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Wuzhou Mei Ling (梧州魅灵) Automotive Corporation


#6

Good god it’s ugly…

Mei Ling ML6461 MPVs.

Soon.


#7

2000-2012 ML6461 MPVs (Formerly the MP-Series)

Between 2000 to 2012, Mei Ling manufactured a rear-wheel-drive 8-seater MPV dubbed the ML6461, aimed at fleet transportation and delivery use. All Mei Lings were powered by a 1.8-litre 4-pot making as little as 95 horsepower in the early 2000s, to over 100 around 2006 (wow!).


1st Generation

The earliest generation of the MP-Series vans were simple and barren. On the ML6461BW95 (or the base model), the company’s signature pignose grille was very pronounced - typical of Mei Lings within the early 2000s. The MP6462BW95 (guess what this one is? The “premium” version!) hid said design language a tad better with a full chrome grille.

The rears however, were pretty much identical with small diferences in trim material.

What did set the upgraded trim apart from the base model were alloy wheels, fog lights and better seats. Absolutely game-changing.


Facelift


The earliest generation was kept on the market for roughly 6 years until it was eventually facelifted for another 6 years on the market. The facelift considered of utilizing the new Mei Ling grille, also seen on the facelifted SUVs.

The lights were modernized, while fog lights were now standard on the base model. The engine got a minor upgrade with a modern multipoint injection system. You could get some popping fender mirrors on it too… for… some reason.

Two-tone paint was the norm on the facelift. Many different combinations were available, although most clients opted in for a solid white colour.

A couple photos of the facelifted ML6461s in some sunlight.


Interior

image

Expect the interior to look a lot like the Jinbei Granse’s.

The ML6461 vans are still around in the Guangxi region today, with an ample amount of surviving facelifted examples. 1st-generation examples can still be found in smaller towns, albeit being in derelict condition. The ML6461 vans served their purpose well until they were eventually replaced with a newer generation in 2013.

Thanks for reading y’all. I’ve been experimenting with some new formatting, closely inspired by ChinaCarHistory. Hope you guys enjoy it!


#8

Quick Articles: It’s a… Actually, What Is It?

What you see is a"Tuo La Ji", which translates into “tractor” in English. Because the generic tractor you see around the world is also lumped into the same term, some have resorted to calling these “tiller trucks” for lack of a better name.

Typically seen in rural China, these vehicles have become a staple for farmers across the nation. Although a dying breed, these trucks can still be bought today for little to nothing. This Mei Ling example manufactured since 1980 fetches around $3000 USD in todays money.

To even expect a decent interior in these vehicles would be a pipe dream. But hey, the Mei Ling had door handles! Actual door handles!!! Now THAT is luxury.

These trucks are powered by tiller motors. Unfortunately, due to the limitations of the game, I can’t really model one out myself, but oh well… it’s just how it is.

Of course, these types of vehicles are quite the eye-catcher for the foreigner…

…and hopefully the Mei Ling tractor does the same for you :slight_smile:


#9

Will Mei Ling have a 面包车?


#10

The closest vehicles so far are these two.

The beige MPV will have to go through some TLC though since the morphs reset, but I’m planning to redo the entire fascia on it anyways.


#11

Interesting, we have somewhat similar stuff in Bangladesh, we call these Power Tillers. But these things are usually more barebones, power range is usually 10-30 hp and its highly customizable so you could attach ploughs or beds on the rear. Price differs from the equivalent of $250-$300 to $2000 depending on whether it’s new or used and the power.


#12

C L A S S I C


#13

2020 Mei Ling QY7

Soon.


#14

Holy shit.


#15

2020 Mei Ling QY7

Part of the modern Mei Ling collection.

The New Mei Ling QY7 refines the long-running recipe into a vehicle that is upscale, yet can still take on the toughest, most unpredictable terrain China can throw at it.


Same Breed, Whole New Ball Game

While still bearing the model’s 4x4 body-on-frame heritage, the new QY7 takes everything the previous generation did well, and made it better. The new QY7 is more modern, more efficient, and even more capable than before.


Design

Crowdsourced by the community, the new Mei Ling design language features a bold, striking persona while carrying on the historical Pai-Fang grille. The front fascia is now edgy, sharp, low and aggressive, giving the new model a striking look of confidence and modernity.

The rear fascia sees a new look for the Mei Ling design language, with a sharper tailight design which brings the car back to the modern day along with the floating roofline. The square D-pillar is a callback to the original QY-Series Mei Lings, carrying the QY7’s rugged, utilitarian look across the car.


Engine Choices

The 4.0L inline-6 is now no more. Such has been replaced with two options for the consumer - Mei Ling’s new 2.0T inline-4 which makes 220 horsepower, or their equally new 3.0TT V6, with 280 horses to spare. Both are direct-injected and provide the QY7 with stellar fuel economy compared to the last model.


Fleet Usage

A fleet-designed trim is also available, with a 6 speed manual and less creature comforts than the other models. The LED units are replaced with pure halogen, while steel wheels replace the alloys. The grille is primarily plastic and the larger body-coloured side step is replaced with a simple steel unit. The fleet trim came as 2-door van and a 4-door SUV.

Oop. looks like I forgot everything else I was supposed to write. Oh well.


#16

A Bit of Fun

I decided to make an overlander out of the QY7 just for giggles, and it turned out surprisingly well.

A lot of TLC was done to the front bumper. That being, it was removed entirely and replaced with a large steel bumper instead. This means the car now has a higher approach angle! Nice!

The rear bumper sees the same treatment with a steel-ish bumper. More significant changes include the smoking of most of the taillights, a rear antenna as well as a large roof rack with a tent.

The beefy wheels make it look badass, not to mention the black-on-black too.

Anyways, that’s a little update for now. Expect a writeup on a certain mid-engined rear-wheel-drive hatchback coming sooner or later.


#17

2001 Mei Ling ML6037MR65

A dive into a very intriguing MR hatchback with ties to Huangdou’s early performance division. Soon.


#18

Looks cool. I like the black on black theme going on here. It’s badass.


#19

The History of Wuzhou’s Mid-Engine Hatchback - 2001 Mei Ling ML6037MR65 (Formerly the XE-Series)

Circa 2001, Mei Ling introduced a small hatchback dubbed the ML6037MR65. It was mid-engined and rear-wheel drive making it an unusual breed for its time.

The plan was for Mei Ling to ease itself into the compact vehicle sector with a vehicle that offered ample storage space and… driving dynamics?

Not quite. Besides the fact that it’s a MR car, it has a whole 84 horsepower from a 1.2-litre inline-3 and less-than-ideal suspension geometry. Obviously, it was by no means a sports car. Despite this, Huangdou’s early performance tuning division decided to have a go with it.

Shown above are two of their prototypes. The white with nothing done besides a grippier pair of tires, stiffer suspension and actual existent rollbars. The spare tire was also left on because they didn’t give a damn. It meant more weight distribution to the rear anyways so it was basically a Porsche. Absolutely no doubt about that!

The one in yellow was a different ball game, with almost all of its parts swapped out for Huangdou’s wild experiments. This consisted of a pushrod suspension setup, a more powerful turbocharged engine and a pretty bonkers wing.

tHe SpARe TirE StAyS oN dUrInG SEx

As expected, the vehicle in white was very limited in production, with only 10 units being made. Likewise, Huangdou’s yellow monstrosity was a one-off. Making them even more rare was the fact that only 30,000 units of the original ML6037MR65 were produced.

Predictably, only so many examples of this obscure hatchback can be found on the road today, as most have become one with nature. If that wasn’t the case, they probably met their demise by crumpling like an accordion due to its tin-can weak construction. The last few surviving examples are relics of Mei Ling’s earliest attempts to enter the compact market, as well as Huangdou’s experiments with perhaps the perfect test bed.


#20

China’s CV-33: 1987-2010 Mei Ling ML2010/2011(Formerly the LY-Series)

The Mei Ling ML2010, produced in the late 80s, was a long-running model line primarily built out of subcompact cross-country SUVs and vans. Its model series persisted throughout the 90s, and made its way into the early 2000s before being discontinued. The ML2010 came in multiple variants, namely the ML2010 cross-country SUV, the ML2011 vans and the ML2000 coupe SUV. With only 5,000 examples of the vehicle being built, it was extremely rare to come around, and to this day not a single 80s ML20xx is on the road. The only remaining vehicle is a PLA-acquired ML2011 which now sits in a museum in Shanghai.

Construction was crude. The vehicle was all bare steel with the only rust protection being its unevenly-applied paint, while its interior was mostly two bolted seats, wires hanging down from a radio, exposed screws and lots of bare metal.

Its underpinnings were spartan too. It was powered by a measly 36 horsepower engine, while its ride relied on nothing but a coiled live axle in the front and leaf springs in the rear. However, its inclusion of 4x4 and manual lockers made it no less capable off-road than larger Jeeps.

An even more basic model existed, taking away multiple trim pieces, lighting fixtures and even the radio in the process.

On this model was only one driver’s side mirror and one brake light. Along with multiple other cost-cutting measures, the base model managed to fetch for roughly $5500 - $750 less than the regular ML2010.

The ML2011 was the van variant of the SUV, and only came with the basic underpinnings seen on the lowest end ML2010.

Stronger dual doors were added on these models too, while the rear springs were tightened. This allowed the ML2011 to carry significant loads despite its size.

This attracted the attention of the People’s Liberation Army, who purchased a small quantity of these vehicles. A home-produced competitor to the UAZ-469, it fell short of the army’s expectations by miles, being too underpowered and hastily-built.

Although strong for its size, it was easily outmatched by its larger counterparts and eventually met its demise by the end of the Sino-Vietnamese conflicts. Only one of these ML2011s still exist; a vehicle which never saw service and is now in a Shanghai museum.

One of the quirkier models to come out was a coupe version - the ML2000. Built in the early 2000s, only 5 were produced.

Documentation has confirmed that there are still two ML2000s alive today - one registered in Liuzhou, the other in Nanning.

From the 2000s and upwards to 2010, the ML20XX was modernized. It was equipped with an updated 71 horsepower 1.2 litre inline-4, while the interior was given a significant overhaul.

Something like the Mahindra Bolero’s interior.

Composite lighting units were also implemented, while power mirrors, windows, locks and a digital dash were standard. A third brake light was added on the rear, with the inclusion of a rear wiper as well. Hydraulic power steering and ABS was also added as standard features. 4-door variants were now available, with third rows being available too, albeit being very cozy in space.

Despite modernization in the engine department, the newer ML2010 still kept its older running gear. It still had 4WD, live axles and a 4-speed manual.

The last long-running ML2010 was eventually phased out, and made way for a less spartan subcompact SUV by the Mei Ling brand. Rumours however, do say Mei Ling may bring the ML2010 back in its former shell, as an electric vehicle.


#21

Before the QY-Series: 1980-1990 Mei Ling ML145/245 (Formerly the ML-Series)

The Mei Ling ML245 SUVs and ML145 trucks were some of the company’s first cars, built primarily for cross-country and delivery tasks. Being a clone of the Land Rover Defender, many aesthetic features were shared.

Quality was not shared however, with the ML245 being significantly more shoddily built. The panels were uneven, bumpy and fit was a typical problem. Corrosion occurred between door sills very frequently while electronic components and wiring would typically go loose. Many of the indicators were bolt-on and sourced from many other vehicles.

image

Like other jeeps of the same era, the interior was seriously, seriously barebones. Bare metal surrounded the vehicle, with no padding on the doorcards and not much in the floor area either. This lead to premature rusting in the interior which resulted in a few holes underneath the pedals.

Its 2.4 litre inline-4 engine was miles more durable than its Land Rover counterpart. Developed in-house by Mei Ling engineers, it made 78 horsepower. Some vehicles came with Mei Ling’s signature 4.0 litre inline-6, which produced a more punchy 122 horsepower.

With a reliable engine, cheap to replace parts, 4x4 and locking differentials, the ML245 was considered a direct predecessor of the infamous ML6486. The ML245 would be slightly more spartan on the ride with its front and rear leaf spring geometry and thinner metal panels.

Such durability saw some use of the vehicle with the People’s Liberation Army, yet in limited numbers.

Unlike the ML2010, this one actually had enough power to get it places it needed to be. The 4.0 inline-6 versions would be some of the quicker ones in the fleet as well, considering most of the Chinese jeeps would make around 70 horsepower.

A truck variant, the ML145 was sold too. Like the ML245, it had a carrying capacity of over 3 tonnes but offered an open bed to place material in the back. A 2-door variant of the truck was also said to be made, but documentation and images on its existence are lacking.

An odd feature of the ML145 was that its tailgate opened sideways, just like the SUVs.

Facelifts were delivered in the late 80s, which included a luxury version.

It had better seats, upgraded radio, a bullbar, sidesteps and lots of chrome. No changes were made to its underpinnings however.

The ML145/245 would soon be phased out and replaced by the ML6486 following the early 90s, where significant improvements were made to better the quality of life inside the car.


#22

Some Naming Changes

Turns out I forgot to read one line in the model designation system:

“Model designations in China have always begun with letters. There are usually between two and four letters. Each brand has its own identifying letters (CA for First Auto Works, SH for Shanghai Auto Works etc)”

If you check out the Huangdou and Mei Ling threads now, you’ll notice these names have been replaced with their respective brand designations. This also means naming is going to get…

…a lot more complicated.

Yep! So what was the ML-Series, the QY-Series, and the XE-Series have all been replaced by ML followed by a barrage of numbers! This was a tough decision to come to but for the sake of realism, it is going to stick throughout all the older vehicles.

All vehicles still have their designated nicknames, as what they were called formerly before the change considering they refer to very brief Chinese phrases. For example, the QY-Series was based off of 七越, 七 for seven and 越 for 越野 or offroad. This was the case for Huangdou as well.

I’ll stick the former nicknames on just for the sake of easy reading and callbacks to what is already in your memory, but for now on all classic Honghu and Mei Ling corporation vehicles will be named strictly according to the Chinese model designation system.

Apologies, and thank you!


#23

Mei Ling MP5

Not to be confused with the submachine gun. Soon.


#24

damn you’re just chugging out cars lately


#25

Judging by the blanked-off grille on the example shown on the left, I expect it to be a purely battery-powered EV, while the other example shown on the right is powered (either solely or primarily) by a conventional petrol engine.