Lifan 3-Series is a Chinese Mini Cooper Knockoff
By Chris Haak
Earlier this week, Chinese automaker Lifan showed its 3-Series sedan to assembled media. While the name would make one think that the vehicle is a clone of the BMW 3-Series, in fact, it’s a clone of a different product in BMW’s portfolio: The Mini Cooper.
Lifan has added its own twist to the Mini Cooper, however, by messing up the proportions in the front end and adding two more doors. It will reach Chinese consumers in the first half of the year; no word on whether they’d dare to try selling it in Europe, where it would meet legal objections similar to those faced by Shuanghuan when it attempted to show its Noble Smart ForTwo knockoff at the Frankfurt auto show a few months ago.
Ironically enough, the Lifan 3-Series has nearly the same engine under its disfigured and ill-proportioned hood that the previous generation Mini Cooper had.
Thanks to CarScoop for the photos and information on this latest example of the Chinese disregard for intellectual property rights.
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