BYD’s new Sea Lion 07 electric SUV will be produced in right-hand drive, but RHD versions of its similarly sized Seal U will be available only with plug-in hybrid power.

    A spokesperson for BYD Auto New Zealand told EVs & Beyond that the RHD Sea Lion 07 will be introduced in that market during 2024.

    As for the Seal U, which has been spied testing in Australia, it will only be offered in plug-in hybrid guise in RHD markets as it wasn’t developed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

    The outlet reports BYD developed the electric Seal U at the request of the European market.

    We’ve contacted BYD Australia to confirm whether it will follow its counterparts across the ditch in offering the Sea Lion 07.

    EVs & Beyond reports BYD will launch four new vehicles in New Zealand in 2024: the Seal U, Sea Lion 07, an as-yet unnamed plug-in hybrid ute, and an unspecified fourth model.

    In contrast, BYD’s Australian distributor has confirmed only two new vehicle launches for our market this year: the ute and a mid-sized plug-in hybrid SUV, likely the Seal U.

    It has also confirmed it plans to launch at least two new vehicles each year from this year, with the aim of being a top-five brand in 2025.

    Revealed at the Guangzhou motor show in November 2023, the Sea Lion 07 has a design heavily influenced by the Ocean X concept car with a clear visual kinship with the Seal sedan.

    Both models sit within BYD’s Ocean series of vehicles, along with the Dolphin, but BYD plans to turn Sea Lion into a sub-range.

    BYD has employed this strategy before, offering multiple Seal-badged models: the electric sedan that’s sold here, a separate plug-in hybrid sedan, and the Seal U crossover.

    The Sea Lion 07 measures 4830mm long, 1925mm wide, and 1620mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2930mm.

    These dimensions make the crossover just 5mm wider but 80mm longer than the Tesla Model Y.

    The Sea Lion 07 battery electric vehicle (BEV) is based on BYD’s existing e-platform 3.0 EV architecture, which already underpins the likes of the Atto 3 crossover, Dolphin hatchback, and Seal sedan.

    It incorporates Cell-to-Body (CTB) technology, which fully integrates BYD’s Blade battery into the vehicle structure for greater rigidity and safety.

    The Seal U is an older model, known as the Song Plus Champion Edition in China.

    It’s due here during the first half of 2024.

    It features BYD’s DM-i plug-in hybrid system, mating a 78kW/135Nm 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 145kW/300Nm electric motor.

    There’s an 18.3kWh battery with 90km of NEDC range. It can be charged at up to 7kW using AC power and 18kW using DC power.

    It measures 4775mm long, 1890mm wide (2085mm including the mirrors) and 1670mm tall on a 2765mm wheelbase.

    That makes it 65mm longer, 28mm wider but 95mm lower than a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV on a 59mm longer wheelbase. It’s also 320mm longer, 15mm wider and 55mm taller than an Atto 3.

    While the Song Plus Champion Edition debuted in 2023, it’s an update of the Song Plus that’s been on sale in China since 2020.

    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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