Finally, the BYD Seal is here in Malaysia! Well, it’s not quite yet ready for launch, yet, but the sleek EV will hit showrooms very soon – it will be previewed at the BYD 1st Anniversary: Beyond Dreams Celebration event at Bukit Kiara Indoor Arena this weekend, when this black dress comes off.
We’ve heard about the Seal for a year now, because BYD is one year old in Malaysia – at the Atto 3’s launch, the Seal and Dolphin were mentioned and displayed, and the latter has already gone on sale.
A departure from the popular SUV base, the Seal is a four-door coupe type of sedan with a sloping roofline and short rear deck, not unlike the Honda Civic FC and BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. Conveniently, the latter has an electric version called the i4, which makes good comparison to the Seal.
If you look at this BYD’s dimensions, its 4,800 mm length and 1,875 mm width is just hairs away from the BMW i4‘s 4,783 mm and 1,852 mm. The Seal – a dedicated, ground-up EV – has a longer wheelbase though; at 2,920 mm, the distance between wheels is 64 mm longer.
In China, there are four variants of the Seal. The RWD Elite and Premium have a single 201 hp motor driving the rear wheels and powered by a 61.4 kWh in-house Blade battery. Such equipped, the local CLTC range per charge is 550 km and 0-100 km/h acceleration takes 7.5 seconds.
A 308 hp motor is mated to a 82.5 kWh battery in the Long Range RWD, boosting range to 700 km. The 250 km gain over the base combo also comes with a better 0-100 km/h time, now at 5.9 seconds. The ultimate Seal is the Long Range AWD Performance.
As the AWD in the name suggests, there are two motors here for a combined 523 hp and 0-100 km/h time in 3.8 seconds. The sole dual-motor variant’s range is 650 km in the China domestic cycle. In the more realistic WLTP combined, the LR RWD does 570 km while the AWD is good for 520 km.
The Seal is often described as a Tesla Model 3 rival. The latest Model 3 ‘Highland’ facelift comes in Standard RWD and Long Range AWD variants in Malaysia. The latter, priced from RM218,000, has a WLTP-rated range of 629 km and sprints from 0-100 km/h in 4.4 seconds.
But the most important figure for EVs in Malaysia today is the RRP, thanks to a market disruptor called Tesla. The smooth and easy entry into our market by Elon Musk’s car company has seen prices that made other EVs look expensive overnight. The Model 3, for instance, starts from RM189,000 – that’s just a bit more than what BYD charges for the Atto 3, which before this was one of the best value EVs in town.
BYD has great tech and the Seal looks good, but its latest model’s price will determine if the Seal would be as big a hit as the Atto 3. Check out our gallery of the Seal from BIMS 2023 and tell us what you think.
GALLERY: BYD Seal EV
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