Mark Slack – BYD reveals prices for SEAL SUV

Chinese car maker Build Your Dreams (BYD) has made a strong start in Europe with its three EV cars and has now revealed prices for its first plug-in hybrid in Europe. The rather strangely titled SEAL U DM-i. is a five-seater SUV.

As with all hybrids, whether plug-in or self-charging, they are practical for longer range anxiety-free journeys. BYD say that their new SUV produces a quiet, smooth ride that feels more like that of a pure-electric vehicle, with powerful acceleration and performance to match.

Offered in two trims Design (all-wheel drive) on the road (OTR) price is €47,291/£39,905 with the Boost (front-wheel drive) OTR priced at €39,351/£33,205 in a choice of 4 exterior paint colours, namely Delan Black, Time Grey, Snow White, and Tian Qing.

BYD’s PHEV technology prioritises electric power with minimal reliance on fuel and comprises of a highly integrated Electric Hybrid System and a 1.5-litre Xiaoyun Hybrid Engine (two variants depending on trim choice – Design or Boost). The Electric Hybrid System intelligently switches between EV and HEV to prioritise electric propulsion whenever possible. The engine charges the battery so electric driving is always available, with battery charge further assisted by regenerative technology.

The AWD Design version features two electric motors (150kw front and 120 kw rear and a 18.3 kwh BYD Blade battery, complemented by the in-house developed 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo powered petrol engine. When working in conjunction with the two electric motors, the maximum torque is 550Nm.

There is also the Boost trim front-wheel drive option, powered by a 1.5-litre hybrid engine producing maximum torque of 300 Nm. The single motor Boost offers an electric driving range of 80km/49.7 miles (WLTP combined) and a total range of 1079km/671 miles when fully charged/fully fuelled.

BYD say that the interior has a premium and refined feel, and from my experience of the standard Seal EV was the case, with vegan leather upholstered seats, wrap-around multi-colour ambient lighting, crystal ‘water-droplet’ gear shift and a large 39cm/15.6-inch rotatable touchscreen. A panoramic electric sliding sunroof adds a final airy touch to the interior.

The intelligent cockpit system is operated via the central touchscreen, offering smart 4G connectivity and a range of infotainment, with OTA updates. There’s a premium 10 speaker audio system and features such as Head-Up Display and Intelligent Voice Control are standard, plus two front charging points (one of which is wireless) and two rear USB charging points.

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Written by

Mark Slack

If you're a petrol head you're in good hands with Mark Slack, whose expert take on the latest car releases will help you make your next purchase.