Details are emerging about BYD upcoming model, “Qin.” Named after China’s first empire, the car is shaping up to be quite groundbreaking on a number of fronts.
The “Qin” plug-in, like its poor-selling cousin, the F3DM, uses BYD’s own LiFePo4 battery. The LiFePo4 battery has a high energy density, can withstand up to 4000 charges while still retaining 80% performance, and is environmentally benign as it uses no toxic heavy metals in its manufacture.
In the “Qin,” BYD opted for a smaller battery of 10kwh instead of the 16kwh model used on the F3dm. Due to its smaller size and improved design, the new battery is about 50% smaller and lighter than the one used on the F3dm. This reduced size also translates into reduced price, but does come at the expense of a slightly reduced all-electric range. The “Qin” is said to be able to go 50km (31 miles) in all electric mode before the engine kicks in.
Besides more powerful electric motors (110kw), the “Qin” dumps its 1.0L engine in exchange for BYD’s own 1.5L turbo-charged direct-injected engine. This allows the car to reach a rumored 185 kph (115 mph) and accelerate 1-100kph (0-60mph) in just 6.9 seconds…a full two seconds faster than the Chevy Volt. Owing to its smaller battery and increased wheelbase, the “Qin” will have more interior space than its predecessor.
The “Qin” has greatly improved styling over BYD’s earlier models, most notably in the car’s interior, which is impressive. The carÂ featuresÂ two large TFT LCD displays and a mysterious “robot” on the dashboard. Details areÂ sketchyÂ at this time, but the “robot” appears to pop out from underneath the dashboard and is outfitted with cameras. It is likely the terminal of BYD’s “i” networking system which handles everything from wireless internet, cloud computing, location services, music downloads, driver fatigue detection, and voice control.
Ultimately, the success or failure of the “Qin” will depend on product quality and price. With its recent warranty extension, BYD has leaped ahead most of its Chinese rivals in the quality department. One thing is certain, the “Qin” will not be cheap. The price of the vehicle is expected to come in around 150,000-200,000rmb or about $24,000- $32,000USD. However, it may qualify for Â subsidies of up to 80,000rmb as well as exemptions from China’s Travel Tax, Vehicle Purchase Tax, and a reduced VAT tax due to it being an eco-friendly vehicle.
Regardless, the “Qin” is impressive vehicle and could end up stealing the show at the upcoming Beijing Auto Show where more details will be revealed.