The row between Land Rover and LandWind has been stoked again. Jaguar Land Rover has filed a suit against the Chinese-market Evoque with LandWind's cheaper, unauthorised and startlingly similar version.
The controversial LandWind X7, a copycat of the Range Rover Evoque, is the subject of new legal proceedings, according to news agency Reuters.
The LandWind X7 was unveiled at the 2015 Guangzhou Motor Show, prompting controversy as just one hall away Jaguar Land Rover launched a locally made Evoque, the first product of its joint venture with Chinese manufacturer Chery.
At the time of the launch Chris Bryant, president of the JLR joint-venture, wouldn't comment on the X7 copycat, stating that he was, “here to speak about our joint-venture Evoque”. However, Reuters is now reporting that Jaguar Land Rover has taken the unusual step of filing an action against copyright and unfair competition in a court in Beijing's eastern district, Chaoyang.
At the launch of the authentic Evoque made in China, Bryant pointed out that the only difference between it and one built in the UK was the badge on the back, which has the joint-venture name written in Chinese. “It’s the same quality, same service, same choice,” he said.
With prices starting at around the Chinese equivalent of £14,000 (Rs 13.78 lakh) the LandWind X7 doppelganger appears a steal against £40,000-plus (over Rs 39.37 lakh) for the locally produced Evoque.
Autocar UK's reporter at the Guangzhou Motor Show confirmed that the X7 has reasonable quality leathers and soft plastics for a Chinese car. He noted, however, that many of the panel gaps were irregular, and highligted bubbling of paintwork on corners. Furthermore, the gaps of the rear doors and boot were neither regular nor flush with the sides. He also noted that LandWind previously scored a zero-star Euro NCAP crash test safety ratings for its Isuzu Rodeo-based X6.
There are differences between the cars: the X7 is larger by more than 5cm including a 1cm longer wheelbase and most notably has a roof rack. It has an underpowered 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine delivering 188bhp coupled to either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic.
That's against 237bhp in the joint-venture Evoque with a nine-speed automatic unit.
External differences are minor and are largely a matter of detailing. This is carried over into the interior which sports a very similar dashboard layout. One of the few areas where the LandWind wins out is that it has a larger infotainment touchscreen than the Evoque.