• Apr 15, 2009
China's Great Wall Motor has big plans for expansion outside its home country, and rumor has it that the marque plans to launch an entire vehicle line based on its popular Hover CUV. While it's true that many Chinese automakers tend to crib designs from other manufacturers, Great Wall takes it a step further and borrows the entire chassis from an older Toyota 4Runner model. The exterior styling for the current Hover is based on the unloved Isuzu Axiom from 2002, and the engine is supplied by Mitsubishi.

According to Inside Line, a new version of the CUV is set to be shown this week at the Shanghai Motor Show, and it will likely carry the Hover H3 designation. Expect to see a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission, all for a base price of around $13K in China.

The smallest 'ute to carry the Hover nameplate will reportedly be called the M1, which could be powered by either a 1.3-liter four-cylinder or an electric drivetrain. Next up the ladder would be the M3, motivated by a 1.6-liter four-banger. At the upper-end, Great Wall is expected to show off a premium model called the Hover H7, equipped with a 3.0-liter V6 engine backed by a six-speed automatic transmission and full-time four-wheel drive.

[Source: Inside Line | Image: auto.sina.com]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      It makes sense that the greenhouse is a knockoff of the 1st-gen xB/bB, since Great Wall already makes a direct ripoff of that vehicle with the Coolbear... though, admittedly, that is an awesome name for a car.

      The modifications they made to that body from the regular Coolbear actually look kinda nice... I'm a fan of the 1st-gen xB/bB anyway, and loathe Toyota's redesign.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "I'm a fan of the 1st-gen xB/bB anyway, and loathe Toyota's redesign."

        Glad I'm not the only one.
      • 5 Years Ago
      China cars are definitely copycat.

      But, Don't forget. real Copycat was(is?) japan.


      -------------
      http://www.drive.com.au/Editorial/ArticleDetail.aspx?ArticleID=58&vf=1

      When Toyota launched its Lexus luxury car brand a decade ago it made no secret that it had Mercedes in it sights.

      Ten years later, the Japanese are sending in the clones with increasing frequency.

      It's not just the expensive models which European makers accuse Japan of copying. Consider, for example, the headlights on the latest Toyota Tarago. Now picture those of the Peugeot 206. Look familiar? Looks as if they should share the same part number.

      When Audi's TT coupe and convertible were unveiled, diminutive Japanese maker Daihatsu had a car with an amazing likeness displayed at the very next Tokyo Motor Show called the Kopen. The latest Lexus coupe, due here before the end of the year, looks like a larger interpretation of Audi's Bauhaus design.

      Daihatsu has also built a miniature Hummer and, bizzarely, called it the Naked. And in 1999 at the same show, Mitsubishi took the wraps off a car that, if you squinted, you would swear blind was a new Mini.

      What about the "teardrops" on the headlights on latest batch of Hondas, such as the HR-V, Odyssey and the new Integra? A hint of BMW 3 Series perhaps? The tailights on the HR-V have a remarkable resemblance to the Volvo 850 wagon's.

      From a distance, Toyota's square-shaped MR2 looks like a Porsche Boxster.

      The original Toyota Celica was so inspired by the Ford Mustang of the era that today's enthusiasts call it the "Mustang Celica".

      Now, even after 10 years, Lexus still hasn't broken its clone-like mould. The latest Lexus LS430 has the sillouette of the superseded Mercedes S Class and a headlight theme borrowed from the new S Class.

      When the covers came off the fourth generation Lexus at the Detroit Motor Show two years ago, Mercedes-Benz broke its corporate silence over what it called "Japanese copycat cars" but stopped short of calling it plagiarism.

      "People explain to us it is really an honour to have someone copy our cars, but I don't think we see it that way any more," said Harald Leschke, the head of design at Mercedes-Benz. "I think it is quite obvious that they admire the design, then try to do it their way. I'm sure in some industries this sort of thing is not legal.

      "What surprises us most is that [Lexus] are prepared to do it, in public, and that customers are prepared to buy their copycat cars."

      "I think it's fair to say all their cars have been influenced by someone else's models," he said. "They don't have a history so they have to copy someone else's."

      Industry experts argue that a flagship Lexus made sense when it was considerably cheaper than the German benchmarks. But now that it is priced the same, there's less incentive to drive an imitation. Nevertheless, Europe's car maker have now become so concerned about Japan's sincere forms of flattery that they are wary of showing concept cars of future models.

      Porsche, for example, has deliberately not shown "design studies" of its Cayenne off-roader because it fears a Japanese maker will be able to release its interpretation just as Porsche unveils the real thing.

      [...]
      The lack of history is also an Achilles heel. "Japan had no horse-and-carriage era. True, the nobility were transported in carriages for a time, but these were import!!ed or the designs were copied.

      "So the country skipped a critical phase in its maturation process as a car stylist. Too often, designers took the easy option and borrowed looks from around the world."
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good looking car, it will be a good competitor to Kia Soul or Cube.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That greenhouse is straight out of the previous gen Scion Xb. The Axiom was actually a pretty cool looking SUV, and capable as well, especially when fitted with Isuzu's excellent direct injection V6, the first gas DI engine in production I think. It didn't sell because no one knew it existed. R.I.P., Isuzu passenger vehicles...
        • 5 Years Ago
        @reddy:

        Yeah, that's all we need. Another ACT - Anti-China-Troll. :rolleyes:
        • 5 Years Ago
        Testing comment; doesn't seem to be working.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @sektor
        who are you? a pro-china bot !
      • 5 Years Ago
      H3 - really? I wonder if Great Wall is one of the international companies bidding on buying Hummer.

      Also - did you say that styling was basedon the Axiom? Hmmm. doesn't look much like the Axiom that I remember.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That is a sketch of the possible M3 (look at the license plate), not of the current Hover.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It might use a Toyota platform but at least they licensed all the IP. Same thing with it's former Axiom body.
      • 5 Years Ago
      uhhhh....isnt that a chevy groove?
        • 5 Years Ago
        My thoughts EXACTLY!!! I was just getting ready to post on that, but you beat me to it. Good eye!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Quite a mish mash of names and faces.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I see a bit of Dodge Durango and Nitro in the taillights. Not a good sign.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Axiom? Really? That looks a lot more like a Jeep Commander or Patriot to me.

      (Note that we all seem to think that it's based off of a different car. That should tell you something...)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mostly the fact that people will accuse any Chinese car of being copied despite any evidence to the contrary.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Tell me what? That we have a huge amount of boxy cars being sold in the U.S. that all look more or less the same?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, a new Chinese car that isn't a complete facsimilie of an existing model. Sure, the greenhouse is straight from a first-gen xB, and the grille looks like it came off of a Subaru, but at least it's a small step forward.
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