Earlier this year, word was that the Wheego Whip was supposed to be available here in the U.S. in May. Looks like July is the new delivery date, so hold on if you want your smart fortwo clone minicar NEV. If you're saying, the "whee-go what now?", the Whip is an all-electric low-speed vehicle that is made in California but based on a platform that comes from China's Shuanghuan Automobile. According to Wheego, there are about 100 pre-orders for the $18,995 not-so-Smart car.
Mercedes decided to sue Shuanghuan Automotive for copyright infringement for its Bubble microcar (called the Noble in China), claiming it was a copy of the smart fortwo. BMW then decided to bring its own case against Shuanghuan, citing the Shuanghuan CEO as a blatant facsimile of the BMW X5 (that's the CEO on the wall in the above picture). Mercedes got the Bubble banned from display at a couple of auto shows, BMW won its copyright infringement lawsuit in Munich, and Mercedes sued the Bubble's i
Small Chinese automakers have developed the nasty habit of cloning the design and styling of successful European automobiles and placing that bodywork atop vastly inferior hardware. Although it doesn't seem right, there may be little that automakers like BMW and Daimler can do about it. Evidence of such can be seen in recent court cases, one of which was lost by a certain Bavarian automaker that sued to stop the European importation of a Chinese SUV with an eerie similarity to its own X5. Now th
If you took a quick look at the pic above, would you be able to tell which one is the Smart ForTwo from Mercedes-Benz and which is the Shuanghuan Noble? Mercedes is apparently concerned enough about that question that it may be filing a lawsuit over the issue. Automotive News is reporting that Benz may be working to block European sales of this Chinese microcar because of how similar it is to the Smart ForTwo (right).