BYD to launch

budget-priced EV

BYD Dolphin, 2023, front, action
BYD Dolphin, 2023, rear
BYD Dolphin, 2023, rear, action
BYD Dolphin, 2023, interior
BYD Dolphin, 2023, charging

BYD, the Chinese EV specialist, is to launch a keenly priced compact SUV in the UK later in 2023.

The new BYD Dolphin has a full charge range of up to 265 miles and joins the brand's larger Atto 3 model which arrived in Britain earlier in the year.

The Dolphin is powered by a 60.4 kWh - and later a 44.9 kWh - lithium iron phosphate BYD Blade Battery and comes with the company's exclusive safety body structure for pure-electric vehicles.

The lower powered version is due to arrive in 2024 and has a range of up to 211 miles.

The car has a complete range of active and passive safety features which include a safe passenger compartment environment, with intelligent driver assistance systems and integrated braking systems for safer travel and easier driving.

Priced from £25,490 to £30,990 the Dolphin undercuts similar EVs by some margin and it will be available in four trim levels - Active, Boost, Comfort and Design.

Like the Atto 3, the Dolphin is built on BYD's e-Platform 3.0 and its 8-in-1 electric powertrain integrates the vehicle control unit, the battery management system, the power distribution unit, the drive motor, the motor controller, the transmission, dc-dc, and on-board charger.

BYD says that the system delivers efficiency of 89 per cent for optimum performance.

With the 60.4 kWh Blade Battery and a permanent magnet synchronous motor developing 204ps, the Dolphin can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in seven seconds and a top speed of 100mph.

It has four driving modes for Sport, Normal, Economy, and Snow to suit driving in different conditions.

The vehicle measures 4,290mm long and 1,770mm wide and has a wheelbase of 2,700mm.

It is 1,570mm high and has a boot ranging from 345 to 1,310 litres in capacity.

With the 60.4 kWh battery recharging to 80 per cent can be done in just under half-an-hour and the car is fitted with a Vehicle to Load system so the car battery can charge external devices.

The Dolphin with the 44.9 Wh LFP Blade Battery has an estimated range of 211 miles for Active and 193 miles for Boost models.

Further technical details for the two trims will be announced closer to the market entry early in 2024.

BYD says it has paid particular attention to cold weather driving conditions and the car is fitted with a heat pump as standard which helps increase thermal efficiency in winter by some 15 per cent.

Top specification variants are priced from £30,990 and have a panoramic sun-roof insulated by double-layer grey tinted glazing, two tone paint finishes, privacy glass at the rear and wireless phone charging.

The entry level Active model has a 44.9kWh battery and a 95ps motor while Boost specification, priced from £26,490, takes power up to 176ps.

Comfort and Design versions have a 206ps with prices starting from £29,490 for Comfort level.

All models feature forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, rear collision warning, rear cross traffic alert and rear cross traffic brake, lane departure prevention and emergency lane keeping assist.

Adaptive and intelligent cruise control are also fitted while a panoramic camera provides the driver with 360-degree visibility for safe manoeuvring.

A blind spot detection system, electronic stability control, traction control, hill decent control, automatic vehicle hold, and traffic sign recognition with intelligent speed limit control are included as additional driver aids.

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