BYD Auto, the Chinese carmaker backed by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, has officially launched its new Qin plug-in hybrid sedan in China, with the company stating that it plans to offer the car in other markets around the world, including Europe from early 2015, albeit with a different name.
Initially offered in a limited quantity of 100 cars for real-life testing purposes, the Qin is now available for regular order with prices in China, prior to any EV subsidies, ranging from €23,725 to €26,225 (£19,645 to £21,715 or US$32,435 to US$35,840).
The dual mode Qin sedan links a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine to a pair of electric motors, which all together, deliver a combined output of 299hp (223kW) and peak torque of 440 Nm (324 lb-ft).
BYD says it can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h (62 mph) in an impressive 5.9 seconds and has a top speed of 185km/h (115 mph) with a claimed overall fuel consumption of as low as 1.6 l/100km (177mpg UK or 147mpg US), obviously with the use of the batteries. In its latest production outfit, the Qin can be driven in pure electric mode for up to 70km (44 miles).
Other highlights include four driving functions – EV+ECO, EV+SPORT, HEV+ECO and HEV+SPORT modes, a standard 12.1-inch TFT instrument panel, smart key system and BYD’s remote driving facility, which according to the automaker, "allows the car to be maneuvered remotely at very low speed from the outside of the vehicle where permissible".
Standard safety features for the Chinese-market model include Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Electric Park Brake, ISO-FIX mounting points for child safety seats, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), Control Deceleration Parking and 12 air bags.