The BYD Seal is a Chinese Tesla rival that could reach the UK

5 Aug 2022

Say hello to the new BYD Seal, a Tesla Model 3-rivalling saloon from the ambitious Chinese electric manufacturer that has just gone on sale in China – and could come to Europe in the future.

And yes, you did read that right: it is called the Seal, likely in honour of the marine mammal. It’s the production version of BYD’s Ocean X concept car, and showcases what the firm calls its “ocean aesthetics” design concept. Being honest, we can’t really see much seal or ocean in it, although it does bear a passing resemblance to the Hyundai Ioniq 6 – which clearly isn’t a bad thing.

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The Seal takes the form of a low-slung electric saloon. It’s 4800mm long, 1875mm wide and 1460mm tall, making it 106mm longer, 58mm narrower and 17mm higher than the Model 3. It has a wheelbase of 2920mm, which is 45mm more than the Tesla.

It’s build on BYD’s e-Platform 3.0 architecture, featuring a ‘Blade Battery’ that is integrated into the body of the car to increase structural rigidity. BYD claims it can achieve up to 40,500Nm of torsional rigidity – that’s quite a lot, in case you were wondering.

The machine will be offered with two battery sizes – 61.4kWh and 82.5kWh – and with both single-motor rear-drive and twin-motor all-wheel-drive powertrains. Outputs will range from 150kW for the entry-level single-motor version to 390kW for the range-topping twin-motor version. 

The smaller battery version will have a range of up to 342 miles on the Chinese test cycle, while the larger battery will offer a range of up to 435 miles. Charging can be done at speeds of up to 150kW.

In China, prices will start from around £27,290. While the car is currently only confirmed for the Chinese market, BYD does have bold plans to expand into Europe in the near-future – and that will likely include the UK. 

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