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BYD Seal U DM-i a plug-in RAV4 rival

Chinese manufacturer BYD showcases its all-new Seal U DM-i SUV in Geneva

29 Feb 2024

BYD has pulled the covers from its RAV4-rivalling Seal U DM-i SUV at the Geneva Motor Show this week, the model slated to head Down Under within the next three to six months.


The plug-in hybrid five-seat BYD Seal U DM-i will be the first PHEV to be offered by the Chinese manufacturer and claims to offer an advanced electric-petrol driveline which favours electric operation in ideal conditions.


BYD says the Seal U DM-i will pair a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine producing 81kW and 135Nm with an electric motor making 145kW and 325Nm but has not offered a combined output figure.


The model will be available with a choice of 18.3kWh or 26.6kWh batteries to deliver an all-electric driving range of up to 150km (NEDC). The battery packs can be charged using a 7kW AC or 18kW DC charger, the latter providing a 30 to 80 per cent recharge in 35 minutes.


The PHEV version will be joined at a later stage by an all-electric version known simply as the Seal U, which features a 160kW motor, choice of 71.8kWh or 87.0kWh battery packs, and a driving range of up to 500km.


At 4775mm in length, 1890mm in width, 1670mm in height and with a wheelbase of 2765mm, the BYD Seal U and Seal U DM-i are comparable to Medium SUV segment rivals including the Nissan X-Trail and Toyota RAV4.


The model also offers comparable in-cabin packaging with 522 litres of cargo space in five-seat mode, or 1440 litres all told.


Technological highlights including LED ambient lighting, faux leather upholstery, a 15.6-inch infotainment array with premium Infinity sound, an inductive phone charging pad, and OTA software update capabilities.


As is found elsewhere in the BYD range, the newcomer also includes an extensive list of driver safety aids, including adaptive cruise control, AEB, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, safe exit warning, and a 360-degree surround view camera system.


“We launched the first generation of DM Technology in Geneva exactly 16 years ago. That was the world’s first PHEV with DM Technology,” said BYD Europe managing director Michael Shu.


“We have made great progress since then and today we proudly introduce the Super DM, a highly efficient electric-based system that prioritises electricity for most of the drive time, which leads to dramatically lower fuel consumption, and a pure electric range of up to 115km.


“As a PHEV it also has a much longer range of over 1000km when fully charged and with a full tank of fuel, making it a practical option for many more customers.


“With the imminent European launch of the BYD Seal U DM-i in the second quarter of 2024, customers will soon have the opportunity to experience the many benefits of this innovative hybrid technology.


“BYD Believes that Super DM Technology can be a pivotal force in the EV transition, allowing a broader audience to embrace electric mobility.”

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