BYD Seal will be offered with either RWD or 4WD drivetrain
Tesla Model 3 rival brings up to 354 miles of range and a 523bhp four-wheel-drive variant
The new BYD Seal electric saloon has been confirmed for a UK launch later this year, when it will go up against the Tesla Model 3 and Hyundai Ioniq 6 with compelling specifications and competitive performance.
Revealed last year, the Seal will be BYD’s third car in the UK; the brand launched here earlier this year with the BYD Atto 3 crossover, and will soon follow that with the BYD Dolphin hatchback. All three cars sit atop the firm’s latest third-generation EV architecture and use innovative, long-range ‘Blade’ battery technology – but the Seal is the first to use cell-to-pack technology to maximise usable capacity and boost structural integrity.
The new construction process is claimed to provide the body of the four-door Seal with high torsional rigidity of up to 40,000Nm/deg.
The Seal will offer the choice of two different Blade batteries: 82kWh in the single-motor, rear-wheel-drive car for a range of up to 354 miles on the WLTP cycle, and 80kWh in the more potent four-wheel-drive variant, which returns 323 miles. Both can be charged at up to 150kW, which BYD claims is fast enough to give a 30-80% top-up in 26 minutes.
The single-motor car packs 308bhp and claims a 5.9sec 0-62mph time, while the range-topped adds a 215bhp on the front axle for a combined 523bhp (more than the AWD Model 3) and cuts the 0-62mph sprint time to just 3.8 seconds.
The exterior styling of the EV inherits cues first revealed on the Ocean X concept car and what BYD calls its “ocean aesthetics” design lineage.
At 4800mm long, 1875mm wide and 1460mm tall, it’s 106mm longer, 58mm narrower and 17mm taller than the Model 3. Its wheelbase is 45mm longer than its Tesla rival’s, at 2920mm.
The Seal is underpinned by a double wishbone (front) and multi-link (rear) suspension. BYD claims a 50:50 weight distribution for the dual-motor model, which receives the company’s Intelligent Torque Adaptation Control (ITAC) system to apportion drive between the front and rear axles.
The Seal has a 402-litre boot at the rear and a 53-litre ‘frunk’ for smaller items, and is said to provide rear legroom “similar to that of an executive saloon”. Up front, most controls are handled via a large 15.6in central touchscreen – which gets the same rotating function as that in the Atto 3, and so can be viewed in landscape or portrait mode.
Further details on UK specification and price will be announced closer to its August arrival, but a start price in the region of £45,000 would line it up neatly against rivals.