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RAY MASSEY: From look-alike Land Rovers to fake Fords… Cheeky China’s ‘copycat’ cars

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery — and that’s especially true in the world’s largest car market.

British makers should be flattered that the styling of many of our cars is being celebrated so enthusiastically in the form of copycat lookalikes produced by Chinese rivals!

If you were to glance at some of the hottest models at this week’s Shanghai Motor Show, you might be forgiven for looking twice.

Snap! The Chinese-made E-Motion bears more than a passing resemblance to Aston Martin’s DB11

Following the collapse of the UK’s MG Rover Group, the classic British sports car-manufacturer is owned by China’s largest car-maker Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation.

MG has just unveiled a prototype, the E-Motion.

From the side, it bears an uncanny resemblance to the new Aston Martin DB11 coupe with a hint of a Jaguar F-Type. The big grille at the front and the headlights also look Jaguar inspired.

Inspiration: The jaw-droppingly good-looking Aston DB11 coupe

China’s LandWind X7, meanwhile, is a mirror image of the Range Rover Evoque SUV, which has provoked howls of protest from Jaguar Land Rover.

Viewed from the side, the JMC S331 48V is another Evoque tribute, albeit electric powered.

The trendsetting Smart ForTwo car, part of Germany’s giant Daimler and Mercedes-Benz family, has its Chinese admirer in the form of the Zotye E200 with a claimed range of 124 miles when fully charged.

Zotye’s Z700 saloon looks like an Audi A6 as well as the last generation Volkswagen Passat. The Hanteng EV is a clear nod to Jaguar’s F-Pace 4×4 and I-Pace electric car.

The Zotye SR9 has shades of the more familiar Porsche Macan, while China’s all-electric Eagle has similar lines to the Porsche Cayman. Even the Ford S-Max has a lookalike — the Lifan Xuanlang.

In the past, its car-makers have even had a punt at making a cloned Rolls-Royce in the form of the Geely GE. And, there’s a car called Trumpchi — though that doesn’t have anything to do with the U.S. President.

Trendsetter: Model Cara Delevingne sports the grey-hair look

With its design team led by Britain’s Peter Horbury, Lynk & Co aims to be the first high volume Chinese car maker to sell in the UK and Europe.

in Shanghai, it unveiled the production version of its mid-sized 01 sports utility vehicle (above) and a prototype of its BMW-chasing 03 saloon. An O2 sports car is also in the pipeline.

Owned by Geely, which owns Volvo and the London Taxi Company, the firm will offer a pay-as-you-go payment plan that allows for car-sharing, sales and delivery.

‘We believe that Lynk & Co will offer the most connected cars in the world,’ says Geely boss Alain Visser.