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BYD Seal 2024: Australian pricing and specifications revealed

 

New Chinese electric sedan entrant easily undercuts the Tesla Model 3, with surprising sub-$50,000 entry point confirmed


Chinese marque BYD has launched its third fully-electric model in Australia in the form of the Seal midsize sedan, and this competitor to the Tesla Model 3 easily undercuts its better-known rival in the pricing stakes.

In a shock move, the BYD Seal has been priced from just $49,888 before on-road costs in Australia in a three-strong range that takes the following shape:

  • BYD Seal Dynamic rear-wheel drive: $49,888
  • BYD Seal Premium rear-wheel drive: $59,798
  • BYD Seal Performance all-wheel drive: $68,798
Front right view of a 2024 BYD Seal

Those prices are before on-road costs and were correct at the time of writing in October 2023.

The price-leading $50K Dynamic rear-wheel drive (RWD) base model uses a ‘standard range’ 61.4kWh lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) battery pack to deliver 460km range on the WLTP testing protocol.

That variant essentially uses the existing BYD Atto 3 small SUV’s front electric motor but shifts it to the back – albeit with identical 150kW power and 310Nm torque outputs. The Seal Dynamic’s 0-100km/h claim is 7.5 seconds.

Moving up to the $60K Seal Premium buys a larger 82.5kWh usable LFP battery for a substantial 570km range (WLTP). Single-motor RWD remains, but the outputs are turned up to 230kW and 360Nm, slashing the 0-100km/h time to 5.9 seconds.

Interior view of a 2024 BYD Seal

Finally, the $69K Seal Performance adds AWD capability. It shares the Premium’s 82.5kWh long-range battery, though its vast 390kW/670Nm dual-motor output cuts the WLTP driving range to 520km. BYD claims a 0-100km/h time of 3.8 seconds.

Peak DC charging speeds are significantly quicker with the 82.5kWh battery: these models can be recharged at up to 150kW, while the smaller battery is limited to a pokier 110kW. Vehicle-to-load device charging is fitted across the range.

It was expected that BYD would price the Seal in the vicinity of the similarly-sized Tesla Model 3, which sports two facelifted variants that cost $61,900 for a rear-wheel drive variant with 513km (WLTP) or $71,900 for a Long Range AWD model with 629km range.

The Seal dramatically undercuts the upgraded Tesla Model 3 (pictured)

Then there’s the updated Polestar 2, which kicks off with a standard range model that costs $61,200 and offers 495km range, while offering 610km in longest-range form at $65,200.

Back in BYD territory, all variants of the Seal include a double wishbone front suspension and five-link independent rear suspension, while the Performance AWD model includes upgraded front and rear frequency-selective dampers like those used on the Kia EV6.

There is a difference in wheel size, with the entry-level Dynamic model wearing 18-inch wheels in 225/50 R18 tyres while both big-battery Seal trim grades have larger 19-inch alloys in 235/45 R19 tyres. Continental is the range-wide tyre supplier in Australia.

Rear view of a 2024 BYD Seal

Five exterior colours are available: cosmos black, Atlantis grey, polar white, Arctic blue and shark grey – over two interior themes: Thaumas black and an optional ocean blue.

Dimensionally, the Seal measures in at 4800mm long with a 2920mm wheelbase, 1875mm wide and 1460mm tall. The front track is 1620mm while the rear track is 5mm wider.

Specification levels are generally high, with all three variants sporting a glass roof, spring-loaded tailgate, double glazing for the windscreen and front side windows, power adjustable front seats and a 12-speaker Dynaudio premium stereo.

Further range-wide standard features take in DAB digitalradio, wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto, a 15.6-inch rotating touchscreen, 10.25-inch digital driver display, keyless entry and start, LED headlights and over-the-air update functionality.

Heated, cooled and power-adjustable front seats are fitted across the range. The base Dynamic variant’s upholstery is vinyl, while the Premium and Performance models are trimmed in genuine leather.

Safety features fitted range-wide include a 360-degree parking camera, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane keeping assist, traffic sign recognition, front and rear cross traffic alert with AEB integration, and blind spot monitoring.