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Wuzhou Mei Ling (梧州魅灵) Automotive Corporation


#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.


#26

2021 Mei Ling MP5


A NEW LOOK OF MODERN AND INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

Spacious body style with underpinnings of the toughest

  • Modern design language with smart, innovative layout
  • Brightest headlight unit to see the future in front
  • Elegant flowing curves for oriental allure
  • Tastefully chosen details

RUGGED AND REFINED

Capable as ever is our heritage

  • Available 4WD drivetrain
  • Rear leaf springs for increased loading and off-road
  • All-terrain TRAILOKR technology available
  • Increased ride height for tackling any terrain
  • 105 hp petrol engine for 11.6 second 0-100 km/h
  • 5 speed manual with optional 6 speed automatic

INTERIOR FOR THE MOST ADVANCEMENTS

Innovation in design and technology

  • Mei Ling terrain assistant standard for easy off-road scaping
  • Quick and responsive touch screen with backup camera
  • Baidu CarLife interconnectioning options for connected life

SAFETY IS MADE OF SAFE RIDES

Mei Ling will not kill you when it does not die

  • Backup camera for easy backing up
  • Hill assist so roll does not off
  • Electronic stability control for slide protection

FEEL THE ELECTRICITY OF THE COMFORTABLE CHAIR

Mei Ling MP5 EV offered for innovative new energy drive

  • 115 horsepower electric motor
  • Range of 350 kilometres
  • 0-100 km/h in 14 seconds
  • Top speed of 120 km/h

TEST DRIVE INQUIRIES

Base 1.5NA

Lux 1.5T

EV

GALLERY


This post is based on advertising for the Changan Alsvin


#27

2005-2010 Mei Ling ML6420WY

The Mei Ling ML6420WY is a compact SUV with a wheelbase of just 2.5 metres, sharing the same bloodline as the older ML2010 2-door SUV. Unlike its older brother however, the ML6420WY was more of a car than a moving shell of metal.

It was more powerful, with a 1.6 litre inline-4 making 89 horsepower. It was more spacious, with a full 5 seats. It also had locking doors which the ML6420WY did not have. It also had an extra gear!

Production numbers were sizeable, and it sold decently well. Its smaller form factor meant it was easier to drive than the full-sized ML6508QW, while being more fuel-efficient in the process too. It served as an alternative to the ever-abundant microvans and trucks of its time, however, at a higher price tag. As a result, it was mostly bought as a transport vehicle more than for pure utility.

In a utilitarian vein though, the vehicle was offered in a van-esque variant. Underneath was the company’s signature 4.0L inline-6, while many creature comforts were removed. The rear seats were replaced with a +3 bench, many bumpers went to a cheap plastic version, and the radio was removed. This version of the vehicle, as well as the civilian model would be exported alongside the ML6487QW as a cross-country SUV, seeing use in Pakistan, Yemen, and other places in Africa and the Middle East.

Within the mainland, this version of the vehicle saw most of its use as a makeshift van and tow vehicle due to its unparalleled ability to haul heavy trailers and items.

Later in the early 2010s, the original ML6420WY would be phased out by the LY5 - a similar 5-door SUV with many improvements in the technical and comfort side. However, the ML6420WY would last longer than the classic ML2010, with a few dozen examples still running in the Guangxi Autonomous region. Various other vehicles were reported to be seen used by rebel armies in the Libyan Civil War and the Sudan-SRF Conflict.

The ML6420WY provided a solid platform for off-road and utility, and sometimes, as a war machine of both sides. In the end, fighting for good or bad, the ML6420WY would be the strongest link, or the Achilles’ Heel of many. A force to be reckoned with, or a sitting duck in the crossfire.