China. Just when we thought the People's Republic was finally developing its own unique, interesting design language and was attracting big-name manufacturers to set up design studios, this happens. This is not a Volkswagen Taigun. This is a patent filing from a company known as Jiangsu Lake Motors, and it is a virtual ripoff of the VW that's slated to debut in China around 2016. Yes, a Chinese company is trying to patent someone else's design before it can go on sale.
Clubman: potentially described as cute. Lifan 3 Series: Not cute. Not even ugly to the point of being endearing. Enough of the MINI's cues make it through in the Lifan that you can just picture them laying a huge sheet of onion skin over the Clubman and coming up with this. It's close in a lot of ways, but misshapen in others. A weird front overbite is the result of small wheels and a longer overhang than the MINI, and the C/D pillars appear thick – just a big blind spot where the Clubman
Daimler's not taking the close resemblance of a Chinese minicar to a smart fortwo lightly. The German automaker has gotten a court order forbidding Martin Motors, the European distributor for China's Shuanghuan Automobile, from displaying the Shuanghuan Noble at the upcoming Bologna Auto Show. This is the second time Daimler has blocked the Noble from being displayed, having taken similar action at the Frankfurt show.
Our friends at The Hollywood Extra have a spy shot and an artist's rendering of a clone, of all things, wearing the F1 nameplate. The car, which appears to be a carbon copy of Toyota's cut-price Aygo, is made by Byd, one of the many Chinese automakers turning out carbon-copy clones of mainstream vehicles already on the market elsewhere in the world. The shocker: it's purported to have a list price equivalent to $3,500 in Chinese Yuan. That's right, the price of this car is probably less than a s