even closer to its muse.)
The Evoque’s doppelganger wasn’t a unique phenomenon, either. Chinese copycat vehicles had become a scourge for foreign automakers operating in that market, and, based on past cases, few expected JLR’s lawsuit to get much traction in the Chinese courts. They were wrong.
Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery, but Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is none too pleased with an Indian automaker’s plan to foist a Jeep CJ-like all-terrain vehicle on the United States market.
Mahindra & Mahindra’s Roxor is a larger ATV with a conventional layout and appearance that splits the difference between brush-busting fare from Polaris, et al, and road-legal off-roaders like the Jeep Wrangler. There’s a 2.5-liter inline-four diesel up front, and drivers put the power to all four wheels via an honest-to-goodness five-speed manual transmission. Oh, and it really, really looks like a Jeep CJ. We’re gaga over them.
FCA sure isn’t.
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.