This hilarious Chinese G-Wagon knock-off is suspiciously cheap

September 8, 2023

If you want a real Mercedes G-Wagon to show everyone that you’ve got more money than time spent off-road, go for it. But if you have neither money nor time off-road, then I’ve got a quirky little alternative for you. Behold, the Chinese electric knock-off of a G-Wagon!

It’s a perfect choice for this week’s Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week entry, since it has so many quirks and so much charm stuffed into its shrunken down body.

It may look a bit like a purebred G-Wagon at first drunken glimpse, but don’t be fooled. A cursory glance at the hood ornament shows it actually appears to have a Mercedes father and an Acura mother.

No doubt brewed in the debts of Alibaba’s secretive EV laboratory, this little four-wheeler comes steeped in nearly G-Wagon design.

At just 2.9 meters long (9’6″), it’s never been easier to pull up onto a sidewalk while you run in to a store “for just a minute!”.

The entire thing only weighs 500 kg (1,100 lb), meaning the parking cop can just pick up one end at a time and shimmy you back down onto the pavement.

The top speed is listed at 35-45 km/h (21-28 mph), which seems a bit odd. I’ve never seen a top speed given in a range before, but perhaps it depends on how many people you’ve got in the car.

There are four seats, but the rather diminutive drivetrain may find itself struggling with a full load of entitled country club members.

That’s not the end of the quirks in this Chinese G-Wagon knock-off. In fact, it only gets better from here.

The air conditioning is listed as “manual”, which is a bit unclear but certainly doesn’t bode well. I’m a bit worried that there’s going to be one of those folding paper fans in the glove box with a label on it that says “air conditioning”.

And checking out the video below, the engine compartment seems to have been reimagined as a “frunk”. Or at least it could have been, had they put some sort of bottom in it. Instead, standing over it and popping the hood just gives you a good view of your shoes.

That’s apparently where the range extender motor goes, should you choose to install it. Adding that accessory boosts the range from the lead acid battery pack from 50 km (31 miles) all the way up to 110 km (68 miles).

Hmmm, maybe you will be able to reach those trails after all.

When it comes to pricing, I’ve got good news and bad news for you. The good news is that it’s ridiculously cheap, priced at just $2,200. The bad news is that the price doesn’t include batteries, which will add a good bit more to that figure. Oh and there’s more bad news: the minimum order quantity is three. You better get that shipping container ready.

And while we’re shoveling it on, keep in mind that the “real” price is likely to be significantly higher. I once bought a $2,000 electric pickup truck from Alibaba, only to end up paying closer to $8,000 by the time it dropped onto my folks’ driveway in Florida. To be fair, it was worth it. That thing has become a veritable workhorse on the family ranch, but suffice it to say that you’re going to have to reach a bit deeper into your trust fund than you expected if you want to make one of these knock-off G-Wagons yours.

And as usual, please remember this disclaimer: I absolutely, positively, unreservedly implore you not to take the risk of ordering something like this from China. Not only is it not even close to being street-legal in the US and thus not legal to import, but you’ve got a very real chance of never seeing the vehicle or your money again. I recently got scammed buying a mini-excavator from Alibaba (that story is still coming, once I cool off) and so despite having several positive purchases behind me, it’s still easy to get screwed royally.

So instead let’s just enjoy this thing from the safe distance of our computer screens. Or let’s get real, probably from your phone screen in the bathroom. Yep, there are a bunch of dudes out there who feel awkwardly seen right now.

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This hilarious Chinese G-Wagon knock-off is suspiciously cheap