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China's Tesla Cybertruck rip-off? Dongfeng reveals '2024 concept pickup truck' among other wild off-roaders, but will the giant come to Australia?

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This Chinese ute concept looks suspiciously familiar.
This Chinese ute concept looks suspiciously familiar.

Dongfeng, one of China’s largest automakers, but one not yet in the Australian market, has revealed its somewhat familiar looking ‘2024 Concept Pickup Truck’ at the Beijing motor show.

Looking similar in both shape and size to Tesla’s controversial Cybertruck, the Dongfeng take on the formula swaps out the steel exterior for what looks like matt paint and plastic panelwork, and has swapped out the hard edges of the Cybertruck for more traditional curvy panels. It even features reverse-opening ‘sucide’ rear doors and the show car had a tent fitting popping out the rear.

Other interesting touches include science-fiction-looking wheel covers with all-terrain tyres, camera-based wing mirrors, a light-up roof rack fitting, retractable side-steps, and a front light-bar which could play a series of animations.

Based on a new EV platform, the concept claims nearly 1000kW of power, although the show car looks distant from production, with what appears to be a mocked-up interior.

Little other details were made clear about the pick-up concept. It was not the only wild offering at the Dongfeng stand at the show, with various production versions of its electric Hummer rival, the Mengshi 917, on display.

Mengshi Technology (also known as M-Hero for export markets) is a Dongfeng sub-brand which sells just this one model, which strays from the usual retro off-roader look with more of a modern military vibe, inspired by Dongfeng’s actual military hardware models it builds for the People's Liberation Army.

It offers tri-motor all-wheel drive in place of a diesel or petrol drivetrain, and 800kW/1400Nm of power, and a massive 140kWh battery pack which grants it a claimed 500km of cruising range. The price? Nearly the equivalent of  A$130,000 and that’s for domestically-delivered models.

A representative who briefly spoke to Australian media at the Dongfeng stand confirmed the brand’s focus was primarily on left-hand drive markets (the brand has already launched in some South American markets, and has designs on Europe), although it had considered right-hand drive for the M-Hero products specifically. 

Dongfeng has joint-ventures with Honda and Nissan, and previously had ventures with Peugeot and Kia. Its sub-brands include not only its own marque, but the luxury EV spin-off Voyah, electrified marque eπ, as well as Venucia and Aeolus, which are both spin-offs from the previous Peugeot and current Nissan joint-ventures respectively.

Tom White
Senior Journalist
Despite studying ancient history and law at university, it makes sense Tom ended up writing about cars, as he spent the majority of his waking hours finding ways to drive as many as possible. His fascination with automobiles was also accompanied by an affinity for technology growing up, and he is just as comfortable tinkering with gadgets as he is behind the wheel. His time at CarsGuide has given him a nose for industry news and developments at the forefront of car technology.
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