Today we share with you a very unique car, the Dongfeng Little Prince.
The Little Prince was a small sedan made by DongFeng in Weihai prefecture, Shandong Province, by a division of Dongfeng called Dongfeng-Rongcheng Auto 东风荣成汽车. Chinese name of the car was Xiao Wang Zi meaning Little Prince in English. For more on the Little Prince be sure to check out this article written by my colleague Tycho.
As you can see the Little Prince was a small sedan, measuring just 3800mm long, 1550mm wide and 1385mm tall with a wheelbase of 2350mm. It was aimed at the low end of the market and in 2006 cost between 35,800 and 46,500 yuan. Engine choices were limited to a 0.8 liter 4 (not 3) cylinder and a 1.0 liter 4 cylinder engine.
A view from the back. The Little Prince took a lot of inspiration from the third generation Hyundai for its design, but not for its manufacturing method. Whilst other cars at the time were being made of good old fashioned steel, Dongfeng decided to make the Little Prince out of plastic, not unlike the Zhonghua Plastic Car. Sadly (maybe?) this production technique never caught on although back in the 1980’s, 1990’s and early 2000’s there were loads of companies experimenting with it and a few models did go on sale. None were really made in any large numbers sadly.
The third generation Hyundai Excel was also made in China as a Kia, called the Qianlima, by the Dongfeng-Yueda-Kia joint venture. More on their products later. So given that Dongfeng had links to Hyundai Kia at the time it seems only fair to assume that the Koreans lent a hand in the design of this car.
A unique feature of almost all older Chinese cars is that the model designation is almost always present, except for cars produced by some larger companies such as VW. Even Honda used to do it, GM also did in the very early days. This Little Prince was an EQ7101BP, telling us that it was powered by the 0.8 liter 3 cylinder engine.
The interior of the Little Prince was 100% third generation Hyundai Excel.
Some nice looking alloy wheels on this Little Prince.
The Little Prince was available in a few different colors. I have seen this white one and a pink one. I know people who have seen blue and silver ones but not a yellow one. I hope I see one one day!