The Zotye SR9 is a new SUV from China made by a company called Zotye Auto. It is also a shameless clone of the Porsche Macan. But how much of a clone is it really? Today we find out. Starting with a white SR9 wearing trendy black wheels. And here is the Macan:
Overall design: check. Proportions: check: Side pods in bumper: check. Roof line: check. Panels on doors: check. Mirros: check. Yes they cloned the mirrors too! Differences: the shape of the lights, grille, and the Macan doesn’t have roof rails.
The SR9 has been delayed a bit. It was expected to hit the market this month but it is going to be November. Price of the SR9 will start around 100.000 yuan ($15.000). Price for the Porsche Macan starts at a steep 558.000 yuan ($83.000). So you can have 5.5 SR9’s for one Macan.
Engines: initially only one; a 190hp/250Nm 2.0 turbo. Next year a 150hp 1.5 turbo will join the lineup. ‘Boxes: five-speed manual or a six-speed DCT.
The engines are sourced from the Shenyang-Mitsubishi engine-making joint venture, a company that powers basically all vehicles made by smaller Chinese automakers, including the infamous Landwind X7 Range Rover Evoque clone. Two clones, same power plant.
Size wise compared:
Zotye SR9: 4744/1929/1647, and wheelbase is 2850.
Porsche Macan: 4681/1923/1624, and wheelbase is 2807.
We call that a clone!
Porsche has said it might sue Zotye. Zotye is not afraid. The company got away with the the SR7 (Audi Q3), Damai X5 (Tiguan), and the Zotye T600 (Audi Q5), so they expect to get away with the Macan too, and they are likely right. Next up: the Zotye Damai X7, a clone of the Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe concept. you just can’t make it up. We continue:
Side profile. Look at details like the shape of the spoiler on top of the rear window, the position of the mirrors, and the shape and size of the third-side window. And although the shape of the lights is different, they are positioned at exactly the same place.
The Macan. One difference: the Macan has its fuel cap on the right side, whereas the SR9 has it on the left.
3/4 behind. Check the shoulders, the shape of the rear hatch, the shape of the bumpers, and the shape of the fog lights. Notable difference: the license plate of the SR9 is on the hatch, whereas by the Porsche it is on the bumper.
There is a load of roar about the SR9 in China, with some saying Zotye is a sh*t company that shouldn’t exist, others are applauding Zotye for standing up against a Western automaker (really). Others again say that the SR8 is Porsche’s own fault because the Macan is too expensive, others just see an attractive car for an attractive price.
The discussion about the Landwind X7 was very similar, and in the end the X7 has become the biggest sales success for Landwind ever. Even here in Beijing they are all over the place. Never seen much Landwind in the capital before the X7 arrived. Beijingnese considered Zotye too cheap and too countryside. Well, no more. Zotye hopes their SR9 will meet similar success, and we think it will.
Check shape of the hatch, the line from the rear window going through the lights. It is exactly the same as on the Porsche:
Now for the interior! Zotye clones that too. Dashboard first. Overall shape: check. Proportions: check. Steering wheel: check. Center tunnel: check and double check. Air vents: check. Clock on dash: check. Speakers on each side of the clock: check. Rest of the interior: Seats: check. Door handles: check. Panel around the mirror: check.
Differences: the touch screen in the Zotye is bigger, and the Zotye has a digital instrument panel. But the Zotye on the photos is a high-spec car. The low spec versions will get analogue dials.
Low-spec variant of the SR9.
The center tunnel with all the fancy little buttons. They just copy-pasted the entire thing completely, including the position of the handbrake, the position of the cup holders, and even the small hatch that hides the USB and Aux jacks in front of the gear lever. Cloning a car this well is not even that easy, designing something of their own would probably be quicker! But it would look different. Like this.
Touch screen in the SR9. Zotye wins this one. It is bigger, more touch, and the graphics are cool. Chinese automakers are getting really good at touch screens, surpassing Western automakers already, so they don’t really need to copy that. Copy that?
I love this one. The panel around the mirror. Zotye really got it all. It is just completely the same, like they bought it at the same supplier. Look at the two small lights close to the window, the white line around the panel, the silver colored edges between the buttons, and the single rectangular button on the far end of the panel. Impressive work.
But it doesn’t end there. It never ends. Zotye copied the bench too, and the seats. And best of all: the entire door. Look at the door, at the shape of the door handle, the shape of the arm rest, the shape of the speaker unit, and the shape of the panel around the door handle. Here is the Porsche:
Just crazy. Difference: the Porsche has red seat belts. But that’s a spec thing. I am sure Zotye will offer red belts as well on the options list.
Lastly the engine bay. I like the engine bay to clean. Zotye is doing a good job here. The Mitsubishi engine is neatly covered up. Turbo and battery on the right.
A bit more messy under the bonnet at the Macan.
Time for our conclusions. How much is the Zotye SR9 a clone of the Porsche Macan? Well, very much. Just for the exterior we give it 85%, for the interior we give it a full 95%. The missing five is just for the touch screen. Is the SR9 a better clone than the Landwind X7? Yes it seems so. Now Zotye, go clone the 918 Spyder and sell it for a $20.000!
Does the SR9 have its engine mounted longitudinally like the Macan, or is it transverse?
Whilst the Chinese authorities allow its manufacturers to continue to steal from the West – think simple things like bicycles, complex things like cars and drugs, there will be a real reluctance for Western (and Asian for that matter) manufacturing companies to form partnerships with Chinese companies. Not only is this practice morally wrong, it is counter productive in the long term and is and will continue to alienate the Chinese in the eyes of those companies that have invested years and billions in Research and Development.