It's hard to keep up with the numerous launches of new electric vehicle models in China, but this upcoming one from BYD is one of the most significant in recent months.
We're talking about the BYD Seagull, the smallest and newest vehicle in the automaker's Ocean series, which also includes the Seal compact executive sedan and Dolphin subcompact MPV.
While not officially revealed yet, the BYD Seagull's design has been uncovered by the country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) as part of the homologation process – as is the case with most new car launches in China nowadays.
The Seagull is a five-door small hatchback that bridges the gap between the city car and subcompact segments, measuring 3,780 millimeters (148.8 inches) in length, 1,715 mm (67.5 in) in width and 1,540 mm (60.6 in) in height, with a wheelbase of 2,500 mm (98.4 in).
This makes it 345 mm (13.6 in) shorter, 55 mm (2.1 in) narrower and 30 mm (1.2 in) lower than the BYD Dolphin.
Gallery: BYD Seagull leaked photos
The four-seat Seagull will compete with the likes of Ora White Cat and Leap T03 in China, among other small EVs.
According to MIIT (via CarNewsChina) the Seagull is powered by an LFP battery made by FinDreams, a BYD subsidiary. The capacity is unknown, but previous local reports speculated it will reach 30.7 kWh. The battery powers an electric motor (codenamed TZ180XSH) with a power output of 55 kilowatts (74 horsepower).
From a styling standpoint, the BYD Seagull looks somewhat similar to the Dolphin, if a bit more daring. Highlights include the sharp headlights – available with LEDs – large windshield equipped with a single wiper, floating roof design, rear LED light bar that reminds of the BYD D1 minivan, and sporty roof spoiler.
While MIIT did not publish photos of the interior, a set of spy shots from August 2022 revealed a dashboard inspired by that of the BYD Dolphin, with a big floating central touchscreen, a smaller digital instrument panel behind the steering wheel, and a phone pad underneath the central display bordered by a block of physical buttons.
The BYD Seagull is expected to enter production soon and hit the Chinese market in April. Prices will reportedly range between 60,000 and 100,000 yuan ($8,850-$14,750), which would make it a very tempting proposition for young or first-time EV buyers.