[ UPDATE 9/12/2023 14:00 ] The BYD Seal has been showcased at BYD Malaysia’s 1st anniversary event.
BYD Sime Darby Motors will be having a big public test drive event to launch the new Dolphin EV in Malaysia next week. As it turns out, there is a possibility that another EV from the brand will be joining the new model.
This is based on what we have noticed in this video that the company posted on social media yesterday to announce the Dolphin test drive event. Once the video reached the 0:22 mark, a marine mammal appeared for several seconds on the left side of the video:
That very creature is actually a sea lion which can easily be mistaken for a seal. Nevertheless, its appearance in the video is quite odd which made us wonder: Will the BYD Seal EV be shown to the public at the 1 Utama event next week?
Meet the BYD Seal
Just like the Dolphin and Seagull, Seal is part of the BYD Ocean Series lineup. Over in China, the EV currently can be obtained in four rear-wheel drive (RWD) variants and one all-wheel drive (AWD) option.
For the Elite and Premium RWD variants, they are equipped with a 61.4kWh BYD Blade battery pack together with a single 150kW (204hp) electric motor that can deliver 310Nm of torque. Together with a century sprint timing of 7.5 seconds, both of these variants have a rated range of 550km based on the rather lenient CLTC standards.
Next on the list is the long-range Premium RWD model which is fitted with a larger battery pack at 82.5kWh. It has a slightly more powerful 170kW (231hp) electric motor with 330Nm of torque that allows the variant to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h at 7.2 seconds.
Then there is also the long-range Performance RWD variant. Even though it still features the same 82.5kWh battery pack, this option offers a more powerful 230kW (313hp) electric motor with 360Nm torque that helps reduce the 0 to 100km/h timing to 5.9 seconds. Despite the difference in their electric motor output, BYD claimed that both of these long-range RWD variants can deliver the same CLTC range of 700km.
On the top of the Dolphin series is the Performance AWD variant. Still powered by an 82.5kW battery pack similar to the long-range RWD models, it carries two electric motors with a combined output of 390kW (530hp) and 670Nm of torque.
The massive amount of firepower allows this particular Seal variant to go from 0 to 100km/h in just 3.8 seconds. Despite that, BYD claimed that this model has a CLTC range of 650km.
When it comes to charging, the Seal in China is fitted with a 7kW onboard AC charger across all variants. For fast charging, the standard Elite and Premium option support DC chargers of up to 110kW while the rest of the series can go as high as 150kW.
How much does the BYD Seal costs?
In China, the Seal Elite RWD currently has a starting price of CNY189,900 (~RM120,246) while the Premium RWD goes for CNY202,800 (~RM128,414). On the other hand, the long-range Premium RWD and Performance RWD are listed at CNY222,800 (~RM141,078) and CNY239,800 (~RM151,667), respectively.
As for the Performance AWD variant, it is available for CNY279,800 (~RM176,966). With the pricing, some have labelled the Seal as a Tesla killer as the Model 3’s starting price in China is CNY231,900 (~RM146,841) while the Model Y starts from CNY263,900 (~RM167,103).
Of course, don’t expect the Malaysian price for the Seal to be similar to China. Even though Malaysia has provided several incentives for EVs such as full import and excise duties exemptions until the end of 2025, there are still other costs that need to be considered including transportation and marketing.
Besides, the current policy for Franchise AP set by the Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry prohibits imported Completely Built-Up (CBU) EVs from being priced at under RM100,000. So, pricing the Seal at under RM200,000 would have a big impact on lower-end models such as Atto 3 and even the upcoming Dolphin.
The Seal is ready for Malaysia
We would not be surprised if BYD decide to show off the Seal at the Dolphin launch event. It is a perfect opportunity for the brand and Sime Darby Motors to tell the local crowd that they still have more to come.
After all, they briefly showcased the fully electric four-door sedan with coupe-like design to the media during the Atto 3 launch event last December. There have also been reports that the Seal will be making its way into Malaysia in Q4 this year.
All in all, it is just a matter of time before Seal appears on Malaysian roads.