Chinese SUV That Doesn't Look Like BMW X4 "Looks Like BMW X4"

This just in: cars tend to look like cars.
By Wallace Castillo
Cover photo: via Geely / BMW.

Probably best known in the west for owning Volvo and Lotus, Chinese automaker Geely has been eying a bigger global presence for a few years now. Step one of that, of course, is to produce cars that a global audience might be interested in buying, something which wasn't really true of Geely's quirky Daewoo- and Daihatsu-based vehicles of a decade ago. That could be about to change, though; Geely's spent the last couple weeks teasing a new fastback SUV, the FY11. It would be the company's first foray into the lifted coupe trend made popular (well, not that popular) by vehicles like the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe.

The Geely SUV Coupe
A car that looks just like a '73 Datsun Cherry. Photo: Geely.

Presumably because Geely's a Chinese company, the folks at places like CarBuzz are already saying the car "blatantly steals [the] BMW X4 design". But here's the thing: it doesn't.

Take the front bumper, which apparently looks "very similar" to the X4. Well, sure, it's got gaping indents either side of a wider central vent, a bit like the X4, but you could say the same about vehicles as varied as the Toyota Hilux, Hyundai Sonata and Chevrolet Spark. It's not exactly a BMW-specific feature. I'd put the look somewhere between the Mercedes GLC and a Lexus NX; the central vent is a sharply angular trapezoid, like somebody cut the top off Lexus's signature X-grill, but the indents either side are large and ribbed like a GLC (or Kia Forte, if you prefer).

Apparently, even the "sloping roofline" is evidence of copying the X4 design. Fastback vehicles having fastbacks? Well I never...

The Geely SUV Coupe
The interiors of two cars that look just like the Caterham 7. Photos: via CarBuzz / BMW.

We're lead to believe the story continues inside, too, as "the shape of the [Geely's] dashboard and center console look similar to the X4’s". Seriously? Are we looking at the same dashboard here? The only similarities I'm seeing is that both have all the necessary elements — a steering wheel, air conditioning vents, a gearshift, seats etc. The supposed smoking gun, though, is the rotary infotainment controller, which "looks like BMW’s iDrive system" but also looks like a Scion iA.

It's not all BMW, though. Either side of Geely's signature expanding cosmos grill, the FY11 has headlights that "appear to be inspired by Audi models". Another way to look at them is that they share a clear family resemblance with Geely-owned Volvo's design language, particularly the almost identical headlights on the V90. A company taking design hints from its own cars doesn't sound quite so scandalous, though.

The Geely SUV Coupe
A car that looks just like a Blue Bird Micro Bird. Photo: Geely.

The headlights aren't the only bit of Volvo in the car, though. The FY11 is the first Geely-branded vehicle built on its Compact Modular Architecture, previously used on the Volvo XC40. It's also going to be powered by a Volvo engine. Based on the reported specs — a 2-liter turbocharged engine with 235 hp and 350 Nm of torque — that will be the T5 AWD, available across Volvo's current SUV lineup. You could even call it the Volvo SUV Coupe Volvo's promised not to make.

The FY11 is scheduled for launch in China in the first quarter of 2019. There's no word yet on which other countries it's going to make it to, but we can assume Europe and North America aren't going to be on the list just yet.

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