All-New BYD Seal Electric Saloon Enters the Singapore Market in Style
The much-anticipated BYD Seal electric saloon is now in Singapore, after making its first appearance at the 2023 Singapore Motorshow last January.
Launched last week at the Changi Exhibition Centre, members of the media and partners were given unfettered access to various flavours of the Seal, before putting the cars through their paces on a dedicated driving course.
The sleek compact executive saloon is the third electric car to come from the Chinese carmaker, after the Dolphin hatchback and ATTO 3 compact crossover, and the most aerodynamic one in the range with a drag coefficient of just 0.219 Cd. In other words, it's even more slippery than the current Model 3 from Tesla, which has a drag coefficient of 0.23 Cd.
Its award-winning design (a recipient of the internationally-recognised iF Design Award) has several key elements, including a fastback-style silhouette that ends off with a subtle ducktail, and "ripple" daytime running lights inspired by the momentum of ocean waves.
While the Seal shares the same e-Platform 3.0 architecture and Blade Battery technology as the other two models, it's the first BYD car to utilise the company's Cell-to-Body (CTB) technology. This allows the battery cells to be incorporated into the vehicle structure through a sandwich-like arrangement, significantly improving torsional rigidity, safety, and driving dynamics.
BYD will offer three variants of the Seal: the Dynamic, Premium, and Performance. The first two trim levels feature a rear-wheel drive (RWD) setup, with a single motor in the rear, while the top-spec Performance trim houses two motors for an all-wheel drive (AWD) setup.
Visually, all three models are identical with the exception of AWD and 3.8S emblems found on the bootlid of the Performance.
With a 61.44 kWh battery inside, the Seal Dynamic puts out 203 bhp and 310 Nm of torque, with a century sprint timing of 7.5 seconds. It has a maximum range of 460 km in the WLTP cycle, and has a max DC charge rate of 110 kW. This allows the battery to be charged from 30% to 80% in just 32 minutes.
The Seal Premium packs a larger 86.52 kWh battery, churning out 313 bhp and 360 Nm of torque. Its maximum WLTP range jumps to 570 km, and has a higher max DC charge rate of 150 kW. The Seal Performance uses the same battery, but thanks to its dual-motor setup, pushes out 530 bhp and 670 Nm of torque. It goes from 0-100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds, and has a range estimate of 520 km.
Other improvements that set the Performance model apart from the rest include Intelligent Torque Adaption Control, or iTAC. This technology is basically a form of torque vectoring control, and adjusts the amount applied to the powered wheels accordingly, thus allowing the driver to corner enthusiastically without losing control of the car.
The Seal is remarkably plush inside, with quilted leather seats and also a crystal gear selector on the centre console that's flanked by controls for vehicle settings. Just like its other BYD stablemates, the Seal comes with a 15.6-inch rotatable central display, and an extensive suite of active safety features as standard.
It's able to accommodate five full-size adults, and an oversized panoramic glass roof allows for plenty of natural lighting to enter the cabin.
Practicality is a strong point for the Seal too, with enough boot space for 400 litres' worth of items at the back and 50 litres' worth at the front, and more than 20 flexible storage spaces for small items located inside the car.
We were given several opportunities to push all three variants of the Seal, and were impressed by how well-sorted the car is, regardless of powertrain option.
On the handling circuit, it was able to enter technical corners at high speed without showing much signs of understeer, with the double-wishbone/multi-link front and rear suspension setup working together with iTAC to keep the car nimble yet composed.
It was especially surprising to note that the Dynamic and Premium models did not feel like "lesser" cars compared to the Performance despite the disparity in power figures. They felt just as engaging to drive – if not more playful – when pushed hard, and at times even closing in on the AWD model in front of us.
On the slalom and acceleration/braking sections of the session, we were able to experience more of the Seal's driving performance, including getting thrusted firmly into our leather seats and entering triple-digit figures, before slamming on the brakes to test out its superb stopping power.
Prices begin at S$242,888 for the Dynamic, S$252,888 for the Premium, and S$284,888 for the Performance – all inclusive of guaranteed COE.
Photo Credits: Muhammad Mu'tasim (@mutasimdrives)
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