Mecides: the official Chinese copycat startup


In recent years, Chinese automakers have been working hard to change the negative stereotype of being called copycats – at least in terms of design – by coming up with relatively more original creations. However, certain companies in China continue to take advantage of the relaxed copyright laws, allowing them to use copyrighted designs without seeking the original creator’s permission.

One such company is Mecides, a new startup that is pushing the boundaries of replica design with its range of mini electric trucks and SUVs, which often resemble miniatures of well-known models. The lineup is vast and includes luxury models, rugged trucks, and mainstream cars and SUVs. Despite their obviously different dimensions, it appears that all of the EVs share the same basic underpinnings, making the choice among them a matter of personal preference.

'Premium' offerings 

Rangie Sport or Maruti Brezza?

One of the most interesting parts of Mecides's lineup is its range of luxury car replicas. These unusual designs may not fool anyone into thinking you actually own an original, but their resemblance to their much pricier counterparts is remarkable. For example, the Mecides MBJD draws inspiration from the 2009 Bugatti 16C Galibier Concept, complete with a chrome-finished horseshoe grille and LED headlamp setup. Other notable replicas include minis of Porsche models like the Cayenne and Macan, Aston Martin’s DBX, and the Maserati Grecale. A fun fact about the Grecale lookalike is that it features a Porsche-style emblem on its nose, leaving owners to source the correct Trident logo themselves. Additionally, Mecides offers a mini that looks like the Range Rover Sport, but also bears a striking resemblance to the Maruti Suzuki Brezza.

'Rugged' replicas

RAM 1500 replica really gives off Toyota and Mahindra vibes.

Moving on to the rugged truck category, Mecides offers replicas that resemble various popular models. The Ford Bronco mini, for example, looks like a revamped Maruti Suzuki S-Presso, complete with an oversized grille and headlights that contrast the tiny wheels. The Mercedes G-Wagen replica is also noteworthy, although its underlying platform is claimed to be based on the Maruti Suzuki Jimny. For truck enthusiasts, Mecides has replicas of the Ram 1500 and the Toyota Tundra, both of which have been given a Chinese makeover. However, the Ram 1500 replica’s design also gives off a Mahindra Scorpio N and Toyota Hilux-like air.

'Mass-market' replicas

That's supposed to be the Volkswagen ID.4.

Mecides also offers replicas of mainstream models, including the Mini Countryman JCW, Volkswagen ID.4, and Smart #1, all of which are fully electric. The replicas get a comfortable five-seater cabin. Each interior is equipped with a digital cockpit that mirrors the style of its respective model, although with cheaper materials.

Smaller, shorter and power(less)

The hatchback models range from 3,050mm to 3,800mm in length, while the long-wheelbase trucks can stretch up to 4,800mm. Despite their small size, all of these EVs come equipped with four-wheel disc brakes and conventional suspension parts. In some cases, power comes from a single 14hp electric motor, while in others, a 27hp motor is used. These numbers are comparable to heavy quadricycles in Europe, but the Chinese EVs weigh about 700kg, making them heavier and, likely, slower. The battery packs have a capacity of 26kWh, with driving ranges between 300km and 800km, depending on the version.

Mecides has not disclosed pricing details, but the company is currently accepting orders. While Mecides may not match established automakers in terms of originality or innovation, it serves a different market segment. With its relatively affordable replicas of popular models, it offers consumers the chance to enjoy the style and presence of luxury or mainstream models at a fraction of the price. 

Which one of these replicas would you spend good money on? Let us know your favourite (or the least favourite) in the comments below.

Also see:

Polaris builds a Lunar Rover replica

Toy Story: Hot Wheels Design Centre

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