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BYD's Seal Champion Edition to Compete with Tesla Model 3

Chinese brand BYD will continue to expand the variants of its Ocean Series models, and according to information leaked by its dealer network in China, there will be a variant intended to act as an entry-level to the Seal model, in order to compete against the Tesla Model 3.

As it establishes itself on the international scene, the promising Chinese manufacturer BYD will gradually expand its product portfolio with a view to covering niches and specific needs of each market. This seems to be the case with a variant of the BYD Seal, whose information has recently been leaked in China, as the model will receive a more affordable access version than all those models known to date.

According to the information, echoed by Car News China, this entry-level variant in China will be called “Champion Edition” and will rely on a single rear engine to lower power and, along the way, the price to the equivalent of about 25,000 dollars (at current exchange rates in China). If it makes the leap to the US and European markets with the rest of the Seal gamut, it is not expected to be less than 35,000 dollars/euros, which continues all the same to mean a very good ratio in terms of cost, product quality and performance.

This new version would offer a reduction of approximately 11% compared to the cheapest version of the Seal that was marketed up until now in the Asian country, characterized by the use of a 312 CV (230 kW) electric motor and a battery of about 62 kWh capacity. It is foreseeable that, if it ends up crossing the world to be marketed here, it will also make use of the most compact battery in the entire BYD Seal family.

Tesla Model 3, Courtesy of Tesla Inc.

The firm expects the Champion Edition to announce - in China - a range of about 550 kilometers on the NEDC cycle, which means that under the requirements of the European WLTP, it should not actually go much further than 450 kilometers on a full charge. Its rear electric motor will offer a power of 228 CV; a figure that - although seems relatively high - is in fact correct, since the minimum weight of the whole set will be around 1,800 Kg.

At the moment, for the European markets (no mention to the US market yet), the arrival of two variants has been already confirmed: on the one hand, a rear-wheel drive and 312 CV of power with 82 kWh battery and 550 Km range; on the other, a second - more powerful - version with a double electric motor that produces 530 hp and which, powered by an 80 kWh battery, can offer up to 520 km of range.

Just as a refresher, the Tesla Model 3 characteristics are, for the Standard Range Plus variant with Rear-wheel drive configuration: 263 miles (423 km) of EPA range, and 0-60 mph acceleration time of 5.3 seconds; the Long Range variant, with Dual-motor all-wheel-drive configuration: 353 miles (568 km) of EPA range, and 0-60 mph acceleration time of 4.2 seconds. Finally, the Performance variant, with Dual-motor all-wheel-drive configuration: 315 miles (507 km) of EPA range, and 0-60 mph acceleration time of 3.1 seconds.

Comparing the BYD Seal Champion Edition with the Tesla Model 3, the Chinese brand aims to offer a competitive alternative in terms of performance, range, and price. However, it will ultimately depend on the success of its marketing and adaptation to international standards to truly challenge Tesla's dominance in the electric vehicle market.

Tesla Model 3, courtesy of Tesla Inc.

As the worldwide EV market continues to grow, it will be interesting to see how well-established companies like Tesla respond to the new competition from emerging brands such as BYD. The rivalry between these companies is likely to drive innovation, push prices down, and ultimately benefit consumers with more affordable and advanced electric vehicles.

BYD Seal Champion Edition clearly seeks to offer an attractive and competitive alternative to the Tesla Model 3 by providing a more cost-effective entry point for consumers. With its reduced price, promising performance, and expanding portfolio of vehicles, BYD is aiming to establish itself as a major player in the global electric vehicle market. As the brand continues to accelerate its growth and extend its reach to new markets, it will be really interesting to see how it fares against competitors such as Tesla and other emerging EV manufacturers.

Source: carnewschina

All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.

Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.