Whenever we hear that a Chinese automaker is working on a vehicle that's "influenced" by some other successful model from an established global company, we wince a little. After all, we've seen quite a few less-than-convincing attempts to go along with a few couldn't-tell-the-difference carbon copies. And neither of those options are acceptable.
From what we can tell, BYD's S6 (shh – don't tell Audi) DM crossover could be considered a little of both. From the profile, you'd be forgiven for mistaking it for a couple-year-old Lexus RX. From the front, we see clear influence from General Motors' European arm, Opel. That said, it appears to be a passable effort on the styling front, and it's what's underneath that derivative skin that's what really counts.
The DM in the 'utes name stands for Dual Mode, as in a hybrid that can be powered by electricity only or a combination of the electric motors and gasoline engine. The drivetrain consists of a 14-horsepower electric motor that powers the front wheels and a 102-horsepower gasoline engine powering the rears. That's not a lot of power, but at least the two systems can work together to offer all-wheel drive.
We'll be on the lookout for this machine at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show next week. In the meantime, check out a few images in our gallery below.