Coming from China, this ambitious electric sedan hopes to make the Tesla Model 3 falter. But it doesn’t break prices just yet.
Although it is the second largest seller of electric cars in the world behind Tesla, the Chinese manufacturer BYD still remains relatively unknown in our latitudes. A situation that is anything but abnormal, since its offensive on the Old Continent has only just begun. Given the ambitions displayed, things could quickly change: BYD wants to hit hard from the start, with a complete range and vehicles adapted to market expectations.
The Atto 3 SUV and the compact Dolphin should represent a good portion of sales here. The Seal sedan is in a slightly less buoyant segment but remains an interesting product of conquest. While we’ve already had the opportunity to slip behind the wheel, we were eagerly awaiting the prices. They have finally been communicated on the sidelines of the Munich show.
A BYD Seal eligible for the bonus… for the moment
Verdict: prices start at 46,990 euros for the 313 hp Seal propulsion, and rise to 49,990 euros for the 530 hp 4-wheel drive. Both are guaranteed for 6 years and use the same 82.5 kWh LFP battery, incorporated directly into the structure of the car (Cell-to-Body technology).
With a price below 47,000 euros, the entry-level Seal is eligible for the ecological bonus of 5,000 euros (7,000 for low-income households). However, the car is produced in China and should therefore be excluded from the system from 2024. The situation will change again when BYD has a factory in Europe.
In terms of autonomy, the least powerful Seal is logically the one that does the best. BYD announces 570 km for propulsion, and 520 km for 4-wheel drive (WLTP cycle in both cases). On a fast terminal, the charging power can peak at 150 kW, which in theory allows you to go from 30 to 80% in 26 minutes.
Both versions of the BYD Seal are limited to 180 km/h. It is therefore in terms of pick-up and acceleration that the 530 hp Seal stands out. For example, it goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds, while the 313 hp variant requires 5.9 seconds for the same exercise.
Each engine is necessarily associated with a given finish: Design for propulsion, and Excellence for 4-wheel drive. Seal Design already has complete equipment. The panoramic roof, retractable door handles as well as electric, heated and ventilated front seats are for example delivered as standard, as is the 15.6-inch pivoting central touch screen and the 10.25-inch digital instrumentation. The Seal Excellence also adds a head-up display and so-called “variable frequency” suspension.
Cheaper than the competition?
Can we consider the BYD Seal as an interesting proposition from a financial point of view? Yes, if we compare it to models like the BMW i4 eDrive 35 or the Kia EV6, sold from 49,690 and 57,750 euros respectively. The assessment regarding the Tesla Model 3 is more nuanced. In the basic version, the latter actually costs 4,000 euros less than the Seal, for fairly comparable performance.
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