The Chinese manufacturer Changan has formalized one of the vehicles most widely inspired by Tesla. It shows and not just a little.
Although the risk of soon seeing a Changan car rolling in France is quite low, the Chinese brand is likely to make a lot of noise. The state car company has indeed unveiled a sedan that does more than draw inspiration from the Model 3, since it copies it outrageously. Indeed, never a copy of Tesla will have set the bar as high as this new Shenlan SL03.
This very pronounced inspiration could have been limited to the front end of the vehicle, which is very similar in design, but it obviously goes beyond that. So, except for the length (10 cm longer), the Shenlan SL03 has exactly the same dimensions as the Model 3. Its height, width and even its wheelbase are identical. These similarities could stop at the exterior appearance of the vehicle. It is not so. Unsurprisingly, the SL03 has opted for a very stripped-down cabin (which is generally not the norm on the Chinese market) in the middle of which floats… an impressive central screen in landscape format. The OS, its features and even the user interface is, again, copied with remarkable care. As you will have understood, any resemblance to real vehicles or vehicles that have already existed is obviously voluntary.
Only one difference: the price
Even in terms of performance, the manufacturer Changan seems to have made the Californian sedan its standard model, at least in terms of autonomy (515 km or 705 km). These values are quite close to Model 3 Standard and Long Range, the only two versions available in China. The recourse of the Shenlan SL03 to CATL, a Chinese battery manufacturer which also equips Tesla, is undoubtedly not insignificant in this proximity.
Finally, the biggest difference between the Chinese sedan and its model concerns the price. In China, the Model 3 is sold for 279,900 yuan, or 40,000 euros. For its part, the Shenlan S03 is displayed at 183,900 yuan, or 26,000 euros. Changan, its manufacturer, seems to have been particularly inspired with this price positioning since a few hours after its formalization, the SL03 already had 15,000 orders, i.e. the monthly production capacity targeted by the company as soon as the first deliveries will have started at the end of ‘year.
This is obviously not the first case of an alleged copying of Tesla by a Chinese brand. The American manufacturer, for example, accused Xpeng of copying its interface and even its website. The dispute has even been brought to court concerning the two companies, Tesla also accusing Xpeng of having stolen certain information on its Autopilot through an ex-employee undercover in California. Obviously, Changan didn’t go to such trouble.