Home » Here’s A Look At Some China-Built American Cars Spotted On The Streets Of Beijing

Here’s A Look At Some China-Built American Cars Spotted On The Streets Of Beijing

Tycho Amchin Top
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After all those cheap Chinese LSEVs and funky EVs, it is time for some old-school American metal. In this MegaSpot Story® I discuss a flock of interesting cars from Chinese-American joint ventures. I saw these cars on the road and at car markets around Beijing this summer, so it is just a snapshot. Let’s begin!

[Editor’s Note: It may be helpful to think of these as American brands instead of as cars you may have actually seen in America. Well, for some of them, at least. – JT]

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SGMW Chevrolet Lechi Cross (乐驰 Cross)

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The Chevrolet Lechi Cross is a crossy variant of the Chevrolet Lechi hatchback. The Chevrolet Lechi was the Chinese version of the Chevrolet Spark, and based on the first-generation Daewoo Matiz. The Chevrolet Lechi was manufactured by SGMW, which nowadays sells cars under the Wuling and Baojun brands. The Lechi was manufactured from 2004 until 2011 when it was rebadged to Baojun Lechi. The Chevrolet Lechi Cross arrived in 2009. Cross-themed cars were a hot trend in the Chinese car market in the 2000s. The recipe was simple: grab an existing car, add bigger bumpers, wider wheel arches, and roof rails, and that was that. Dozens of brands sold such cross-variants at the time.

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Chevrolet perfectly followed the recipe with the Lechi Cross. It had all the crossy ingredients, plus strips on the doors and, get ready, mud flaps! I love mud flaps. Every car should have mud flaps. They look brilliant on the Lechi Cross.

The owner put a sticker of the Chinese flag on the fuel door. The Lechi Cross was powered by a 1.2 liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The output was 86 hp and 108 Nm (80 ft-lb), good for a 160 km/h (99 mph) top speed. The Cross was only slightly more expensive than the base model, so it sold very well. Today they are super rare. The engine is too stinky for emissions regulations in the big cities, so you have to get out of town to see one. I met this near-perfect Sunshine Gold example in Hebei Province, about 4 hours east of Beijing.

Shanghai-GM Chevrolet Sail (赛欧)

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The Chevrolet Sail is a rebranded variant of the original Buick Sail, which in turn was based on the second-generation Opel Corsa. GM wanted to reposition Buick as a luxury brand in China. The Chevrolet brand was then launched to cover the entry-level segment, and so the Buick Sail became the Chevrolet Sail. Besides the new name, it also got updated looks, with a new front and rear and new wheels.

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Don’t we love a little bit of beige? Everything is beige. Even the knob of the gear lever. And the handbrake. The owner needs to clean it up because some of the beige is almost black. What a mess. The owner also added fancy seat covers and an after-market CD player.

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There was only one engine: a 1.6-liter four-pot with 90 hp and 128 Nm (94 ft-lb). Not much, but the Sail was a small car, so the top speed was a decent 170 km/h (105 mhp) and 0-100 took 12.7 seconds. For many years, the tiny Sail was the best-selling Chevrolet in China. It was manufactured from 2005 until 2010. There was a wagon too, called the Sail SRV. The Sail was a hugely popular entry-level car. In 2010, Shanghai-GM launched an all-new China-developed second-generation Sail.

Shanghai-GM Chevrolet Epica (景程)

American Cars China 1

In China, there has always been a large market for boring mid-size sedans. That is still so even today. Outside of China, we only see high-tech EVs, with shiploads of power and big screens. But many car makers are still selling mundane gasoline-powered sedans for the masses, and I don’t think that’ll be over soon. The Chevrolet Epica was just such a car. Many people wouldn’t notice the Epica, even when it crashed into their house. But it was a capable vehicle, cheap to buy and cheap to run. The design was fine but completely ominous. Later cars, like this one, had an Audi-style grille and enormous headlights.

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American Cars China 2

The Epica was based on the Daewoo Magnus/Evanda. It was manufactured in China from 2005 until 2013, with various updates in between. The car that I saw is a 2010-2013 example, painted in ‘Spar Black’ and fitted with sporty six-spoke alloy wheels. The engine lineup was simple again: a 1.8 with 143 hp and 177 Nm (130 ft-lb), mated to a 6-speed AMT or a 5-speed manual. The top speed was 185 km/h (115 mph) and it did 0-100 in 12.2 seconds. The Epica was 4.8 meters long and that was enough to seat four adults with ease.

Shanghai-GM Buick New Century (新世纪)

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This is Buick royalty! The Buick New Century was the very first car made by the Shanghai-GM joint venture, it was based on the sixth-generation Buick Century sedan. [Editor’s Note: Okay, finally, a real American! – JT] It was manufactured in China from 1999 until 2004, when the Buick New Century was renamed to Buick Regal. Under the long hood is a 3.0 liter V6 with 167 hp and 250 Nm (184 ft-lb), mated to a 4-speed automatic. For a short while, just before the New Century became the Regal, Buick also sold a slightly modernized variant with a 2.5 liter V6 engine, but that’s a much rarer car than the 3.0 V6 as we have here.

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The Century’s engine no longer complies with emission regulations, so most are capped or sold to other provinces.  Back in the late 2010s, there were still a few on the road. But not anymore.  I saw this one at a car repair shop in south Beijing, without license plates and registration. The owner of the shop had a small collection of late 1990s cars, including a triplet of old Volvos. The Century was in great shape, painted in a wine-red color. The body was super smooth, the chrome was shiny, and I didn’t see any rust or busts. Sadly, the hub caps were missing.

[Editor’s Note: Look at those taillights, with their amber indicators! In America, they’re all red in that section. – JT]

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The early Shanghai-GM cars had these cool English ‘SHANGHAI-GM’ badges. When the Chinese government mandated that all China-made cars should have Chinese names, that became 上海通用 (Shànghi Tōngyòng), the Chinese name of Shanghai-GM, like on the Epica above. In 2015, the joint venture was renamed to SAIC-GM, and the Chinese name badge became 上汽通用 (Shàngqì Tōngyòng), like on the Cadillac GT4 below.

Shanghai-GM Buick Regal (君威)

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The “first-generation China-made Regal” arrived in 2004 and was made until 2008. As always, it was updated several times over the years. The car that I met is a 2006-2009 example. The Regal used to be one of China’s most popular executive cars, competing with the Audi A6L. It was a large car for China at the time, with loads of space in the back and even more space in the trunk. The Regal was indeed so large that Buick didn’t bother to launch a long-wheelbase version. I have been in many of these old Regals, and they were extremely comfortable like an American sedan should be. Sadly, after 2009 until today the Buick Regal became an Opel-based car. Gone was the style and gone was the luxury.

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The light units were enormous. This was a design trend in China in the 2000s. Car makers were competing who had the largest lights. Well, Buick did a good job here, the lights barely fit into the vehicle, especially at the back.

When I was taking these photos I was approached by an older gentleman. He seemed surprised that I was checking out the Regal, asking me why I was interested in “such an old car”. This has happened to me a lot. Chinese folks, especially elderly ones, don’t understand the appeal of an older vehicle. Everything old is bad, to be discarded, and everything new is great. They didn’t care a bit for automotive history.  That has changed a little bit now, many younger folks do care about older cars, trying to save and restore them, like that guy who owns the New Century. The lack of knowledge about China’s automotive history was one of the reasons why me and friends started the non-profit website ChinaCarHistory. We bought old catalogs and brochures, visited museums and collections, and started to work. Many a time Chinese readers would ask us: “How is it possible that you foreigners know more about old Chinese cars than we do?” Well, that is the right question indeed!

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The 2006-2009 Buick Regal was available with a 2.0 four or with a 2.5 V6. Output of the latter was 153 hp and 209 Nm (154 ft-lb), good for a 173 km/h top speed and a 0-100 in 12.8 seconds. The gearbox was a 4-speed manual. The 2.0 model had to do with a 5-speed manual.

Shanghai-GM Buick LaCrosse (君越)

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A beautiful black Buick LaCrosse with a big shiny grille. The LaCrosse is a large luxury sedan, positioned above the Regal. The first-gen China-made LaCrosse was produced from 2006 until 2009, a relatively short production run. When the LaCrosse launched there wasn’t much of a market for this kind of large high-end sedan, so initially sales were slow. But in the late 2000s sales started to go up when China got richer, and the LaCrosse became a great success for GM. The LaCrosse name is still around today.

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The LaCrosse had a luxurious interior with beige leather and brown wood panels. The owner was not impressed and added seat covers and a steering wheel cover. The seat covers are a bit odd. Mostly, Chinese seat covers combine the seat and the backrest. But not in this case. The seat covers are kind of spacey. There is a toilet roll on the passenger seat. Handy.

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[Editor’s Note: I’m not really sure those seat covers were made as actual seat covers? Those look like T-shirts and placemats? – JT]

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Double LaCrosse, with a gray example in front. The 2006-2009 LaCrosse was available with a 2.4 four-pot and a 3.0 V6. The V6 is way more common and the two cars that I met are both V6-powered, with a 4-speed automatic transmission. The output is 176 hp and 244 Nm (180 ft-lb), good for a 200 km/h (124 mph) top speed and a 9.9 seconds 0-100, which was very fast for a sedan at the time.

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The gray car had these super cool Buick-branded license plate frames. These frames were popular in the 2000s. You could get them at any dealer or repair shop. I had them on my Jeep as well. Sadly, they were banned by the Beijing government and many folks threw them away, and so did I. Later on, the frames were allowed again, and the owner of this Buick kept his frames somewhere safe in the meantime, and put them back on the car. A great classic look.

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SAIC-GM Cadillac CT6

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There is nothing better than a big pink Cadillac at sunset in Beijing. Wrapping is an important part of Chinese car culture, although not as much as in the 2000s and 2010s. In those days, most automakers only offered a few usually boring colors, so car owners who wanted something hip had to drive to the wrapping shop. These days, many Chinese car brands offer all sorts of wild colors from the factory, like shiny pink or matte green, so there is less demand for wraps. However, Western car brands didn’t quite catch up to this trend, so if you want a pink Cadillac, a wrap is the only way to get one.

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The CT6 is the largest Cadillac sedan that GM sells in China. This pinky CT6 is a  2016-2018 example. Engines: 3.0 V6 turbo or a 2.0 turbo, like this one. Output is 276 hp and 400 Nm (296 ft-lb), which was a lot for a 2.0 turbo in 2016. The top speed was 230 km/h (143 mph) and 0-100 took 6.6 seconds. It looks great in pink, with darkened windows and chromed window frames.

SAIC-GM Cadillac GT4

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The GT4 is a new addition to the Cadillac lineup in China. It is a China-only compact luxury crossover based on the E2XX platform. The GT4 is aimed at young car buyers and features a relatively wild design with split headlights, a black grille, and big wheels.  The GT4 is a new car so I checked out the intended audience. As I explained in earlier articles, many car makers in China sell cars mainly aimed at women. The GT4 is such a car, although it doesn’t have the soft-tone colors like most women-focused vehicles.

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The advertisements are all about lady-friendliness,  with an extra-large vanity mirror and easy access to the booth. Cadillac even created a ‘Cadillac Lady‘ story-telling page with semi-famous young Chinese women chatting with friends about lady stuff, like oncology (click here, scroll down a bit until you see 3 faces, then click on the left one).

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No matter the marketing, the GT4 is a fine-looking car. Buyers can choose between a 2.0 turbo + 48v or a 1.5 turbo + 48v, like this one. Output is 211 hp and 270 Nm (199 ft-lb), good for a top speed of 208 km/h (129 mph) and a 0-100 in 8.8 seconds. The transmission is a 9-speed automatic, front-wheel drive. It costs 219.700 yuan, and that is $31K.

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SAIC-GM Cadillac Lyriq (IQ锐歌)

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The massive Cadillac Lyriq EV, fresh from the factory and the first one I saw on the road. It is a huge and hugely impressive car, and it looks properly futuristic. American car brands are way behind the EV curve in China, but GM is catching up. Buick sells two attractive EVs,  Chevrolet will soon start selling the Equinox EV, and Cadillac is readying the new Optiq. Cadillac went wild with the color names, the pretty black-blue color scheme is called Wonderful Black/Twilight Rain Sky Green (曜黑/暮雨天青). Green yeah, not blue. Okay.

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The naming is interesting. In China, every brand is always looking to launch a new series or line. The Lyriq is branded Lyriq, but it is also called the IQ锐歌 (IQ Ruìgē). That’s because the Lyriq is part of Cadillac’s new IQ series of EVs for China, just like the aforementioned Cadillac Optiq EV, which will also be called IQ傲歌 (IQ Aogē).

The China-spec Lyriq can be had with RWD and with AWD. The Wonderful Black/Twilight Rain Sky Green that I saw is an RWD car, with 340 hp and 440 Nm (324 ft-lb). The top speed is limited to 190 km/h (118 mph) and 0-100 takes 6.35 seconds. The Lyriq costs a lot of money, the RWD model sells for $53K. The competition in that segment is smoking hot, with many Chinese brands offering more tech and goodies, so sales of the Lyriq are slow. For example, in December GM only sold 431 units. To turn things around, Cadillac recently launched a new Lyriq base model, with fewer luxuries and a smaller battery. It sells at just $42K, 11K less than the original base model!

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Changan-Ford Escort (福睿斯)

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A brown Ford Escort sedan, seen in the compound of my father-in-law. The Escort is a classic Ford nameplate, especially in Europe. When I was young, the Germany-made Ford Escort was one of the most popular cars on the Old Continent. The name disappeared in 1998 when the Escort was succeeded by the Ford Focus. So it was a surprise when Ford decided to bring back the Escort name in China, where the original Escort was never sold, and where the name wasn’t known, except among rare rally fans, perhaps.  The China-made Ford Escort is based on the platform of the second-generation Ford Focus. This Focus was made in China by Changan-Ford, in hatchback and sedan forms. When the third-generation Focus arrived, the second generation continued under the name Focus Classic.

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This is a common joint venture trick in China; just milk your cars as long as you possibly can! At the same time, the joint venture developed a new entry-level sedan, based on the second-generation Focus sedan, that would be positioned below the new third-generation Focus sedan. That car became the Ford Escort.  Production started in 2015, it was updated in 2017 and 2021, and it was finally retired in 2023. The ‘Passion Brown’ car that I saw is an original 2015-2017 example, with lots of chrome and shine. Under the hood was a 1.5 with 143 hp and 142 Nm (105 ft-lb), mated to a 6-speed AMT or a 5-speed manual gearbox. The top speed was 179 km/h (111 mph). In its early days, it was a super popular car, but Ford failed to develop a proper successor, either ICE or EV, so now they have no entry-level sedan at all.

Changan-Ford Evos

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This interesting machine is the Ford Evos. The Evos is one of a series of China-only new cars that Ford hopes will save their Chinese adventure. Strangely, all these cars are ICE-only. Has Ford been sleeping under a heavy stone? What the F are they doing? Ford only sells one (01) EV in China, the slow-selling Mustang Mach E, which is completely outgunned by the Chinese competition. The design of the Evos is a cool mix of SUV-sedan-hatchback-wagon-thing, so I call it a crossover. It is marketed as a sporty car, hence the black bumpers and the racy wheels. The car in the photo is a special “1st Editon” launch edition painted in Crescent White.

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The interior is sporty too, with red stitching and sports seats. The centerpiece of the interior is the giant screen, actually two: a 12.3-inch instrument panel and a 27-inch touch screen for infotainment. Impressive, certainly for a Ford. The power unit is a turbocharged four-pot with 238 hp and 376 Nm (277 ft-lb), good for a 193 km/h (120 mph) top speed. The transmission is an 8-speed automatic, sending horses to the front wheels only. The Evos is based on the C2 platform, just like the  Lincoln Z, which is also made at Changan-Ford. I have been looking for a Z all over Beijing but sadly I haven’t seen any.

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It has brake lights atop the rear window! A cool-looking car, but it should have been an EV. The naming is interesting. Mostly, 99% mostly, cars in China have an English and a Chinese name. Ford, however, decided to call the Evos the Evos in China. There isn’t a Chinese name. Unusual. The Ford Evos 1st Edition launched in 2022, priced at 259.800 yuan or $36.5K.

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[Editor’s Note: Oh man, those are some great roof-taillights! – JT]

Jiangling-Ford Everest (撼路者)

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Ford has two joint ventures in China. Changan-Ford makes mainly passenger cars and Jiangling-Ford, also known as JMC-Ford, makes commercial vehicles and a line of basic SUVs and pickup trucks. Jiangling-Ford is on a car-launching binge. Recently, they launched the new Ford Ranger pickup truck and the Ford Bronco. Cool cars for sure, for a tiny audience, and ICE again, see what I mean?  The Ford Everest is a mid-size SUV that is manufactured or assembled in several countries. Besides China, also in Thailand, South Africa, India, and Cambodia. Production in China (sec-gen worldwide, 1st gen for China) started in 2015 and continues until today. The car in the photos is an Everest Sport, with a black grille and black trim.

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There was a time back in the late 2000s and early 2010s when Chinese car makers had badges with the number of gears on their cars. So you would see badges like ‘5-speed gearbox’, ‘6-speed’ or ‘8-speed auto’, and the like. By that time, that was still special. But today, nobody does that anymore. Except Ford. This cool 10 Speed Auto badge sits proudly on the front fender, for all to see and feel impressed.

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Power comes from a 2.3-liter turbocharged engine with  275 hp and 455 Nm (335 ft-lb), top speed is a relaxing 175 km/h (108 mph). Folks can get the Everest with 5 or with 7 seats. Until a few years ago, Ford offered a diesel engine as well, but that’s gone now.

Beijing-Jeep Cherokee XJ City Special

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The Beijing-Jeep Cherokee XJ is probably the most famous Chinese-American joint venture car. I owned one too. The XJ was produced at Beijing-Jeep from 1984 until 2009 in countless versions and variants. The car that I met is an early Cherokee City Special Super Space. ‘City Special’ was a base trim level and ‘Super Space’ refers to the high roof. The car is fitted with factory-optional wider tires and sporty alloys, and a roof rack. The fog lights were standard. The shiny mirrors are after-market.  The early Chinese Cherokee XJ’s had a 北京Jeep (Běijīng Jeep) logo on the hood. Later on, that changed to just ‘Jeep’.

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The Jeep Motorsport sticker was a popular dealer option. The City Special sticker was standard.  Power came from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder petrol engine with 136 hp and 180 Nm (132 ft-lb). Power went to the rear wheels only via a five-speed manual gearbox. The top speed was officially 150 km/h (93 mph). I drove mine regularly at 140 km/h, pedal to the metal.

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On the lower right is a BJC badge, which is short for Beijing Jeep Corporation, the full name of the joint venture. The City Special did not have a rear windshield wiper. The Cherokee XJ is, like so many cars, too stinky for Beijing’s strict emissions regulations so most are either scrapped or shipped to other provinces. In the 2000s the XJ was everywhere in Beijing, nowadays you are lucky to find even one.

Beijing-Benz Chrysler Sebring (铂锐)

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A beautiful black Chrysler Sebring sedan. It has been a while since I saw one in such good shape. Most owners don’t care this much for a Sebring. The Chrysler Sebring is a lesser-known car made by the same joint venture as the Cherokee XJ. The Sebring arrived soon after Daimler bought Chrysler and partially owned Mitsubishi. In a short time, the JV launched the Chrysler 300C, the Chrysler Sebring, the Mercedes E-Class, the Mitsubishi Outlander, and the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.

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The JV got a new name too. Beijing-Jeep became Beijing-Benz Daimler Chrysler (BBDC): 北京奔驰-克 (Běijīng Bēnchí-Dàikè). Sadly the badge is no longer complete, it misses the  between 北京奔驰 and 克. When all went bad and wrong between Daimler and Chrysler the Americans were kicked out of the JV, and the Japanese left as well. So in the end, the joint venture became simply Beijing-Benz, and that outfit is still alive today, making Mercedes-branded cars for China.  

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The shiny exhaust pipe tip is after-market. The China-made Sebring was available with 3 gasoline engines: a 2.0, a 2.4, and a 2.7-liter V6. The car we have here is the 2.4 Touring. Output is 172 hp and 217 Nm (160 ft-lb) for a 202 km/h top speed (125 mph) and a 0-100 in 11.1 seconds. The Sebring was only made in China from 2008 until 2010, so it has always been a rare sight on the road. Thanks to the old engine, the Sebring is no longer road-legal in Beijing. The car in the pics is registered in Shandong Province, where the rules aren’t so strict (yet).

Beijing-Benz Chrysler 300C

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A dark blue Chrysler 300C, a car with more presence than anything Chrysler sells today. The 300C was made in China from 2006 until 2009 and it sold very well. Buyers could choose between a 2.7-liter V6, a 3.5-liter V6, and the enormous 5.7-liter V8. At the time, that was the largest engine in a China-built passenger car. The V8 was very expensive and thus very rare. The car we have here has the 2.7 under the hood, good for 206 hp and 258 Nm (190 ft-lb). The transmission was a 4-speed automatic, and it had a 207 km/h top speed (128 mph).

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Amazingly, the 2.7-liter engine of the 300C is still okay for Beijing, so quite a few of these are still around. The other engines are too stinky, so I haven’t seen any 3.5 and 5.7-liter models anymore. When Chrysler left the joint venture in 2009, the production line for the 300C and the Sebring remained in China. BAIC, the Chinese company behind ‘Beijing’ tried to develop its own models based on these cars (scroll down), but in the end, it came to nothing.

Tesla Model 3 & Model Y

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A Tesla Model 3 with a shiny pink wrap and ears on the roof. 3 out of 4 Teslas have a wrap in China. Tesla only offers five colors from the factory. That is not a lot, and the colors are rather boring, so Chinese Tesla buyers go shipping for a wrap. Pink is popular, green too, and shiny blue.

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Tesla started manufacturing cars at Giga Shanghai in 2019. In no time, the Model 3 and Y became an enormous success in China. The Model Y is currently China’s best-selling car Not the best-selling EV, nope, best-selling car of all cars. In December, Tesla sold 60.055 units, plus 15.750 units of the Model 3, which was the 33rd best-selling car in December.  No wonder Tesla launched the recently updated Model 3 in China first.

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The December Top 5. The other four are the Dongfeng-Nissan Sylphy (ICE, MHEV), the BYD Seagull (EV), the SAIC-VW Lavida (ICE), and the FAW-VW Sagitar (ICE).

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As I explained in an earlier article, Chinese consumers can buy all sorts of stuff to dress up their Tesla. The owner of this pinky Model 3 bought a set of red leather seat upholstery, including the armrest. Tesla only offers gray and white. The Tesla-branded tea bottle is after-market as well.

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The wrap is of high quality and neatly applied over the car’s entire body. It has black window frames and heavily tinted windows, making for a nice contrast with pink.

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Every China-made Tesla has this cool 特斯拉 (Tèsīlā, Tesla) badge on the back.

Tesla China is changing its pricing all the time. Sometimes Tesla acts, and sometimes Tesla reacts. China is a dynamic market… At the moment of typing, the base price of the Model 3 is 245.900 yuan ($35.4K) and the base price of the Model Y is 258.900 yuan (36K).

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A Tesla Model Y in pink with a black roof.

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Another Y in soft blue with cool white ‘and black wheels.

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A Model 3 in a smurf-blue wrap in front of a Tesla maintenance center.

My ride: a GAC-Fiat Chrysler Jeep Renegade (自由侠)

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My ride for the summer was this great Jeep Renegade, painted in Flame Orange. It belongs to a friend of mine, and it was a fine companion. It did everything well and I was happy to have it. The Renegade was made in China from 2016 until 2022 by the GAC-FCA joint venture, which went bankrupt in 2022. There is no local Jeep production in China at the moment. Too bad, no luck again for Jeep in China! Power came from a tiny 1.3 turbo four-pot with 173 hp and 270 Nm (199 lb-ft). The top speed was a claimed 200 km/h (124 mph), but I never came close to that. The stickers on the doors are dealer-optional.

The End

And that is the end of this story. Much more to come! Next up is a dealer visit to HiPhi. After that, a MegaSpot Story® about rare imported American cars in China. See you soon!

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Myk El
Myk El
15 days ago

I’m not sure that pink Cadillac would have me feeling out of sight or spending all my money on a Saturday night.

Xpumpx
Xpumpx
15 days ago

this series is rad! keep em coming!

Eva
Eva
15 days ago

I wonder how well that Bronco sells. Also begging GM to produce a base model Lyriq in the US, pleeeease.

Echo Stellar
Echo Stellar
15 days ago

That 200 looks just as miserable as it does on American roads, even in great shape. Poor owner.
I’m somewhat surprised that the American companies fumble about and just drop whatever product into the market that’s convenient. Maybe they have no insight, or maybe that approach makes more fast money.
It is satisfying to see some real tires with real sidewalls on those Buicks.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
15 days ago

I recently learned about the GT4 – while sized close to the XT4, it seems like it would fit in fine here if they saw fit to do so with all the “coupe SUV” variants out there. Even Infiniti is in on the game with the QX50 and QX55.

On the Century tailights with the amber indicators, I also learned a bit ago about the 2nd gen Ford Taurus having a different taillight treatment in some South American markets. An amber signal was placed in the center, like on the Century here, or sort of how the original Taurus had it for 86-88. Though while our Century had a combo signal/stop light, if memory serves the gen2 Taurus was all-red with two brake lights on either side and the outboard would blink for the turn signal, so the amber signal reversed the order.

Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
15 days ago

Very interesting article!
Surprised I didn’t see this:
Ed. Note: That XJ is amazing! -DT

David Escargot
David Escargot
15 days ago

Which diesel was offered in the Everest?

Not The Ford 289
Not The Ford 289
15 days ago
Reply to  David Escargot

5-cylinder??? Maybe??

David Escargot
David Escargot
15 days ago

I was thinking it might be the 3.2 5cyl, but being a ranger chassis could it be a 2.2l 4cyl? I’m not sure what other vehicles they came in/what was available in China

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
15 days ago

I was unprepared for the 300C. That must have quite the presence in Beijing traffic.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
16 days ago

“…the non-profit website ChinaCarHistory.”

That reminds me: I still want a Jianhua JH6620 24V3000.

Just kidding; I hadn’t actually forgotten.

Harvey Park
Harvey Park
15 days ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

The whole Jianhua lineup was designed by blind people asked to draw Shrek based on instructions read in Italian.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
16 days ago

Here is the thing they are stealing the design, yet they can’t even get the name plate right. Why do people think buying a car built by slaves in a tyrannical state is a good deal? Oh I won’t buy Tesla because the owner says stupid stuff but I’ll buy an ugly car built by technology theft and forced built by slave labor under threat of death because I’m woke.

Tristan Hixon
Tristan Hixon
16 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Who thinks that? Honestly? Sounds like you’re just setting up a made up Boogeyman so that you can attack the “woke.” (Which I am, bee tee dubs)

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
15 days ago
Reply to  Tristan Hixon

Actually alot of people attacking Tesla because Elon makes stupid comments. And many young people want to buy cheap EVs from China despite stolen technology and using slave labor to save the environment. You need to be Amish not to have seen evidence of this in the comments of this and many other car sights.

Tristan Hixon
Tristan Hixon
15 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Elon is a sackful of shit, mate. That’s not in question.

Everyone who wants an EV, minus those who care about status symbols, wants cheaper EVs. And as an abstract thought exercise, some of the cheap Chinese EV designs are pretty cool. However, that does not mean that people are okay with slave or near-slave labour. Tech theft? Meh.

But you feel the need to attack people without provocation, and to make shit up in order to feel good about yourself. Have fun with that, snowflake.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
15 days ago
Reply to  Tristan Hixon

Snowflake? TeeHee of all the names I’ve been called, and there are many this makes me laugh the loudest.
And many quality news agencies have proven the slave labor and genocide nature of China’s government. If you buy they die! And I will post this on any article on Chinese products.
Hey many other American companies have been using child labor from Chinese companies. You probably are okay with that too. It isn’t a secret. And every one from the NYT to the Washington Post have proven it. So if you are okay buying it you are okay with all the evil associated with it. Makes you worse than the Trump.

Tristan Hixon
Tristan Hixon
15 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

If you can afford to only buy products mined, refined, designed, and made in (insert your high standard country of choice), then good on you. I highly doubt you do, though – “Made in USA” doesn’t mean that it was made of stuff *from* the USA. You just want to have a moral high ground, which you frankly lack.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
15 days ago
Reply to  Tristan Hixon

Well my last car purchase was a 1978 Fiat Spider so pretty much no slave labor. And I don’t need American built I drive a Japanese built 2001 for a DD. BUT never going to drive any vehicle or buy any item built by children in a country that lives on slave labor. I can go back to cinder blocks and 2x4s before saving money over the bloody corpse of anyone. I also don’t like their farming body parts from political prisoners. I bet you want a Chinese EV with a Hannibal Lecter human skin interior.

Tristan Hixon
Tristan Hixon
15 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

And I bet you’re full of shit. *shrug*

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
14 days ago
Reply to  Tristan Hixon

Ooh did I hurt your snowflake ❄ feelings by showing younger people are FOS? They support an adult white male putting on a women’s bathing suit and racing against women. But oh the environment needs savings who cares if people are killed or enslaved? Yeah living in your parents basement protecting white men and ignoring child labor are slavery is what today’s kids are all about. They are passed it is becoming obvious they stand for nothing. Grow up get a job use your money to support your beliefs.

Tristan Hixon
Tristan Hixon
14 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

You didn’t. You’re just kinda pathetic. Kinda very.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
14 days ago
Reply to  Tristan Hixon

And you now know what a horrible person you are when you previously thought you were good. I may go to he’ll you definitely will.

Tristan Hixon
Tristan Hixon
14 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Actually, I’m a pretty decent person, and I’m definitely not going to Michigan – and that’s the only hell I know of.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
14 days ago
Reply to  Tristan Hixon

Wells long as you can live with yourself okay. Lucifer will decide.

Tristan Hixon
Tristan Hixon
14 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I’ve no use for your stupid religious beliefs, so, no, no one will decide.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
14 days ago
Reply to  Tristan Hixon

If you are okay killing people and forcing their children to build you a cheap EV I pray for your soul. Because everyone realizes your willingness to buy these Slave labor EVs knowing what they are means your entire after life Is eternal damnation. I really hope these Chinese slave cars are everything you desire.

Tristan Hixon
Tristan Hixon
14 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I have no afterlife, and I can’t afford to buy a used car, let alone a new EV, and I’m happy with that fact. Enjoy your hell – I won’t be there.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
14 days ago
Reply to  Tristan Hixon

Oh you got an afterlife. Hope you dgetbehatvyou deserve.

Tristan Hixon
Tristan Hixon
14 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I’m too old to believe in fairytales.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 days ago
Reply to  Tristan Hixon

Well unfortunately ignorance won’t keep you free.

Tristan Hixon
Tristan Hixon
10 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

From your imaginary bullshit? Sure it will.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 days ago
Reply to  Tristan Hixon

Okay let’s use science instead of religion. For every action there is a reaction. Matter can not be created or destroyed. Energy can only be transformed from one source to another. These are 3 constants in science every scientist agrees on. And each transfer is associated with the next form. So you seem to think evil is a form of some type that actually exists but can be ignored and just dissappear? Frankly I am nilot religious and I don’t adapt anynone religion. But the concepts of science tell us that evil and goodness if they exist, and who says they don’t, prove that while no God may exist but they have causality that will effect the environment of the perpetrator. It isn’t faith it is science. That is why many scientists believe in a God but not the God because evil and good exists and as such need a counterpoint. Fortunately for your evil, and yes supporting China death squafs is evil. There isva corresponding goodness.

Tristan Hixon
Tristan Hixon
10 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Dude. Go back on your medications. Please.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 days ago
Reply to  Tristan Hixon

Okay Shang Kai Shek. Love killing people and profit over people. You are a person destined for he’ll. By any measure slavery is worth saving $10k. Enslave people sell their kids kill anyone who disagrees. This is you if you accept buying Chinese EVs for savings.

Tristan Hixon
Tristan Hixon
10 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

You dumb motherfucker, I’m a socialist.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 days ago
Reply to  Tristan Hixon

Oh surprise Dante says 5th level of he’ll. Even though you don’t believe.

Tristan Hixon
Tristan Hixon
10 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

You do realize that you’re writing things on the internet, meaning you’re utilizing a device that contains parts made from Chinese slave labor, and African slave labor, and other slave labor, right? And the internet is hosted on servers built from slave labor. You don’t get to pretend you have some moral high ground. Go back to shouting at clouds.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 days ago
Reply to  Tristan Hixon

Sure you can’t be isolationist and inform people. Now you do realize that admittedly accepting doing business with evil countries. From your previous comments you admit that the Chinese are evil and doing business might put you in heck. But you aren’t worried because it doesn’t exist. OK it doesn’t exist. But by you own admission if it did you deserve to go there. That also means your friends and family mom and dad your own children probably worry about it and if not know you would deserve eternal damnation. My friends and family and even aquaulintances think I am a good guy and know I will help them even without asking. I help people I dint know. I provide food from my garden to strangers. I give rides to neighbors to the list office, grocery stores and doctors. Apparently those who know you think that you are a person who approves of slavery who will support it to save money and that if heck exists you deserve to spend eternal damnation in it. So no heck bit people who know me like me, people who know you think you are evil and deserve eternal damnation. So live with yourself when people who know you think that about you heck you admit that about you. Or admit it and try to be a better person. Help your neighbors. Cut an elderly person’s yard, share your garden produce, ask if they ate okay or need help. Provide your phone number and say call if they need help or want to talk because they are lonely. Do this you will feel better about yourself and expect more of yourself and will be happier.

Tristan Hixon
Tristan Hixon
10 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Nah, I’d rather murder some more babies and bathe in their blood. Much better for my skin.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 days ago
Reply to  Tristan Hixon

Being wrong loudly doesn’t make you right. I hope you recognize the mistakes of your life and repent before you spend a long time in he’ll. I’ll ptay for you

Harvey Park
Harvey Park
15 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Huh?

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
15 days ago
Reply to  Harvey Park

Hey Harvey how you doing?

Harvey Park
Harvey Park
14 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Not bad, what’s going on in Vehicross land?

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
14 days ago
Reply to  Harvey Park

Just doing the uninteresting jobs around the house.

Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore
11 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Why do people think buying a car built by slaves in a tyrannical state is a good deal?

It literally doesn’t matter. You and I may not, but thousands—nay, hundreds of thousands of general consumers who already buy drop-shipped Amazon products every day will. BYD is already the largest EV company on earth. All the American OEMs currently import Chinese-designed cars into Mexico and South America. Take it up with your government if you feel that strongly about it. Your weird hate comment isn’t going to stop a single Chinese EV sale.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
11 days ago

Not stop a sale? Maybe maybe not. Today’s self righteous are more about letting men compete in womens sports than taking a stand for saving lives.

Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore
10 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Again, weird place to grandstand your political beliefs. I guarantee you these comments on an obscure car news won’t change a single thing regarding the topics you feel so strongly about, so say whatever you want I guess. Can’t wait to see what you’ll say when Chevy starts importing Baojuns for the US market.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 days ago

I am not a politician or an influencer. I come here for well written car/vehicle articles. I like the comraderie and humor of most of the members. I enjoyed JT and DT from the other site and that is my reason for reading everyday.
However as a citizen of this planet don’t expect me to remain quiet when we have China as the next Nazi Empire or Stalin wanting to take over the world. Most of the World wanted to bury their heads in isolation and ignore Stalin and Hitler thinking hey it doesn’t affect us. Well finally it affected them with world wars. Now we have the same thing. Am I alone going to stop it? Hell no. But when it happens I will at least have the small amount of comfort that I was on the right side. With the internet you will have to live with the belief you are today’s nazi sympathizer. It isn’t that idiot Trump it is the whole Group of people ignoring facts and supporting WEIII. Now I’ll be dead or too old before it happens but do me a favor. Remember you are the modern Nazi Sympathiser. Not because you believe in them but you wanted a cheap EV. I am now done with politics here.

Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore
10 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Lol ok. My grandparents fled Communist China as refugees in the Chinese Civil War—my family is about as anti-mainland China as they come, so thanks I guess for lumping me in with the ‘the modern Nazi Sympathisers’. Anyways, have you been online lately? Anti-mainland sentiment is about as strong as it’s ever been amongst the general populace; if you have issues with mainland China take them up with the giant US-based corporations who manufacture there because it’s cheaper, or the soybean-growers in the Midwest who sell all their crops to China, or the government policies that allow cheaper and less-regulated mainland Chinese products to flood Walmart and Amazon.

You and I have little sway in this besides buying intelligently and even then there are very few options—there is a 100% chance that whatever device you are replying to this on was in part or entirely manufactured in mainland China. I’m glad you’re so scared of mainland Chinese takeover from your cushy little North American suburb. Meanwhile my friends and family in Taiwan are busy trying to preserve their democracy in the face of total authoritarianism.

Last edited 10 days ago by Alexander Moore
Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 days ago

If you think supporting mainland China aftervwhat your family faced? Don’t worry about what I think your parents and grandparents are ashamed of you so worry about that. I can only wonder what you are thinking after the way your family was treated by China that you think saving a couple bucks on a poorly built EV is a good idea. Good you are a monster I hope they don’t leave you any inheritance. God forbid tortured by a government and some pinhead grandkids spends money to support them. I hope they left their money to a better heir than you.

Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore
10 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Ok cool, read none of what I wrote lol. I don’t plan on ever buying a mainland-built EV, I’m not sure where you read that I would. I only drive used gas-powered Volvos that are at least ten years old. Somehow your weird political stance has turned me into the enemy while I’m literally on your side—all I’m saying is that mainland China is a manufacturing monolith and unless there is major policy shift and collective import regulation in this country, nothing about that is going to change once they start selling their cars here. Your little angry comment is not going to prevent your neighbor from buying a BYD or SAIC-built MG.

I’ll admit I only replied to see how off-the-rails you’d go and it turns out your logic runs circles around the rest of us, so I won’t even try and begin making sense of what you said when all I mentioned was ‘I hope Taiwan stays a democracy’. I’ll have you know my grandmother is my best friend and she often visits her home village in mainland China (gasp) where they’ve even put up a statue of her grandfather who founded the local high school. People on the Mainland are still people after all, and most of them aren’t fond of their government either.

Last edited 10 days ago by Alexander Moore
Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 days ago

I don’t have a political stance as much as a resistance to slavery. As long as you drive ICE I appreciate your not supporting slave labor. Otherwise I won’t waste my time we agree to disagree. But I will forever support fighting slavery and Communist China. How do you feel about Russia and Ukraine? It’s okay because you aren’t involved? We can’t ignore evil until we are face to face because then it is too late.

Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore
10 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

So what are you doing about it? Are you making sure everything you buy is 100% American parts and manufactured locally?

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 days ago

Oh no it is a bad idea too be an isolated community even if you are the biggest market. I believe you work with friendly and like minded countries. You offer benefits to so called nonbiased countries and you make enemies pay big for entry. And what we offer should be equal to what we get. CHINA limits imports from us we limit imports from them. It’s about time we stop supporting any countries let alone opposed countries.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
16 days ago

The design was fine but completely ominous.
Sounds like the styling of most vehicles these days.

The Chevy Lechi needs a badge engineered relative like Buick Handsi.

DONALD FOLEY
DONALD FOLEY
15 days ago

…completely anonymous.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 days ago

Yeah China steals everything and tortures prisinets too make it cheaper. Not sure I’m confident on slave labor quality but no demand maybe no political prisoners?

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
16 days ago

I’m pretty sure those body panels on that second Buick Century came from an Oldsmobile Intrigue.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
15 days ago

I did a double take after you said that but I think it’s just the taillights and trunk giving the impression since it shed the full-width taillight treatment. The lights gave me Alero vibes especially with the blurb on the race for bigger taillights, but I think the basic body panels stayed the same and the window and door lines differed in the Olds. It does highlight just how similar they were once you strip some details away and how much better GM had gotten at badge engineering, though.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
15 days ago

100% on that last sentence, think of the old days when only the grills and tail lights were different.

Last edited 15 days ago by Michael Beranek
Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
16 days ago

Fun fact: The Chevy Epica was sold in Canada from 2004 to 2006.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
16 days ago

We got it in the US as the Suzuki Verona, Canada got a Chevy badged iteration in addition to the Suzuki because of the large number of dual franchise Chevrolet/Oldsmobile dealers there who demanded a direct replacement for the Alero, which had been selling well enough for them

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
15 days ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

And had those been a runaway success, the pictured example would have been the successor.

Australia got said successor with Holden badges, along with the other Daewoos that we saw as the Aveo (and Wave/Swift+ for Canada) and in Suzuki showrooms. Here they mostly plugged holes in showrooms, but for Holden they were replacements for Holden badged Opels – Corsa, Astra, Vectra. Dull as those may have been considered by some European standards, going to those Daewoos was a step back.

DadBod
DadBod
16 days ago

The kitty ears on the Tesla are cute, but the kitty ear taillights on the EVOS are downright adorable

AssMatt
AssMatt
16 days ago

What’s up with the rear doorframe/C(D-?)-pillar on that Sail? So odd.

What a neat list and so nice that it isn’t a slideshow!

Clupea Hangoverus
Clupea Hangoverus
15 days ago
Reply to  AssMatt

I would guess the Sail is an Opel Corsa hatchback that has been butchered into a sedan with a largish separate trunk, and they just had to re-use the rear doors without altering the pressing. Similar basic concept to Toyota Yaris vs. Echo.

AssMatt
AssMatt
15 days ago

I’m sure you’re right, not really a design decision so much as a decision not to bother. Such an odd set of lines.

Nice handle, by the way. I looked it up and still don’t get it besides the alliteration, but it sure does roll off the tongue!

Clupea Hangoverus
Clupea Hangoverus
15 days ago
Reply to  AssMatt

Thanks, not sure how and why it came to be. It was late.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
16 days ago

As a serious XJ nerd, that XJ is super cool. The Beijing Jeep badging on the front looks so weird. The raised roof is super cool and kind of LR Discovery. What’s really interesting to be is the bumpers/bumper corners: they look more like the 97+ facelift bumpers than the 84-96, but I don’t think they’re actually the same part. Must be China specific. Just like those immensely hideous 2001-2005 Chinese front grilles.

Also, a 4cyl 5spd XJ can only go 93mph? I would imagine a higher top speed.

Harvey Park
Harvey Park
15 days ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

* named “Rust Buckets”
* identifies as an XJ nerd

Hmmmm

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
15 days ago
Reply to  Harvey Park

Ironically, my several XJs are spotless. But I do own what has to be the rustiest two cars in the very very non-rusty state of Idaho.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
16 days ago

Ford has sold some genuinely attractive sedans in China – the final Taurus was superior to what we got here, and the current Fusion and Lincoln Z are also decent efforts. I suspect I’m the only one who wishes that Escort had been sold here though, but it’s a solid, honest, affordable car and we don’t have enough of those. Had a much better transmission than our last Focus, at least

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
16 days ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Nope, not the only one at all! The Escort even looks like what a ’90s North American model would look like these days.

Related, the current middle east Taurus is pretty sharp for sure. It’s like viewing an alternate reality where SUVs didn’t take over everything.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
16 days ago

I love that Ford Evos. If I have to own a crossover, that’s what I’d want it to be like.

I’m convinced it is in fact the promised Ford Fusion Active that was supposed to replace the Fusion here in the states.

Farley talked about how it would both be made in China and would feature a style in between the “white space” of current vehicle types.

Sadly, tariffs killed that project, but it’s certainly way sharper than say the Edge (ha).

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
15 days ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

I’ve had the same thought on the Evos. The Buick Envista is the same idea only smaller, but the Evos is right in line with the exterior dimensions of the new Toyota Crown sedan, so there’s sort of a segment out there if Ford wants to get a piece of the pie. Granted, the pie in question is sized more like a personal pan pizza….

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
15 days ago

Not to mention the interior – that screen setup would be a hit with the target audience for sure.

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