Something must have gone terribly wrong down the assembly line, during the manufacturing process. The radiator grille is in its place, but why is the three-pointed star upside down? And what with the mini-car wheels? Oh, wait, that ain’t no Benz! Meet the China-made Luxing iStar!
Everything is possible in China! Even building a Chinese Mercedes-Benz and calling it different. Visitors at the 2017 Jinan EV Show came across the Luxing iStar, manufactured by Dezhou Luxing Vehicle Company, based in Dezhou, Shandong Province.
It may have the AMG-typical diamond grille of a Mercedes, the three-pointed star probably placed by someone who must have drunk a bit too much and the headlights of a C-Class. But from the side… what in the world is that? It’s tiny, surely less than 4-meter long and it’s got wheels that maybe a quadricycle like the Renault Twizy would use.
This mini-GLC has got the C-typical range taillights and there is a luminous band connecting them and splitting the tailgate in two.
The electric Luxing iStar has a claimed range of 150 km, a top speed of 45 km/h, all provided by a 72-volt battery.
Once we got this settled, let’s take a look at the interior. It’s that trick again, that makes the car look like it’s Stuttgart-made. Those air-vents look terribly familiar. The steering wheel though, features no buttons, the 10-inch touch screen is placed as low as can be and there is a panic button in the center console. If you hit that red mushroom-shaped button, you switch off the electric supply. Unexpectedly, the car got SD and USB slots, it can play MP3 and MP4 videos and it’s even got a rear-view camera.
How much would you pay for this copycat made in China? The car maker says it’s 22,000 yuan or approximately $3,200. Enjoy the ride. But then again, we don’t know how far it will take you!