The Chinese automobile industry is one of the biggest automobile markets in the world. However, they are also known to just straight-up copy most of the designs from other manufacturers. Here we have a ‘copy cat’ of the Bugatti Chiron that is currently available in China. The vehicle is known as P8 and it is being manufactured by Shandong Qilu Fengde who is based in China’s Shandong Province.
Obviously, the manufacturer could not replicate the iconic quad-turbocharged, W16 petrol engine of Bugatti. One of the reasons lying is in China’s strict anti-pollution laws due to which big displacement engines receive heavy taxes. Bugatti knows this and they did not advertise the Chiron in China because it comes with a massive 8-litre engine so we can only imagine the taxes that the buyer would have to pay.
So, how does a Chinese manufacturer build their own Chiron? Well, they just went for an electric powertrain and a very small car. The P8 as it is named can be driven without a license because it comes under LSEV or low-speed electric vehicle. They have even managed to use the same dual-paint scheme as the Bugatti Chiron. So, the Shandong Qilu Fengde P8 comes with a black and red or black and white paint scheme. Where the Bugatti Chiron is known to produce its massive power outputs of 1500 HP, the P8 produces a puny 3.35 HP from its electric motor. The electric motor is powered by a 72V lead-acid battery.
The P8 is restricted to reach a top speed of 50 kmph by law, whereas the Bugatti Chiron could hit a top speed of 420 kmph! If unrestricted the P8 can hit 65 kmph as per the manufacturer. The range of the electric vehicle is a respectable 150 km and it would take 10 hours to charge the vehicle on 220V charging system. The P8 gets a digital instrument cluster, red carpeting and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system that can play MP5 video.
There is also a big red kill switch which sits in the centre console. The switch has been placed there because it is mandated by law in China that every LSEV needs to have an emergency kill switch. The P8 comes with a decent boot in which you can store stuff and your charger. It also gets a rear seat, unlike Chiron, which is a coupe and two-seater. Although, the rear seats could only be used to store stuff because it seems more like a bench than seats. Also, it does not look like the people sitting there would be comfortable in any way.
It is not new for Chinese manufacturers to copy other cars. They have been doing this since quite some time. Due to this, there have been several court cases. But still, China is one of the automobile markets that has been able to influence most of the big manufacturers. For instance, BMW increased their grille size, which not a lot of people liked, but BMW responded that it was done because the Chinese liked the big grilles.