June 8, 2023

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The Test: BYD Seal - The World's Fastest Seal

The Test: BYD Seal – The World’s Fastest Seal

BYD’s previous models, the Han and Tang, have been available in China for a while. What about here?

Unlike the larger and Dolphin models, the Seal is completely new. It will be launched in one form or another in China and Europe.

Where should we put that stamp in today’s automotive landscape?

As a sport-oriented electric sedan, it’s a car that primarily rivals the popular Tesla Model 3, although it’s a bit larger in all respects. By the way, now there are more hijackers on the coast in this segment, like Hyundai Ioniq 6 and the necessary competitors from our country. We have previously thrown the stamp on black in our first purely theoretical comparison.

A special name by the way, this “seal”. Is this from “Navy Seal,” or really a happy hopping friend from the Wadden District?

That’s the last thing. Like the Dolphin, the Seal is part of what BYD in China has dubbed the ‘Ocean Series’, unlike other model lines. You guessed it: all of these cars are named after something in or around the sea.

Do we see the theme of the sea in something else?

We’ll beat you: You won’t get seasick aboard the BYD Seal. However, its soft, rounded lines must point to the sea. This also applies to the drop-shaped decorative elements in the taillights and in the rear side window. Another nice detail: the recessed handles extend electrically if needed. It sounds fragile, but luckily they feel sturdy in this case.

Joining Tesla is not easy. Does the BYD stamp have the correct paperwork?

The BYD Seal is on the latest version of the BYD platform and has a “blade battery” that not only saves energy, but also power. Thus, the battery itself serves as the basis and contributes to the rigidity of the mount. The battery provides a net 82 kWh, which is good for a range – in the case of rear-wheel drive – of 570 km. That’s neat, though the Model 3 manages less power, up to 600 km. The rear-wheel drive version already has 313 horsepower, and the all-wheel drive delivers more than 530 horsepower. This version pops from 0 to 100 in 3.8 seconds.

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Amazing numbers. How do you like it in practice?

During a short test run, Seal’s all-wheel-drive system really achieved 3.8 seconds over and over, even with about 70 percent battery. This is easy to check, because the screen behind the steering wheel also shows sprint times if desired. Without Launch Control the speed is a little lower, but with 4.0 the numbers will go away quickly. Of course you feel that way. The Model 3’s performance is faster, but of course that’s a lot faster than necessary. If we continue the comparison with Tesla, it’s remarkable that the Stamp feels less kart-like than the Model 3. The steering is less direct and the car leans in a bit more, but there’s a bit more quietness and comfort in return. It’s also dynamic enough, so the balance seems to be there quite well. The sound insulation is also done well and so the car makes a high quality impression in the few kilometers we’ve done it.

So it’s a real sedan. Can I travel with my family?

At 4.80 meters long, Seal is a large car, although that is not reflected much in the large luggage space. The trunk is really reasonable with a volume of 402 liters, but not a flagship. There’s a handy extra compartment under the floor and in the nose, too, but that’s less than the one in the Tesla. As with many electric vehicles, more attention has been paid to the amount of seating space. We’re fine in the back, thanks in part to the huge standard panoramic roof that extends over the back seat. The floor is a little high, but that’s almost normal in EV land.

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Is there a nice atmosphere on board?

BYD stamp

The stamp looks quite distinct on the outside and the wavy rolling look continues on the inside. Like other BYDs, the Seal impresses above all with its interior design, which combines special design, fine materials, beautiful finishing and rational design. The seating position is pleasant and the seats themselves and the ‘vegan leather’ used are wonderfully soft. BYD chooses special colors and applies them tastefully, for example with a combination of light blue upholstery with white and blue stitching for the test car. The car seems to be doing quite well from a technological point of view. Something like this only really becomes apparent on a longer test, but the screen responds quickly, looks fresh and tidy and has many functions. For example, The Seal has a real 360-degree parking camera, and it’s very easy to use.

What will it cost?

Unfortunately, this is not yet known. We’re very curious about that, because since the Tesla Model 3’s recent price cut, it’s very difficult to compete with that car in terms of price. If the stamp is a little over the top, it can at least be justified by that nice interior. Comfort is also an advantage, although we count the limited interior space and higher consumption as a disadvantage. One thing is for sure: this will be an interesting comparative test.