Greetings. I don't know if anyone's seen or heard of these, but its true. A motor company in china is producing fake "clone" vehicle's. They have tried to win over a new market with these fake mini's. And has also cloned Mercedes, BMW, and Rolls Royce. On this Vehicle, Called the 'Panda'* (correct me if I'm wrong on the name ) IMO, it resembles the 2002 - 2006 R53 model's . Also the "floating roof" effect is evident. And the bonnet stripes are made to resemble MINI's. The tires look like little wheelbarrow wheels tho couldn't find any pics of the interior, but I'm so curious as to how it looks inside :P . Wonder what's the performance figures :P . But if one couldn't afford a real mini cooper S or Cooper, would this even be an option? *Not that Coopers are really expensive these days, but I'm guessing that these are Really cheap.
They bare a passing resemblance, not really fakes as such, I dont think anyone would buy one and then get it home and then realise, hey its not a MINI, do you?
Fakes I would say are items that are almost impossible to distinguish from the original without in depth knowledge of what to look for.
I dont think MINI need worry too much at the moment.
They couldnt use the MINI brand name, although I suppose they might try with MINNI COOPA?
I think they base these things on the Nissan Micra, they do a half size Mk2 Jag as well, micra based.
Its amazing what you can make out of an oil drum though, so you have to give them some credit for trying.
You can bet also these have the crash resistance of a crisp packet N Cap -5
The problem is that this sort of parasitic rip off undermines the value and desirability of the genuine article. Why pay a premium price for the Real Deal if it looks so similar to any number of these motorised pieces of excrement which are probably cropping up all over China?
May '04 - Feb '07 R50, Feb '07 - May '10 R53. Enjoyed our time with MINI's, but ran out of space! Now Focus RS & Land Rover powered...
Last edited by Tigger, Eeyore & Roo; Jun 24th, 2012 at 02:50 PM.
They dont look similar really do they, maybe if youre half blind on a foggy day you might half confuse one for a MINI, I doubt theres any risk whatsoever to the genuine MINI brand, plus I doubt whether they could be sold outside the country theyre made in as they wouldnt meet any safety regulations for anywhere else.
Ive seen one or two of those small town cars called a Ligier?, its fitted with what look like lawnmower brakes, dreadful things, I wouldnt think these Chinese lash ups would be fitted with 4 pot Brembo's for a moment, more like a anchor on a rope.
The value of our cars wont drop overnight because of them.
Thanks for that link mab01uk. And I think that the mini clone bears only some similarity to the real MINI , but still, its amazing what these chinese car companies are doing, and even more amazing that they're able to get away with it. While its true that their mini clone won't compete with the real thing, they've cloned other cars "better" or more in detail ..
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