As the overall level of Chinese design rises so the clangers become more apparent. As JAC unveiled its very competent (Italian-designed) S2 SUV on one side of its stand, the S11 sat at the opposite end, most physically and metaphorically.
It’s the kind of mashup that perpetuates the myth that Chinese car design is purely a case of ctrl+C, ctrl+V. You can see for yourself that each third of this miserable debutant has been lifted from a familiar source – the front of a Lotus concept (circa Paris 2010), the center of an Audi R8 (complete with side blade and air inlet) finished off by a Ferrari California tail.
But if the copycat elements weren’t bad enough, there’s a blindness to the application of the elements – why add mock air intakes behind the doors when the engine’s in the front? And why add the awkward roofline and rear deck of a folding hardtop model when the roof is fixed?
There is good, original car design in China. However this isn’t it.
By Owen Ready