China clones Tesla Model S with electric Youxia X
Quirky Youxia X electric car is Chinese take on Model S, with Knight-Rider style LCD front grille and 362bhp electric motor
The Chinese car industry has a reputation for being heavily inspired by Western models, with plenty of copycat cars on sale there. But this new Youxia X, clearly more than a little inspired by the Tesla Model S, adds some unique touches that even Elon Musk hasn't thought of yet.
The exterior profile is unashamedly borrowed from the Model S electric super saloon, from the curvy roofline and body shape to the hidden door handles and blacked-out front grille. It's more angular in places, with some striking details, but there's also lots of influence to be seen from an unlikely source: The cult US 80s TV show Knight Rider.
The founder of the Chinese startup, 28-year old Huang Xiuyuan, even named his company after the Far Eastern version of Knight Rider. The blanked-out front grille is actually an LCD screen which can simulate various graphic effects, including KITT's (the car from the show) oscillating red LED panel.
Under the skin is an electric motor which manages peak power of 362bhp and 440Nm of torque, firing the Youxia X from 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds, though that's not quite a match for the most basic Model S 70D. Three battery packs are available, with ranges claimed from 137 miles to 286 miles.
The interior is almost identical to that found on the Model S, with the same large portrait-style touchscreen controlling every function. The Android-like operating system used is even named 'KITT', so we can safely assume fans of the Knight Rider franchise will find themselves right at home in this.
Perhaps the most amazing stat however is the price: Youxia plans to charge as little as $47,000 (around £30,000), which isn't inclusive of China's current $14,000 government subsidy for electric cars. There are no plans to sell it over here, though. Chinese customers won't be able to order it until late 2016, either.