One of Mercedes-Benz’s partners in China, the Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corp., has blatantly copied the design of Mercedes-Benz’s B-Class. Beijing Automotive, or BAIC, as it is known by its short name, had already bought the intellectual rights for other cars, notably the Saab 9-5 and some 9-3 models. These are old designs, however, and BAIC has instead chosen to copy the lines of Mercedes’ B-Class for their new BC301Z five-door hatchback. BAIC’s BC302Z sedan also has remarkable similarities to the Mercedes-Benz B-Class.
It is not only in the exterior lines of the car, with its profile, grille, headlights and bumper styles, where the BC301Z reminds one of the B-Class. BAIC also chose to copy even the dashboard of the Mercedes B-Class.
However, BAIC could not copy the engine and drivetrains of the B-Class for various reasons, opting instead to use gasoline engines obtained from Mitsubishi. The 1500 cc engine will be mated to a continuously variable transmission while the base 1300 cc gasoline engine will have a 5-speed manual attached to it.
After the introduction of the four-door sedan, a station wagon variant is planned to be released.