Chinese automaker BYD will launch a cut-price Land Rover Defender alternative next year. A rugged off-roader with 671 hp, the SUV is internally codenamed SF.
According to British outlet AutoCar, the SF will feature a plug-in hybrid powertrain with a range of more than 746 miles. Furthermore, it will be built on a ladder-frame chassis with front, center and rear differential locks.
The SF will cost between ¥400,000 and ¥600,000 ($57,000 and $86,000) in China depending on trim. Not bad, given the amount of power on offer. For reference, the most powerful version of the Land Rover Defender makes 518 hp and starts at $107,900.
BYD promises the SF will be sold globally. Whether that means it will launch in North America is another story. Selling a vehicle "globally" could simply imply sales in Asia and a handful of European nations. After all, despite being one of China's leading vehicle manufacturers BYD has little presence outside of Asia.
That said, the automaker is looking to build its presence in Europe and officially started selling cars in the UK earlier this year. The Atto 3 crossover is BYD's halo product in Europe. With a range of around 250 miles, the Atto 3 is a compelling Model Y alternative for the budget-conscious consumer.
A larger BYD off-roader with more luxury touches is also in the works. Dubbed the U8, it will target the Mercedes EQG. The U8 will be sold through BYD's new luxury sub-brand, Yangwang. The luxury off-roader will start at the equivalent of around $115,000 in China with top-of-the-line models exceeding $200,000. Unlike the SF, the U8 is not a plug-in hybrid but instead a full EV with over 1,000 hp.
Source: AutoCar UK