Brilliance V5 revealed – it’s a Chinese BMW X1

Brilliance V5

Brilliance V5 - a BMW X1 for the budget conscious Chinese motorist

Chinese car maker Brilliance has revealed that its BMW X1 look-alike will be the Brilliance V5. It’s not expected to be sold outside China.

The Chinese motor industry has become well-known for its ‘Homage’ cars; Chinese cars that bear more than a passing resemblance to well-known cars from the West. Step forward the latest of these – the Brilliance V5 – which we originally thought would be the Brilliance A3.

Interestingly, Brilliance is actually BMW’s partner in China, and the BMW Brilliance Automotive partnership will shortly be launching the real-deal BMW X1 in China.

Which may explain why the Brilliance version’s début has been delayed. First expected to début at the Shanghai Motor Show earlier this year, it is now expected to turn up – complete with its new ‘V5′ moniker – at the Guangzhou Motor Show later in the year. Brilliance may be happy to make an ‘Homage’ X1, but it knows which side its bread is buttered.

Brilliance obviously put much thought in to the name for its new baby SUV, and realising it would perhaps be a step too far to use an ‘X’ badge it has instead opted for the next letter along in the alphabet.

The Brilliance V5 will come with either a 1.5 litre turbo or a 1.6 litre naturally aspirated lump – both engines already found in its Brilliance H530 saloon – and a choice of auto and manual ‘boxes. It will doubtless be a chunk cheaper than the real BMW X1.

It’s clear BMW can live with this, and it’s equally clear there’s no chance of the V5 finding its way to the West.

At least not until Brilliance needs BMW less than BMW needs Brilliance.

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