While there’ll be no new version of the Mercedes G-Class on display at this week’s Shanghai Auto Show, the event has thrown up the next best thing. Images have been begun circulating online of a never-before-seen whip by a Chinese manufacturer – and its design looks awfully familiar.
The BJ80 PHEV is an SUV that arrives courtesy of the Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. (or BAIC), with the inspiration for its design leaving little to the imagination. From the grill to the wheels, right down to the tinted windows and side air vents, the heavyweight vehicle is all but a carbon copy of the legendary off-roader, as pointed out on Instagram by Mercedes-Benz spokesperson Toby Mueller.
As you’d expect, the BJ80 PHEV will go on sale for a lot less than the G-Wagen’s starting price of around $115,000 — albeit no doubt packs anywhere near as much raw power, either.
Chinese car companies have not been shy when it comes to adapting design cues from their Western counterparts in the past. Rolls-Royce, Mini Cooper, and even Hummer are but some of the names to have been flattered with copycat models as obscure brands strive to establish a foothold in the booming domestic market.
Stay posted for further automobile news from Shanghai, where Audi will be showcasing the E-tron Sportback concept car.