Look out Tesla Model Y? 2024 BYD Seal U electric SUV appears as Australian launch looms

The next stage in BYD’s plan for Australia’s electric vehicle market has been unveiled in Germany overnight, with the European debut of the BYD Seal U giving us our best look yet at the Chinese brand’s new mid-size SUV.

Sized to go up against the mega-popular Tesla Model Y (often Australia’s best-selling SUV), the Seal U is based on the Seal’s platform (BYD’s 3.0 architecture), and should arrive in two trim levels, and with two different battery sizes.

The 4.785m-long, 1.89m-wide and 1.66m-high SUV can be had in the UK with two different batteries – a 71.8kWh option that delivers a WLTP driving range of 420kms, and a 87kWh option that ups the range to around 500km.

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Both models produce a solid 168kW from their electric motors, with the smaller-battery vehicle delivering a 9.3sec sprint to 100km/h, which increases slightly to 9.6sec with the heavier Seal U.

Unveiled overnight at the German motorshow, the BYD Seal U is the high-riding version of the brand’s Model 3-fighting Seal sedan, the latter of which has already arrived in Australia in pre-launch form.

Full details are still en route, but the Seal U is setup for DC fast charging, and will arrive with V2L (vehicle-to-load) capability.

While not officially confirmed for Australia, BYD has promised to have five new models – one of them expected to be a mid-size SUV – on sale here by the end of 2024.

Stephen Corby

Stephen is a former editor of both Wheels and Top Gear Australia magazines and has been writing about cars since Henry Ford was a boy. Initially an EV sceptic, he has performed a 180-degree handbrake turn and is now a keen advocate for electrification and may even buy a Porsche Taycan one day, if he wins the lottery. Twice.

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