BYD ‘R’ premium EV brand to debut with an off-road vehicle [Update]

According to a report from d1ev.com, BYD R (internal codename for BYD’s upcoming premium EV brand) will first launch a hard-core off-road electric vehicle, which could be followed by launches in segments such as the electric MPV and electric sports coupe.

On BYD’s upcoming premium brand

At this year’s Guangzhou Motor Show (19-28 Nov 2021), Du Guozhong, deputy general manager of BYD’s brand and public relations division, said that the initial model from the future premium brand, and the brand itself, will be launched in the first half of 2022. The name of the brand is unfinalized, but as per d1ev, it would be trendy. The report adds that the codename ‘R’ signifies the English word ‘Revolution.’

BYD Tang EV Norway first delivery
In September this year, BYD commenced deliveries of the Tang EV in Norway, and once the premium brand is launched in China, it should ship vehicles to overseas markets. Image: BYD

BYD R’s first products

Du Guozhong confirmed that the first model of the high-end brand is a hard-core off-road vehicle, with a price in the region of 500,000-900,000 yuan (USD 78,000 to USD 140,000) with a launch planned in the first half of 2022.

BYD’s new product roadmap for the next 1-3 years has emerged on Chinese media portals (published on Sohu), revealing further details about the luxury brand. The first model will rival Mercedes-Benz’s G-Class, or “大G (Big G),” as the document states. It will be available as a PHEV and an EV, and the latter could rival the Mercedes EQG due in 2024. BYD officials had said at the 2021 Guangzhou Auto Show held in November 2021 that the new electrified SUV will arrive in H1 2022.

While we do not have products specs, the Chinese media indicate that the electric SUV (and an electric sports coupe which will follow) will feature a state-of-the-art powertrain. The launch vehicle will come with 800+ km (500 miles) of range, active suspension, and possibly four-wheel steering with BYD’s version of a CrabWalk (seen on the GMC Hummer).

The BYD Blade Battery should power the products, which features lithium iron phosphate and has singular cells arranged together and then inserted into the battery pack. It improves space utilization by over 50 percent BYD claims. Combined with the BYD e-platform 3.0, we expect the upcoming electric SUV to hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in sub-5 seconds, and offer an 800V charging architecture.

BYD Yuan Plus interior teaser
Warren Buffet-backed BYD targets premium specifications for the sub-brand, and local media report the exterior and interior design will be unlike anything from before. Image: BYD Yuan’s interior sketch courtesy of BYD.

A product the sub-brand will look at introducing will be an electric MPV, considering the relaxation by the Chinese government on the two-child policy. On November 8, Zhao Changjiang, BYD’s director of the high-end brand, took to social media to collect feedback for a large 7-seat MPV. Other companies have scrambled to launch electric MPVs, and there are nearly a dozen expected in the next two years including the Maxus MIFA 9 and the Zeekr 002.

BYD could showcase the first product of its new luxury brand at Auto China 2022, which will take place between 21 and 30 April 2022.

Featured Image: BYD MPV model, courtesy BYD