BYD Unveils Seal X Electric Hot Hatch, Set to Rival Cupra Born in UK

BYD files for a new electric hatchback model, potentially named Seal X, with two powertrain options and advanced battery technology. The model is set to go on sale in China in Q3 2024, with an estimated price range of $20,700 to $30,000.

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BYD Unveils Seal X Electric Hot Hatch, Set to Rival Cupra Born in UK

BYD Unveils Seal X Electric Hot Hatch, Set to Rival Cupra Born in UK

BYD, the Chinese automaker, has filed for a new electric hatchback model that could potentially rival the Cupra Born in the UK market. The vehicle, which may be named Seal X, Seal 06 GT, Seal Mini, or Seal 05 EV, is believed to be a production version of the Ocean-M concept unveiled at the 2024 Beijing Auto Show.

Why this matters: The increasing adoption of electric vehicles is crucial for reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change, and the entry of new players like BYD into the market could accelerate this transition. As the global automotive industry shifts towards electrification, the competition between established brands and newcomers like BYD will shape the future of transportation.

According to the filings from China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the BYD Seal X measures 4,630 mm long, 1,880 mm wide, and 1,490 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,820 mm. The electric hot hatch will be offered in two powertrain options: a single-motor rear-wheel drive setup producing 160 kW (218 metric hp) and a dual-motor all-wheel drive version with a combined output of up to 310 kW (421 metric hp) or 416 bhp.

The production version of the BYD Seal X has undergone significant design changes compared to the Ocean-M concept. While retaining the angular headlights similar to the concept, the dramatic aerodynamic splitter and large air intakes on the hood have been removed. The side skirts have been simplified, and the fixed rear wing has been replaced with a more subtle rear diffuser. However, the Seal X is expected to feature a small LiDAR sensor.

BYD plans to offer the Seal X with its in-house developed Blade battery technology from its FinDreams division. The electric hot hatch is set to go on sale in the third quarter of 2024, with an estimated price range of RMB 150,000 ($20,700) to RMB 200,000. The model will be produced at BYD's facilities in Changsha, Hefei, Jinan, Zhengzhou, and Shenzhen, China.

As part of the regulatory process in China, the BYD Seal X has been included in the MIIT catalog for public comment. The public can submit feedback between May 12 and 17, 2024. Entry into the catalog is the last major regulatory step before a model can be approved for sale in China.

If launched in the UK, the BYD Seal X could become a formidable competitor to the Cupra Born in the growing market for all-electric hot hatchbacks. With its powerful dual-motor option and advanced battery technology, the Seal X has the potential to attract enthusiasts looking for an exciting and environmentally friendly driving experience.

Key Takeaways

  • BYD files for new electric hatchback model, potentially rivaling Cupra Born in UK market.
  • Seal X measures 4,630 mm long, 1,880 mm wide, and 1,490 mm tall, with 2,820 mm wheelbase.
  • Two powertrain options: single-motor RWD (218 hp) and dual-motor AWD (421 hp).
  • Seal X to feature BYD's in-house Blade battery technology, priced around $20,700-$30,000.
  • Expected to go on sale in Q3 2024, with production in five Chinese facilities.