Chinese carmakers have acquired a reputation for making blatantly obvious copies of existing designs from other countries.

The results are usually worth a few chuckles--provided you don't work for the car company whose vehicle has been plagiarized.

Now, it seems the Tesla Model S is the latest victim of that trend.

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Witness the Youxia X, an electric car that debuted this past weekend, according to Car News China (via Motor Authority).

As if the patently copied Tesla styling isn't bad enough, it turns out this car is channeling a bit of KITT--the talking Pontiac Trans Am from the television show Knight Rider.

It's hard to say who will be more unhappy about this: Tesla, or the owner of the copyright for that 1980s artifact.

Youxia X

Youxia X

The prominent, Tesla-like black grille that leads off the Youxia is actually a programmable screen, complete with sliding red strobe light.

Or, it can display emojis, if you prefer. Of course.

It's a form of smartphone connectivity no one likely anticipated--and there's a good reason for that.

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The dual Model S and Knight Rider plagiarism continues as an eager new Tesla-alike-seeking driver slides behind the wheel.

The Youxia X features a large, portrait-oriented touchscreen that serves as the primary control interface.

It also has an infotainment system called--perhaps not surprisingly--KITT.

Youxia X

Youxia X

The Youxia X's electric powertrain produces 348 horsepower, which the carmaker claims will get it from 0 to 62 mph in 5.6 seconds.

Youxia plans to offer versions with 40, 60, and 85-kilowatt-hour battery packs, with the biggest pack providing an estimated range of 285 miles. Sound familiar, perhaps?

However, that estimate is likely based on the Chinese testing cycle, which is less stringent than the U.S. EPA testing regimen.

It may not be very original, but the Youxia X should at least be relatively inexpensive.

The company plans to sell it at a base price equivalent to around $32,000, with range-topping models starting at $48,000.

Youxia hopes to begin production in 2016 and deliver the first cars in 2017, but don't expect this particular offering ever to leave its home market.


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