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China's BYD denies piracy accusations against F1 model


Shanghai, March 24 ( - In the launching ceremony for BYD's mid-high end F6 model last week the company officials denied that its F1 model is a clone of Toyota Aygo.

"The BYD F1 is a model developed by ourselves and we hold the intellectual property right for it," claimed Xia Zhibing, general manager of BYD. The model was displayed at the 78th Geneva International Motor Show earlier this month.

The BYD F1 is scheduled to hit the Chinese market by the middle of this year, and it'll later go to overseas markets. Xia said the model is set to be sold at a newly established sales network and monthly sales of the model are expected to reach 10,000 units.

Foreign media claimed that "the trapezoidal body and the lower part of the side windows of the BYD F1 look quite similar to Toyota Motor Corp's Aygo. The interior, with its instrument panel accentuating the repetition of the circular design, looks just like that of Aygo.

Officials from Toyota's China office, however, said they have never heard of such a claim which, if it is proved true, will not result in any legal proceedings from the Toyota side. The unnamed official said consumers are entitled to make their own choice.

The F1 measures 3,460 (L) x 1,618 (W) x 1,465mm (H) and weighs 870kg. The wheelbase is 2,340mm. The front and rear treads are 1,420 and 1,410mm long, respectively. The turning radius is 5m. The minimum ground clearance without load is 120mm, while that with full load is 90mm. The car is shod with 165/60 R14 tires.

The F1 is equipped with BYD's proprietary engine, the BYD371QA. It is a 0.998L three-cylinder 12-valve SOHC engine with a maximum output of 50kW/6,000rpm and maximum torque of 90Nm/4,000-4,500rpm (3,500-4,500rpm, according to some sources). The engine is compliant with the China IV emission standard. The maximum speed is 151km/h. The fuel consumption is 4.2 L/100km.

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