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HomeNewsFirst units of new BYD Dolphin land in South Africa – Specifications and expected pricing

First units of new BYD Dolphin land in South Africa – Specifications and expected pricing

The first units of the new BYD Dolphin have touched down in South Africa ahead of the electric hatchback’s launch later this month.

Well-informed charging solution company EV Charge previously confirmed to TopAuto that the Dolphin will retail from around R550,000 – which would make it the most affordable electric vehicle (EV) in the country by a big margin.

The current holder of that accolade is the new GWM Ora 03, which sells from a not-that-cheap R686,950.

The Dolphin is the Chinese automotive giant’s second model in the domestic market following the introduction of the Atto 3 crossover in June 2023, with two more vehicles potentially in the pipeline for a South African debut.

BYD Dolphin in South Africa. Source: EV Charge

BYD Dolphin specifications

Several local BYD dealers already have the Dolphin listed on their product pages with its brochure attached detailing all its specifications and features, indicating that the launch of the EV is right around the corner.

We now know that buyers will have four derivatives to choose from spanning Active, Boost, Comfort, and Design trim levels with two powertrains between them.

The Active and Boost are both equipped with a 44.9kWh battery providing a driving range of 310-340km, depending on the model, which can be charged from 10-80% in 38 minutes at a  150kW DC station, or 0-100% in seven hours and 18 minutes with a 7kW AC home charger.

The Active gets a 70kW e-motor between the front wheels providing a top speed of 150km/h, whereas the Boost’s power unit generates 130kW and enables a maximum of 160km/h.

Meanwhile, the Comfort and Design boast a 60.4kWh module that ups the driving potential to 427km.

A 10-80% charge with a 150kW DC cable is achievable in 40 minutes with the larger module, and it also supports a higher 11kW AC home connection that sees 0-100% completed in six hours and 12 minutes.

Both variants come with a 150kW e-motor propelling the front wheels, which is good for a 0-100km/h time of seven seconds and a top speed of 160km/h.

The Dolphin also facilitates Vehicle-to-Load power delivery, allowing owners to use unspent charge to power external devices when the grid is inaccessible.

As has become the norm with modern Chinese vehicles, the BYD hatch is generously equipped with creature comforts as standard.

The entry-level Dolphin Active brings keyless entry and start, vegan leather upholstery, electric front seats, a 5-inch digital instrument display, a 12.8-inch rotatable infotainment screen, intelligent voice control, four speakers, 360-degree cameras, rear parking sensors, and 16-inch bi-colour alloy wheels.

This is in addition to a selection of advanced assistance systems including automatic LED lights with high-beam assist, automatic vehicle hold, indirect fatigue management, adaptive cruise control, front and rear cross-traffic alert with automatic braking, blind-spot detection, emergency lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning and prevention, predictive collision warning, door-opening warning, child presence detection, intelligent speed limit control, and traffic sign recognition.

The Boost sees the same kit as the Active except for riding on 17-inch bi-colour wheels, its main selling point therefore being the more powerful drivetrain.

Upgrading to the Comfort then brings heated seats, one-click windows with anti-pinch function, a six-speaker sound system, more powerful 60W USB-C ports, and front parking sensors.

The range-topping Design is further delivered with a wireless charger, rear privacy (tinted) glass, a panoramic sunroof, and 17-inch tri-tone alloys.

The flagship is also the only model that is available in four two-tone exterior paints, while the others can be had in four solid metallic hues.

The Dolphin measures 4,290mm long, 1,770mm wide, and 1,570mm tall – putting it in the same ballpark as something like the BMW 1 Series.

BYD Dolphin

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