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New BYD Dolphin – Official South African pricing revealed

The South African launch of the new BYD Dolphin is right around the corner with the first units of the electric hatch already landed on local shores and dealers putting up their product pages for it.

The Dolphin is scheduled to launch in KwaZulu-Natal on 18 May 2024 at a starting price of R539,900 for the Standard Range and R599,900 for the Extended Range model, according to provincial retailers.

This makes the Chinese hatch the most affordable electric vehicle (EV) in the country by a wide margin, undercutting its main rival and previous holder of this accolade, the GWM Ora 03, by a sizeable R147,050.

The Dolphin will be BYD’s second vehicle in the domestic market following the debut of the Atto 3 crossover in June 2023.

What to expect

Previously, brochures of the Dolphin showed that there would be four models on offer locally but it seems that the selection has now been whittled down to just two, the Standard Range and Extended Range.

The Standard comes with a 44.9kWh battery that affords a total driving range of 340km measured with the WLTP test, and it supports a maximum current of 60kW at a DC fast-charging station.

It gets a single e-motor between the front wheels generating 70kW and 180Nm which sees 0-100km/h claimed in 12.3 seconds.

Meanwhile, the Extended boasts a 60.48kWh pack that pushes its potential to 427km and can be juiced up with an 80kW DC plug.

It also brings a more powerful drive unit with 150kW and 310Nm that cuts the sprint time to seven seconds flat.

A key selling point of the Dolphin is the Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) feature, which allows owners to use the battery’s remaining juice to power external devices and equipment when the grid is unavailable, such as when you’re out camping or during load-shedding.

At the launch of the Atto last year, the brand showed that V2L is capable of powering a small fridge and a coffee machine.

The equipment of the Dolphin is standardised across the range, with both derivatives providing automatic LED lights with high-beam assist, keyless entry and start, climate control, synthetic leather upholstery, electric front seats with heating, a 5-inch digital instrument cluster, a rotating 12.8-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite navigation, a wireless charger, and a panoramic glass roof with a retractable sunshade.

An extensive selection of electronic assistants is included, too, comprising a 360-degree camera system, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep support, lane-departure warning, lane-departure prevention, lane-change collision warning, intelligent speed limit control, traffic sign recognition, predictive collision warning, front and rear cross-traffic alert with braking, rear collision warning, blind-spot detection, and driver fatigue monitoring.

Visually separating the entry-level specification from the pricier version are the paintwork and wheels.

The Dolphin Standard Range rides on 16-inch alloys and is exclusively sold in solid paint schemes, whereas the Extended Range wears 17-inch rims and comes in a selection of two-tone palettes.

The battery-incentivised hatch is on the larger side of the spectrum, measuring 4,290mm long, 1,770mm wide, and 1,570mm tall with a boot capacity of 345 litres, expanding to 1,310 litres with the rear bench folded flat.

BYD Dolphin

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