It’s no secret BYD is looking to expand beyond their current core models – the Atto 3 SUV, Dolphin hatch and Seal sedan, and one of the models in development is a ute which will please Australian buyers.
Revealed in patent images uncovered by CarNewsChina, the images give us a first glimpse of the brand’s first ute.
The design seems to borrow heavily from heavy-duty American utes, which are in vogue at the moment.
At the front, there’s a bold front grille with giant ‘BYD’ lettering not dissimilar to the latest Ford Ranger. Elsewhere, the blacked-out A-pillar and fast windscreen lends a sporty theme to the otherwise utilitarian design.
The top-down view also reveals the availability of a sunroof; a telling sign of the market segment the brand is targeting.
According to Chinese insiders, the ute will launch in its home market in the fourth quarter of this year with an undetermined plug-in hybrid system, with a full EV version to follow. Australian is expected to be sometime next year.
BYD’s local distributor, EV Direct has already confirmed in a first for BYD, the ute will undergo Australian testing and evaluation programmes to tailor the ute to local conditions.
As for the name, nothing has been announced although BYD says the ute is part of the ‘Ocean Series’ of vehicles which takes on animal monikers such as the Dolphin and Seal for fully electric vehicles, and vessels for plug-in hybrids. It might be called a Whale perhaps?