The Denza 500 promises to cover 310 miles (500 kilometers) between two charges.

Established in 2011, Shenzhen Denza New Energy Automotive Co. is a 50:50 joint venture between Mercedes’ parent company Daimler and Chinese automaker BYD. In 2014, the two launched a fully electric vehicle called Denza 400 to cater the People’s Republic. Fast forward to present day, the EV is getting a facelift and a new name to reflect its longer range.


2018-denza-500 (2)
Meet the Denza 500, which may look like a five-door hatchback at a first sight, but it’s actually a four-door sedan with a very short rear end. You’ll notice the “Engineered with Daimler Group” badge on the side to denote it benefits from Mercedes’ knowhow as far as electric vehicles are concerned. The refresh has brought a new front fascia eschewing the conventional grille in favor of a body-colored cap in the middle where the charging port is hiding. It’s flanked by the newly designed “tiger eye” LED headlights extending towards the middle to give the sense of a front grille.

At the back, the LED taillights have also been tweaked, but the changes are less obvious. Inside, Daimler and BYD have installed a bigger 9-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system and have bolstered the car’s connectivity features. There’s even a bespoke smartphone app that will inform owners about the location of more than 112,000 charging points across China to get rid of the dreaded range anxiety.

Bigger changes have occurred underneath the skin where a new 70-kWh battery pack has prolonged the EV’s range from the previous 249 miles (400 kilometers) to 310 miles (500 km) based on local testing, hence the Denza 500 name. The NEDC figure stands at 280 miles (451 km), according to the official Denza website.

To make sure it would live up to its Daimler connection, the zero-emissions sedan was tested in a variety of harsh environments, with temperatures of as low as -40 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees Fahrenheit). The boost in range was also possible by making some hardware changes to cut weight.


The Denza 500 is available in China in entry-level Lifestyle and top-spec Aurora flavors, with both featuring a continuous power output of 92 horsepower (68 kilowatts). The pricier model has a peak output of 181 hp (135 kW), which is considerably more than the base model’s 115-hp (86-kWh) maximum punch. Torque also varies depending on version as it stands at 177 Nm / 130 lb-ft (290 Nm / 214 lb-ft peak) and 177 Nm / 130 lb-ft (300 Nm / 221 lb-ft), respectively.

Chinese buyers willing to fork out more money for the Denza 500 Aurora will get an EV capable of hitting 62 mph (100 kph) from a standstill in a decent 10.5 seconds (base model needs 14s). Both will max out at 93 mph (150 kph).

If you’re wondering about how much it costs, the Denza 500 starts off at 299,800 yuan (about $47,500) for the Lifestyle and rises to 329,800 yuan ($52,300) for the Aurora, with both prices after subsidies.

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