If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, Ford should be proud. Spy photos from China show a new pickup truck destined for sale in Asia that bears more than a mild resemblance to Ford’s top-selling F-150.
Jianghuai Auto Corporation is reportedly planning to launch its 4R3 pickup truck at the Beijing auto show in April. Early spy photos show that the truck’s front end looks almost exactly like that of the F-150: note the blue oval JAC badge, black rectangular grille, L-shaped headlight housings, and hood creases. Out back, the JAC 4R3′s tailgate also bears a strong resemblance to Ford’s best-seller. It appears that JAC simply cribbed Ford’s styling cues in designing their new vehicle. (For comparison, see the photos of the 2012 F-150 in the gallery below.)
Reports suggest the JAC pickup will have a 2.8-liter turbodiesel inline-four engine with 108 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque — significantly less grunt than any engine offered in the genuine Ford F-150.
While it’s not unusual for Chinese automakers to mimic cars designed by Western companies — we’ve seen Chinese cars that look like BMWs, Hummers, even Bentleys — this example seems to be a particularly close copy of an American car. Given that Ford was eager to sue when Ferrari named its Formula 1 car the F150, we have a feeling JAC may soon receive a call from lawyers in Dearborn.