BYD has officially introduced its latest offering, the Seal DM-i, into the rapidly expanding plug-in hybrid market in China. The announcement comes as part of BYD's ongoing efforts to cater to the mid- to high-end segment of the electric vehicle market.
At a recent launch event, BYD revealed that the Seal DM-i would be available at a starting price ranging from RMB 166,800 ($22,830) to RMB 236,800. Notably, this pricing strategy is RMB 10,000 lower than what was initially offered during the pre-sale phase at the Chengdu Auto Show in the preceding month.
The Seal DM-i is the latest addition to the Seal family, initially introduced as the Chaser 07 during the Shanghai Auto Show on April 18. However, on July 14, BYD opted to rebrand the vehicle as the Seal DM-i, likely to leverage the Seal's established popularity in the market.
Originally launched in China on July 29, 2022, the BYD Seal is a battery electric vehicle (BEV) that has often been regarded as a strong competitor to Tesla's Model 3 in the Chinese market.
BYD has introduced six variants of the Seal DM-i, each with distinct starting prices, namely RMB 166,800, RMB 176,800, RMB 186,800, RMB 196,800, RMB 206,800, and RMB 236,800. All these prices reflect a RMB 10,000 reduction compared to the initial pre-sale prices that kicked off on August 25.
As for its specifications, the Seal DM-i falls under the category of a B+ sedan, boasting dimensions of 4,980 millimeters in length, 1,890 millimeters in width, 1,495 millimeters in height, and a wheelbase measuring 2,900 millimeters.
Under the hood, the Seal DM-i offers two engine options: a 1.5L and a 1.5T, generating peak power outputs of 81 kW and 102 kW, along with maximum torque figures of 135 Nm and 231 Nm, respectively. Additionally, it features a front electric motor with two choices: 145 kW and 160 kW, both offering a maximum torque of 325 Nm.
Performance-wise, the three lower-priced Seal DM-i variants can accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 8.2 seconds, while the three higher-priced versions achieve the same feat in a slightly faster 7.9 seconds.
Battery-wise, the five more affordable versions of the Seal DM-i are equipped with a 17.6 kWh blade battery, providing an NEDC-rated battery range of 121 kilometers. In contrast, the top-tier variant is powered by a larger 30.7 kWh battery pack, offering an extended range of 200 kilometers.
Production of the first Seal DM-i units commenced on July 19 at BYD's manufacturing facility in Zhengzhou, located in Henan province, central China. The Zhengzhou plant, with a planned production capacity of hundreds of thousands of new energy vehicles (NEVs) per year, is projected to produce up to 30,000 Seal DM-i units per month, according to statements from a BYD executive.
August proved to be a significant month for BYD, as the company achieved a record delivery of 274,386 NEVs, with the Seal contributing 5,700 units to this figure. This marked a remarkable 230.24 percent increase compared to the previous year and a modest 0.88 percent rise from July, as per data released by the company earlier this month.