China has a long history of making knockoffs, so much so that it's got its own traditions for it under the term "shanzhai." But this mutated attempt at a Cadillac Escalade EXT is so blatantly aspirational that it's wrong. It's as if the Cadillac had a kid with a Ford Ranger, and they named the result "Sloth."
We've seen Chinese pickup clones before, and they were honestly pretty good, as Chinese pickup clones go. But this one just isn't right, somehow.
The Shanxi Victory Jinchi JX1 is built by state-owned automaker Shanxi, so you know the government doesn't give a crap about intellectual property laws. It's got the stand-up headlights of the Escalade EXT, and bodywork vaguely reminiscent of the rest of the car, but that's about where the similarities end, according to Car News China.
Instead of the EXT's 6.0-liter V8, the Jinchi JX1 puts out a maximum of 100 horses, and instead of the Caddy's luxurious interior fit for naught but the most discerning NFL lineman, the Jinchi's got acres of black plastic from the 1980s:
The Cadillac Escalade EXT is a fine car for the people that want one, I suppose, if what you what is heavy on the luxury, not as heavy on the utility, and extra-super-duper heavy on the chintz. And a Ford Ranger revival is something that pickup fans in the US long for all of their days and nights. But mixing the two together just feels wrong, really really wrong.
Imagine a construction worker, with calloused hands, sinewy strength, and a tenacious sense of duty.
Now imagine he spends his entire day working in a plastic Bill Gates mask.
Yeah, it's like that.
Photos via Car News China