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HomeNewsChina’s BYD looking to launch 2 new cars in South Africa – Including a Hilux-rivaling double cab

China’s BYD looking to launch 2 new cars in South Africa – Including a Hilux-rivaling double cab

Chinese automaker Build Your Dreams (BYD) seems to have strong intentions to enlarge its South African portfolio, filing local trademark applications for two new vehicles at the start of 2024.

The first was for the King which is a hybrid sedan that is earmarked to launch in the Brazilian market later this year, and the second was for the Shark, which is reportedly the name of the manufacturer’s upcoming electric double-cab bakkie that will rival the likes of the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger.

The trademark applications for these vehicles were submitted in January but have not been accepted and registered, so their local debut remains to be confirmed, MyBroadband reports.

However, the mere existence of these applications signals that BYD has serious plans to grow its South African footprint in line with other emerging economies.

In 2023, the company entered the local market with its Atto 3 which at the time was the most affordable electric vehicle (EV) in the country, and later in 2024, it will expand its offerings with the new Dolphin hatchback.

It has also filed trademarks for the Dolphin Mini, known as the Seagull in Asia, which like the King and Shark could eventually make an appearance on our roads.

BYD Shark Teaser

What to expect

BYD only started teasing its new double cab earlier in April wrapped in blue-and-orange camouflage with shark fin insignias on the nose and sides.

The manufacturer noted that the bakkie is being developed for “global markets” with Australia thus far being confirmed as one of its intended locations, as per CarNewsChina.

Considering South African motorists and those from the land Down Under share a similar propensity for bakkies, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the domestic market is already on BYD’s radar for a potential debut of the Shark.

Thus far, we know that the Chinese bakkie will be developed in both plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and fully-electric guises, and will have similar dimensions to industry stalwarts like the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger.

Up front, it will feature bold BYD lettering complemented by a distinctive grille and LED lights that seem to be inspired by those of the Ford F-150.

BYD Shark spy shot. Source: CarNewsChina

The PHEV is expected to feature a turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine in partnership with twin electric motors, which together could generate as much as 365kW and provide an all-electric driving range of 100km.

Unfortunately, no details on the electric version have been revealed by BYD just yet given that the bakkie is still at least one year away from being production-ready.

BYD insiders have stated that the new Shark in both PHEV and EV specifications will excite even the most die-hard of 4×4 enthusiasts while simultaneously being a suitable daily driver.

It will reportedly be shipped with independent rear suspension which is far more comfort-oriented than the leaf springs that most bakkies in South Africa are fitted with.

BYD King

The BYD King, on the other hand, has been on sale in China for some time now badged the Qin Plus DM-i.

The electrified sedan sports a 1.5-litre petrol engine producing 82kW and 135Nm, working together with one of two e-motors depending on the model, the smaller of which produces 134kW and 316Nm and the larger doing 147kW and 325Nm.

Additionally, it is equipped with BYD’s Blade batteries in 8.32kWh or 18.32kWh capacities, with a minimum electric range of 55km on the cards.

Selling for 79,800 Yuan, around R205,000 at current exchange rates, the King should be one of the more attainable hybrid sedans if it reaches South African showrooms

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