BYD Sea Lion (Atto 5/Atto 6): China’s next Tesla Model Y challenger?

  • Will feature an ocean-themed exterior like the Seal, Dolphin, and Seagull
  • Will likely debut by April 2023
  • Expected to be priced in the CNY 200,000 and 250,000 (EUR 27,363-34,204) range
  • Will reportedly be launched in Australia and BYD's other overseas markets

The BYD Sea Lion is the company’s future mid-size electric SUV, a high-riding alternative to the BYD Seal. Featuring BYD’s nautical-themed naming convention, it will challenge the Tesla Model Y, and even the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Nissan Ariya.

Design

Going by recent spy photos, the BYD Sea Lion has a typical crossover design with a sleek greenhouse and a raked back glass. It features swept-back headlamps, a sporty front bumper with pentagon-shaped outer ends, and a prominent roof spoiler as well. The charging port is likely above the right-side rear wheel arch.

Recent spy pictures have revealed more of the Sea Lion’s exterior features. BYD has used flush door handles, a feature quickly becoming common among EVs, especially in China. In addition to giving the vehicle a more luxurious styling, flush door handles reduce air drag, effectively lowering energy consumption. The Sea Lion appears to have deployable flush door handles, which typically have touch sensors, and pop out electronically when needed. It features two-tone wheels with chrome spokes and what looks like gloss black covers to reduce air drag.

Interior

The SUV’s interior will likely be minimalist but more practical and realistic than the concept. One of the spy pictures reveals the Sea Lion’s floor console, including a Porsche 911-style, shaver-like gear selector, and a rotatable 15.6-inch touchscreen. The digital instrument cluster will likely measure 10.25 inches diagonally.

Specifications

BYD-X-Dream-concept-rear
The e-Platform 3.0 & Blade battery combination could be the common thread through the Ocean-inspired family. Like the Dolphin and Seal, the BYD Sea Lion and Seagull hold export potential. Image: BYD (X Dream Concept)

Local reports say that the BYD Sea Lion will measure 4,770 mm (187.8 in.) in length, 1,910 mm (75.2 in.) in width, and 1,620 mm (63.8 in.) in height. The new electric SUV will have a 2,900 mm (114.2 in.) wheelbase. It could have plenty in common with the BYD Seal, including the 82.2 kWh battery pack that provides the electric midsize sedan a 700 km (435 miles) CLTC range.

Second-gen BYD Blade battery

It is reported that BYD is developing a second-generation Blade battery with a high energy density of 180 Wh/kg, a significant improvement over the current Blade battery with an energy density of 150 Wh/kg. That, along with a fifth-generation chip, will reduce power consumption in BYD EVs by 20%, increase the driving range by 3 percent, and offer an increase in motor power and torque. That’s according to a news article from k.sina.com.cn, which also claims that the next-gen BYD blade battery is very likely to debut in one of the BYD Ocean series models. Note that BYD has issued no updates on the evolution of the Blade battery.

Price & Release Date

The BYD Sea Lion (codename: BYD UX) could debut in by April 2023. The mid-size electric SUV will reportedly cost between CNY 200,000 and 250,000 (EUR 27,363-34,204).

Australia could get the Sea Lion in the second half of 2023. Luke Todd, the CEO of BYD’s Australian importer EVDirect, has hinted to Drive that the Sea Lion could be one of the first five BYD EVs in the country. The website speculates that the model could be marketed as the BYD Atto 5 or BYD Atto 6.

TopElectricSUV says

The BYD Sea Lion will likely be a mid-size electric SUV, with a better value-for-money proposition than the Tesla Model Y. Featuring a futuristic design inspired by the company’s Ocean theme and the indigenously developed cell-to-body Blade battery, it could be another exciting launch in the electric SUV segment.

Also See: BYD Seagull hatchback to follow the Seal/Atto 4

BYD Sea Lion FAQs

What is the BYD Sea Lion release date?

The BYD Sea Lion will likely debut by April 2023.

What will be the BYD Sea Lion price?

The BYD Sea Lion will reportedly cost between CNY 200,000 and 250,000 (EUR 27,363-34,204).

Which EVs will be BYD Sea Lion rivals?

The BYD Sea Lion will compete with the likes of the Tesla Model Y, Nissan Ariya, and Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Featured Image: BYD X-Dream concept, courtesy BYD, used as representation.