An overseas trademark application has pointed towards the name of BYD’s soon-to-be-revealed plug-in hybrid and electric ute.

    South African tech publication MyBroadband reports BYD filed a trademark application for “Shark” with the country’s Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission (CIPC) in January.

    Though the yet-to-be approved trademark doesn’t explicitly say the name will be applied to the ute, recent camouflaged teasers of the ute released by BYD show what appear to be shark fin graphics on its front and sides – a detail which had no context prior to now.

    It also fits in with BYD’s naming convention for aquatic-adjacent animals, alongside the Seal sedan and Seagull and Dolphin hatchbacks.

    BYD’s Australian distributor has previously confirmed the ute is due to launch locally in the second half of 2024, though some examples of the dual-cab have already been spied testing.

    Unspecified changes have been made to the ute as a result of its local tests, but BYD’s distributor hasn’t confirmed what these are.

    Overseas reports have claimed the BYD ute will first launch as a plug-in hybrid, mating a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with two electric motors for a combined system output of 365kW – enough to put the 292kW Ford Ranger Raptor to shame.

    Previous interior photos have shown a centre console-mounted shifter, physical toggle switches, a free-standing digital instrument cluster and a rotatable infotainment screen.

    BYD is expected to launch an electric version of the ute following the plug-in hybrid’s debut, though a timeline for its Australian arrival hasn’t been announced yet.

    When the BYD Shark arrives in Australia, it will be the only plug-in hybrid ute available locally at first – provided it meets its current timeline – as the Ford Ranger PHEV isn’t due until early 2025.

    In terms of hybrid utes, GWM will be first to market in Australia with its Cannon Alpha, due mid-year, while in the electric space there’s only LDV for now with its electric eT60. The Chinese brand plans to launch a new-generation electric ute this year.

    MORE: BYD’s plug-in hybrid Ranger rival teased ahead of Australian release

    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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