Don't know BYD yet? It's normal! It's only been a few months since the brand arrived in France. And again, only in Paris for the moment. But "Build Your Dreams" was indeed rolling out a range in Europe. Including the Tang large SUV, the Han sedan and the Atto 3 compact SUV. Moreover, the Dolphin takes the same underwear as the Atto 3: a 204 horsepower electric motor drives the front wheels and the battery has a capacity of 60 kWh. On paper, the formula promises 427 km of autonomy.
Five models launched in less than a year
We discovered the Dolphin on the Barcelona side, at the same time as the Seal, which we will talk about soon. With these two new models, already marketed in China, this means that in less than a year, BYD has launched five models in Europe: it goes rather fast and this testifies to the ambitions of the brand.
Road behaviour to improve
We very (too) briefly got behind the wheel of a pre-production model by doing a slalom on a circuit, supposed to represent a winding road. Verdict: road behaviour is really not at the level that Europeans are entitled to demand. The steering is really very blurry and the body movements are important, with a nose that crashes during changes of direction. In the city, it will do. But do not look for pleasure behind the wheel, even if these sensations will have to be confirmed when we get behind the wheel of the definitive models.
On the other hand, the cabin is full of practical storage space, and the ergonomics are better than in the Atto 3. The space for passengers and the capacity of the trunk are in the rather lower average. But where we are almost certain that the Dolphin should not disappoint is in terms of energy consumption and therefore autonomy. Let us remember, in fact, that when it was born in 1995, BYD built batteries: electric technology, the brand knows well, it also supplies light and heavy electric commercial vehicles worldwide. Moreover, at the end of the year, in addition to its passenger vehicles, BYD will sell light commercial vehicles in Europe. The brand will therefore have a very wide range of vehicles...
But to return to the model that concerns us, the Dolphin, it will really be necessary for BYD to set a very competitive price for it to break into a segment where the competitors are really full of qualities. Announced between 30,000 and 38,000 euros, it will be necessary that the price is as low as possible to justify the price / road behavior ratio. Answer next June.
The BYD Dolphin in a few figures
- Motor: electric; 204 hp; 290 Nm
- Transmission: front wheels
- Gearbox: 1-speed auto
- W/l/h (mm) : 4.290/1.770/1.570
- Trunk volume (l): 345-1.310
- Batteries (kWh) : 60
- 0 to 100 kph (sec.) : 7
- V-max (km/h) : 160
- Conso. combined (kWh/100 km): +/- 14
- Range (km) : 427
- Price: n.a.
- Electric car