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BYD readies Model 3 rival for Aus

New sedan will arrive in 2023 to rival Tesla’s top-selling model

6 Apr 2022

CHINESE electric-vehicle brand BYD (Build Your Dreams) will follow up the local introduction of the Atto 3 hatchback with the launch of a sedan model early next year. BYD this week revealed pre-production images of the Seal, which will be officially unveiled at the upcoming Beijing Show. 


GoAuto recently reported that Sydney-based importer EVDirect planned to commence deliveries of Atto 3 battery-electric small SUV from July. The company has a BYD EV Experience Centre in Darlinghurst and buyers can order the Atto 3 online (a $1000 refundable deposit is required).


EVDirect claimed BYD had established a line dedicated to building units for Australia in one of its Chinese factories and that a plan was in place to produce the first 15,000 cars for our market.


The importer said the Atto 3 would the first of eight BYD models that would be introduced in our market within three years. The next models to arrive Down Under will be the EA1 light hatchback (also known as the Dolphin) followed by the Seal in March 2023.


Also underpinned by BYD’s e-platform 3.0 and powered by the brand’s Blade lithium-ion battery pack, which is renowned for its compactness and tested safety credentials, the Seal is the second battery electric sedan in the BYD Ocean Series and is expected to be known as Atto 4 in Australia.


BYD has previously stated that it would launch a BEV to compete with the Tesla Model 3 and, sure enough, the Seal is 4800mm long, 1875mm wide and 1460mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2920 mm, which makes its slightly longer, taller, but narrower than Tesla’s offering (2875mm wheelbase).


The Seal’s well-proportioned and sinuous exterior design takes cues from the BYD Ocean-X concept and was styled by a team led by former Audi design chief Wolfgang Egger.


BYD has not revealed the battery capacities that will be offered in the new model but said that the Seal’s line-up would include 150kW and 230kW rear-wheel-drive variants, as well as a top-of-the-range all-wheel-drive version, which will have a 160kW motor mounted at the front with a 230kW motor at the rear.


The all-wheel-drive version is said to sprint from 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds!


The 800V e-platform 3.0 has a direct cooling and heating system for the battery packs, which is said to increase thermal efficiency by up to 20 per cent. BYD claims an optimal range of 700km from a full change and that up to 150km of range can be added after five minutes of DC fast charging.


The BYD Seal/Atto 4 will “go on sale (in Australia) in Q4 2022 and, at this stage, we are aiming for March 2023 delivery,” EVDirect.com.au CEO Luke Todd recently told carexpert.


EVDirect has partnered with the independent vehicle-servicing network Mycar (formerly Kmart Tyre & Auto) to deliver newly landed BYD units to their customers and service the vehicles.


GoAuto Premium also reported that Eagers Automotive and EVDirect intended to establish a joint-venture dealer group that would provide a countrywide dealer and servicing network (of about 20 outlets) for BYD under a national franchise agreement valid for at least five years.


The BYD Atto 3 comes with seven-year/unlimited-kilometre vehicle and seven-year/160,000km battery warranties and we expect the same will be offered on incoming Seal/Atto 4 variants.

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