New photos of the all-new Zotye Damai X7 SUV for China, seen here on a Zotye dealer event. The Zotye Damai X7 is a clone of the Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe concept, marking the first time a Chinese auto maker clones a concept car. What’s next..?
Zotye is a cloning expert with a great like for Volkswagen; they did the the SR7 (Audi Q3), Damai X5 (Tiguan), and the Zotye T600 (Audi Q5), and will soon launch the SR8 Porsche Macan.
The Damai X7 is the second car in the Damai range, which might turn into a sub-brand in the near future. The other Damai is the X5 which was launched in September last year.
The English name for Damai is Damy. Zotye is using this name on the front and on the back, where they write Zotye Damy. We saw similar badges on the yet-to-be launched Damai A3 EV, but the Damai X5 has standard Zotye badgery.
There will be three turbocharged engines available: a 150hp/210nm 1.5 turbo, a 170hp/245nm 1.8 turbo, and a 190hp/250nm 2.0 turbo. Transmissions: 5-speed manual for the 1.5 turbo, five-speed manual 0r six-speed DCT for the 1.8 turbo and 2.0 turbo.
The engines are sourced from the Shenyang-Mitsubishi engine-making joint venture, a company that powers basically every vehicle made by smaller Chinese automakers, including Zotye’s own Damai X5, SR8 and SR7.
The 2.0 turbo also powers the Landwind X7, the infamous Range Rover Evoque clone. So; they are both called X7, they are both powered by the same engine, and they are both copy-clones. Only in China… The Damai X7 is a seven-seater. Size: 4738/1928/1665, and wheelbase is 2850.
The Damai X7 will be launched on the Chinese in October. And there is a surprise: price is going to be much lower than expected. The range will start at 78.800 yuan and end at 153.800 yuan, which means the X7 will compete with all the other existing and future Zotye vehicles. That in itself is not a surprise, because all the cars of the current lineup already compete with each other, with similar prices and sizes.
The X7 however is bigger. Who would choose a Damai X5 1.5T over a Damai X7 1.5T? The X7 will be a bit slower perhaps, but in this segment of the market nobody really cares about speed.
The Damai X7 on the left and the Damai X5 on the right.
The Damai X5 starts at 73.900 yuan and ends at 123.900 yuan. Size: 4527/1836/1682, and wheelbase is 2680. Lone engine is the 150hp 1.5 turbo. It is going to be a hard sell after the X7 arrives.
The CrossBlue Coupe.
Check: greenhouse, roof line, rear-window spoiler, A-pillar, C-pillar, D-pillar, wheel arches, short front overhang, short rear overhang, crease on side running through the door handles, chrome ornament on lower doors; the Zotye Damai X7 got it all.
The 2.0 turbo. Neatly covered.
The cloning didn’t stop on the outside, Zotye also had a good look at the interior of the CrossBlue Coupe.
Check: overall shape of the dashboard, shape of the center stack, shape and design of the steering wheel, shape and design of the air vents on each side of the touch screen. Most significant is the cloning of the design of the area where the center stack ends up into the dashboard.
The Damai X7 has an analogue instrument panel. A bit odd for the supposedly flagship car, especially since Zotye does have the tech for a digital panel, as they have in the Zotye T600 Sport, which by the way costs between 95.800 yuan and 149.800 yuan and is powered by, again, the 1.5 turbo and 2.0 turbo. Strangely though, Zotye claims the 1.5 turbo has 162 horses in the T600 Sport.
Touch screen is big enough. Five speed auto ‘box in this car.
Red over black color scheme is absolutely cool.
Rear bench wide but flat.
Check: shape of the bonnet, shape of the grille, grille, shape of the headlights, shape of the bumper, and the shape of the chrome bits in bumper. Also look again at the overall design, very similar around the wheel arch area.
Check: shape of the lights, shape of the rear window, rear window spoiler, and again the D-pillar. Zotye’s designers did some of their own work on the bumper. Ain’t that something? What a car and what a company.
The Volkswagen. Beaten to the market by Zotye.