A little-known Chinese brand has unveiled a plug-in hybrid four-wheel-drive with an uncanny resemblance to the new Land Rover Defender.
The booming Chinese car industry appears to be showing no signs of slowing, but the unveiling of a new four-wheel-drive has demonstrated it still has a way to go by designing its own vehicles without copying the homework of established brands.
Aside from the more modern front end – with Y-shaped headlights and a wider grille – the Stone 01 is a blatant copy of the new-generation Land Rover Defender.
Even tech giant Google’s internet image search believes the Stone 01 is a Land Rover Defender, such is the closeness of the two SUVs.
While the overall shape of the Chinese SUV is the most obvious nod to the British off-roader, small details such as its wheel design, side vents and even fuel filler flap positioning appear to be copied-and-pasted from the Defender.
At the rear, the Stone 01’s tailgate is opened via a vertically-mounted handle located next to the spare tyre carrier – another feature which has been carried over from the Land Rover.
Car News China reports the Stone 01 is about the same size as a modern Defender 110 – measuring 5050mm long, 1980mm wide and 1869mm high compared to the Land Rover Defender P400e’s 5035mm length, 1996mm width and 1970mm height.
The Stone 01’s 3022mm wheelbase is also 12mm longer than the Defender 110, though it has to carry more weight than the equivalent plug-in hybrid Land Rover.
A 112kw turbocharged 1.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine is teamed with a pair of electric motors on the front and rear axle – producing 150kW and 200kW respectively – which are powered by a CATL battery pack.
As a result, the SUV reportedly weighs 3189kg – about 650kg more than the Land Rover Defender P400e, which is also powered by a petrol engine with plug-in hybrid technology.
According to Car News China, the Stone 01 is equipped with three lidar sensors which feed information to the SUV’s advanced driver assistance systems, though it is not confirmed what semi-autonomous driving technology will be included on the model.
The publication reports the Stone 01 is expected to be priced between 300,000 to 500,000 Chinese Yuan – or approximately $61,400 to $102,350 in Australian currency, or about $20,000 to $30,000 less than the plug-in hybrid Land Rover Defender.
The Stone 01 isn’t the only Land Rover Defender copy to be unveiled this week, following Chinese car giant Great Wall Motors (GWM) revealing the Haval Xianglong.
While there are some Defender-inspired elements to the Xianglong’s design, it appears to share a number of cues with the Tank 300 already on sale in Australia.
As with the Tank 300, the GWM Haval Xianglong will be available with plug-in hybrid power in China.