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New Plug-In Hybrid SUV From China Claims To Have 684 Miles Of Range

Key Takeaways

  • The Seal U DM-i is BYD’s first PHEV for Europe.
  • The SUV offers a range of up to 684 miles under WLTP standards.
  • Despite BYD’s global expansion, the automaker has no plans to sell stateside.

Fresh from the debut of the Shark pickup truck in Mexico, Build Your Dreams (BYD) has added another plug-in hybrid model to its portfolio. Called the Seal U DM-i, the PHEV will reach European showrooms in three flavors as early as next month, reinforcing the Warren Buffett-backed Chinese automaker’s product offensive in the Old Continent.

The Seal U DM-i’s alphabet soup name stands for Utility Dual Mode, with the “i” symbolizing intelligence. The SUV version of the Seal electric sedan is the first PHEV that BYD will sell in Europe, boasting design elements from the sedan but with SUV cues, particularly its two-box body and raised ride height. It rivals the Hyundai Santa Fe and Mitsubishi Outlander.

Available In Three Versions

The BYD Seal U DM-i is available in three versions: Design, Comfort, and Boost. The Design trim is the most powerful of the bunch, utilizing two electric motors (150 kW front and 120 kW rear), working in concert with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine. The combined power output is 319 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque, with a range of 540 miles – 43 of which are exclusively powered by the BYD’s 18.3 kWh Blade battery – a notch higher than what the Toyota RAV4 Prime offers in the US.

Meanwhile, the Boost and Comfort variants are powered by a single electric motor and a detuned version of the gasoline mill for a combined output of 215 hp and 221 lb-ft. The Boost comes with the same battery as the Design, offering up to 671 miles of range (50 miles in EV mode). The Comfort has a bigger 26.6 kWh Blade battery for a maximum range of 684 miles, with 78 miles working on pure electricity. BYD claims the SUV can be charged from 30-80% in as fast as 35 minutes.


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Will It Be Sold Stateside?

The BYD Seal U DM-i comes with an OTA-ready Intelligent Cockpit System, which includes a 15.6-inch rotatable screen and a 12.3-inch LCD pane. The BYD app enables remote control of various functions, including door locks, climate control, and NFC key functionality. Advanced safety features include adaptive cruise control, collision warnings, and a 360-degree panoramic camera.

BYD hasn’t revealed the price for the Seal U DM-i but confirmed it will reach European showrooms next month, while the UK will get its version this fall. While BYD has been going global with various launches recently, the automaker has confirmed that it is not targeting the US market for now. Considering America’s impossibly high import duties levied on Chinese-made products, it’s highly doubtful that it ever will.

BYD Seal U DM-i PHEV SUV Interior

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