BYD’s first-ever ute has been spied virtually undisguised, ahead of a local launch during the second half of 2024.

    Images published by Autospy show the ute with only a few pieces of tape covering it. It’s our best look yet at the new ute in the metal, though patent images have already revealed the full exterior design.

    The new images also depict a mostly undisguised interior.

    The seats and centre console still have some covering, but we can see a console-mounted shifter bookended by two grab handles, plus a free-standing digital instrument cluster ahead of the driver and a large, portrait-oriented infotainment touchscreen.

    Previous photos have shown this touchscreen, like that in other BYD products, can be rotated from portrait to landscape orientation.

    Prototypes have already been spied of the new ute in Australia, which is set to be the second BYD in our market with plug-in hybrid power following a mid-sized SUV due in the first half of this year.

    “There are pickups in Australia right now that are being tested,” said EVDirect (BYD’s local distributor) CEO Luke Todd to CarExpert late last year.

    “There’ll be design elements that have been made over six-to-nine months, so there’s already been elements suitable for Australia reengineered into the vehicle to make it more suitable for Australian conditions.

    “It’s already happened. Some of the local stylings and attributes that people want to see in a ute or pickup have already been implemented by the Australian engineers in partnership with BYD engineers in China.

    “Those changes will be implemented to the ute for other markets to make it better.”

    BYD hasn’t detailed the plug-in hybrid powertrain at this stage, though previous reports have indicated it will consist a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine mated with two electric motors for a total system output of 365kW.

    A full electric version is reportedly set to follow at a later date, though Mr Todd confirmed last year that bringing such a vehicle to market now would see a price in excess of $100,000.

    “DM-i [BYD’s plug-in hybrid system] is another way to get cost affordability, having a smaller battery in the DM-i technology so you can bring the vehicles to the market more cost-effectively,” he said.

    “We want vehicles that Australians can afford, we don’t want to be pushing over $100,000, and the reality is that a full EV ute at the moment would be over that because of the battery size required to power the vehicle.”

    At this stage BYD is remaining tight-lipped on local pricing of the ute, though Mr Todd pointed out its pricing strategy on the Atto 3, Dolphin and Seal electric vehicles (EVs).

    “We’ve demonstrated that we’ve brought three high-quality vehicles at prices that were unthinkable 12-24-months ago and that’s our ambition to continue to do that,” said Mr Todd.

    “The battery inside the Electric Battery Hybrid is smaller, so there’s less cost, but the actual pricing we’d need to confirm.

    “We’ll be looking at the competitors in the segment – there’s some really strong vehicles we’ll going head-to-head with and as we’ve proven, every time we’ve brought in a vehicle in our segment, in our category we’ve been very competitive, if not dominant.”

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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