They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I suspect that Ford doesn’t feel that way about the Chinese knockoff of the iconic F-150 pickup truck. This is, after all, the Motor Trend truck of the year and the Texas Auto Writers truck of Texas winner.
None of these pretenders will make it to North America, I know, but it still galls me — and you, I expect, to see this kind of copying from the people who own so much of our debt and export product so extensively to the U.S.
From the outside, the JAC 4R3 looks remarkably like the Ford it tried to clone, but I have been assured that the interior is nowhere near what we expect. Note that the Ford blue oval logo has also been duplicated with the JAC name replacing the lettering.
Instead of the great powerplants that we expect from the F-150, this one will be powered by JAC-produced 2.8L four-cylinger diesel engine that generates about 108hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. We expect that it is much lighter than the trucks sold here, with inferior materials and emission controls. (Having spent some time in China, I can say for certain that no vehicle built there would ever meet our N.A. requirements. The air in the big cities is so filled with particulates that, in the winter, you need to shake out your coat when you come indoors.)
Designed to be a low-priced work truck for sale domestically in China and export to Africa and South America, this knockoff is expected to be debuted by JAC — a truck make in China since the 1960s — at the Beijing Auto Show (www.chinaautoshow.com/2010bjx/en/) in April.
According to my sources, Ford does not sell the F-150 in China and has no business relationship with JAC.