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BYD debuts series of new models at Geneva Motor Show: What you need to know

By Jack Evans | March 6, 2024

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The Chinese firm is continuing its new-model sweep with duo.

BYD debuts series of new models at Geneva Motor Show: What you need to know

BYD was one of the core manufacturers at this year’s Geneva Motor Show as the event made its return after a significant hiatus after the coronavirus pandemic caused its shutdown in 2020. The Chinese firm has been making significant gains in the UK, with its range of tech-packed but value-focused models proving popular with buyers. 

Geneva was the platform for two new models from the BYD, too, proving that yet again this brand is pushing to make an even bigger name for itself in the European market. Let’s see everything you need to know about this cutting-edge duo

BYD Seal U

BYD’s primary focus has been, up until this point, electric vehicles. However, its Seal U shows off a venture into a slightly different powertrain direction with a plug-in hybrid. It’s got a similarly sleek design to cars like the Seal and Dolphin, but offers something to drivers who don’t want to go down the purely electric route just yet. 

It’s also got a spacious SUV bodystyle which should cater for drivers who want to enter the BYD brand but find its current crop of models a little too short on space.

Seal U Engine

The Seal U uses a 1.5-litre petrol engine with a plug-in hybrid setup. Now BYD has been quite coy about the tech specs for the Seal U, but it’s expected that this plug-in hybrid will manage up to 68 miles on electric power alone, so you’ll be able to do a lot of trips without bothering the petrol engine whatsoever. 

It’s expected that you should be able to charge from 30 to 80 per cent in 35 minutes, so you won’t have to be waiting around for long in order to top up.

Seal U Design

As you might expect, the look of the Seal U ties in with the rest of BYD’s range. It’s all very sleek, with sharp headlights that look very similar to those on the standard Seal. In China, the Seal U will also be offered as a fully electric vehicle, so it’s understandable that it has a very aerodynamic look - regardless of the powertrain it uses. 

There’s also a full-width lightbar at the rear of the car, just like the one you’d find on the Atto 3.

Seal U interior

BYD has already established quite a reputation for its high-tech interiors and the Seal U is a good extension of this. There’s a 15.6-inch ‘floating’ display which acts as the focal point for the interior and as we’ve seen on other BYD models, it can be rotated to orientate landscape or portrait. 

On a more practical note, a 552-litre boot puts the Seal U right among its rivals when it comes to outright luggage space. Expect plenty of storage areas inside the cabin, too. 

Seal U release date

The Seal U is expected to go on sale this spring, where it’ll go alongside rivals like the Nissan X-Trail, Kia Sorento and Volkswagen Tiguan. Given its competition, we expect the Seal U to be priced competitively - so we predict an on-sale price of around £40,000. 

Yangwang U8

But the BYD Seal U wasn’t the only model from the brand to make its public debut in Geneva. Also in attendance was the rugged-looking U8 from BYD’s new luxury arm Yangwang. Referred to by BYD as the ‘supreme luxury sub-brand’, Yangwang’s new U8 is a Land Rover Defender-rivalling SUV with a clever hydraulic body control system that should help it to remain level regardless of the conditions. 

It’s also got a 1,184bhp plug-in hybrid setup that’ll allow this large SUV to go from 0-60mph in under 3.5 seconds, while independent motors on each wheel allow it to find grip even where it seems like there is none. 

Denza D9

Another BYD sub-brand unveiled at Geneva was Denza. Arriving through a joint venture between BYD and Mercedes-Benz, Denza will be a ‘premium brand dedicated to delivering top-tier automobile products and exceptional services’. 

Its new D9 is a seven-seater MPV which may have originally been showcased at the IAA Mobility Show in Munich last year, but hadn’t been confirmed for European buyers until now. At Geneva, BYD stated that it is very much heading in Europe’s direction and will bring a ‘luxurious, intelligent and personalised driving experience’ when it arrives. 

Another Denza model - the mid-size crossover SUV N7 - was also shown at Geneva, reflecting this sub-brand’s ambition to be right up there with some of the big players in the premium vehicle segment. 

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