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BYD Seal for a steal!

Tesla Model Who? BYD Seal electric sedan starts at $49,888 + ORC with 460km WLTP range

17 Oct 2023

BYD Australia will offer three different trim levels of its new Seal electric sedan, with some eye-catching list pricing for the Tesla Model 3 rival that is now available to order from $49,888 before on-road costs, with the first customer deliveries due in December.

The entry-level Dynamic rear-wheel drive model has that headline-grabbing list price while, the mid-spec Premium RWD model is $58,798 + ORC and the Performance AWD dual-motor flagship will set buyers back $68,798 + ORC.

Luke Todd, CEO of Australian BYD distributor EV Direct described the pricing announcement as one of “the most significant moments in the Australian new-car market to date”.

Indeed, the BYD Seal significantly undercuts the pricing of its main rival, the Tesla Model 3, by a margin of more than $12,000 in like-for-like base-model guide; the Model 3 rear-wheel drive facelift starts at $61,400 + ORC.


The high-spec Performance model easily betters the Model 3 dual-motor Long Range version, which lists at $71,400 + ORC.

Runing through the three different Seal spec levels in more detail, the Dynamic has a single rear-mounted permanent magnet synchronous electric motor teamed to a 61.44kWh BYD Blade battery pack, with a maximum of 150kW and 310Nm. Claimed 0-100km/h performance is 7.5 seconds, and the WLTP stated driving range is 460km. Kerb weight for this grade is 1922kg.

It is extensively equipped in base-spec guise, with LED lighting, 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and start,
a surround-view camera system with front and rear parking sensors, a 10.25-inch instrument cluster, heated and ventilated front seats, eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and a six-way power-adjustable front passenger seat.

The interior wow-factor moment goes to the 15.6-inch rotatable touchscreen media system with sat-nav, and it also features Apple CarPlay (wired) and Android Auto (wireless), DAB and FM radio, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, a 12-speaker Dynaudio sound system, four USB ports and over-the-air updates.

Dual-zone climate control system with negative ion air purification system, a heat pump and rear privacy glass are all standard and all grades feature a panoramic glass roof with shade insert.

Stepping up to the Premium mode secures a larger 82.56kWh battery, as well as higher power and torque outputs – 230kW and 360Nm – delivering a quicker 0-100km/h time of 5.9 seconds despite it weighing a fair bit more at 2055kg.

However, this is the longest-range version available, with a WLTP-rated 570km of driving possible from a full charge.

Mid-spec Seals get a few equipment add-ons, such as 19-inch alloy wheels with Continental tyres, a head-up display, door mirror auto-tilt and memory settings, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, leather seat upholstery and memory settings for the driver’s seat.

The range-topping Performance grade adds a second motor to the mix – a squirrel-cage induction asynchronous unit at the front axle – which, combined with the rear motor, contributes to a maximum combined output of 390kW and 670Nm for 0-100km/h in a claimed 3.8 seconds.

Sharing the Premium's 82.56kWh battery pack but tipping the scales at 2185kg (kerb), driving range is 520km (WLTP).

This spec largely mirrors the Premium variant, with a lot of the extra cost going to the additional motor and immense power upgrade. But it does add what BYD calls 'Intelligence Torque Adaption Control' to help it get that grunt to the ground, a heated steering wheel, and, strangely, electronic child locks for the doors.

All versions have 7kW AC charging available and the base grade has a maximum DC charge speed of 110kW while the higher-capacity battery models have 150kW DC charging available. All use a Type 2 CCS combination plug, and all come with a portable mode 2 charging cable included. Plus, the Seal is capable of vehicle-to-load (V2L) charging.

There is a democratic application of safety technology for all models, with an autonomous emergency braking system, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert with braking, front cross-traffic alert with braking, active speed sign recognition, ISOFIX child-seat anchor points, and nine airbags fitted (dual front, front side, front centre, side-curtain, and rear side coverage).

The Seal measures 4800mm long and sits upon a 2920mm wheelbase. It is 1875mm wide (not including mirrors) and it’s 1460mm tall. It has a tremendously low coefficient of drag at 0.219Cd (the super-slippery Hyundai Ioniq 6 is 0.21Cd).

BYD offers the Seal in five exterior colours – Cosmos Black, Atlantis Grey, Polar White, Arctic Blue or Shark Gray, the latter of which is reserved for the Performance model only.

Unlike some of the other more outlandishly coloured interior finishes in the BYD range, the standard finish for the Seal is, much like the sea mammal, black and grey. But there is also the Ocean Blue interior trim option, which is, according to the brand, solely available in Australia.

It is expected that the brand will offer an eight-year/160,000km battery warranty for the battery, and a vehicle warranty of six years/150,000km. The company is continuing to offer servicing through its network partner MyCar, while the brand is also rolling out dedicated service and repair centres.

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