Inicio BYD Upcoming BYD plug-in hybrid ute spotted in North America

Upcoming BYD plug-in hybrid ute spotted in North America

Upcoming BYD plug-in hybrid ute spotted in North America

BYD’s much-anticipated plug-in hybrid ute has been spotted again, this time in the sandy plains of Mexico.

The upcoming electrified utility vehicle is poised to disrupt a hot New Zealand ute market contested by old-guard and newcomers alike.

BYD hybrid ute platform and design

BYD plug-in hybrid ute

Based on sources out of China, the upcoming ute is based on BYD’s DMO platform, noted for its innovative approach to off-road capabilities.

Its design includes a non-load-bearing frame optimised for hybrid systems, featuring a longitudinal high-performance engine within a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) setup.

«The platform offers a revolutionary off-road experience with cutting-edge technology for an unparalleled adventure,» a BYD spokesperson shared.

With a length of 5457mm, a width of 1971mm, and a wheelbase of 3260mm, the ute is substantial in size, easily clearing the Hilux and rivalling the Ranger Raptor.

The exterior boasts prominent BYD branding on its grille, adding to its distinct identity. The camo wrap also appears to feature shark-inspired graphics, but more on that later.

BYD DMO platform

This vehicle utilises cell-to-chassis (CTC) technology, which not only reduces weight but also enhances structural rigidity. CTC also helps boost torsional stiffness while significantly reducing vibrations, making it ideal for diverse and challenging landscapes. 

BYD went with an independent double wishbone suspension for both the front and rear, complemented by dual-motor electric four-wheel drive, allowing for a responsive and stable ride.

Meanwhile, interior spy shots reveal a robust layout featuring a large central infotainment system and a separate LCD for the instrument cluster, with robust grab handles integrated into the centre console. 

Plug-in hybrid power and performance

BYD plug-in hybrid ute New Zealand

BYD has reportedly equipped its ute with a 1.5-litre petrol engine as seen in the China-exclusive Fang Cheng Bao Leopard 5 SUV, although de-tuned from 505kW to around 350kW. Despite the throttling, that figure still bests the Ranger Raptor’s 292kW output from its 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6.

Battery specifics remain under wraps, though it may align with the Leopard 5’s 31.8kWh Blade battery, renowned for its CTC integration into the vehicle’s frame to boost safety and off-road performance.

BYD’s use of its self-developed DualMode DM-i (intelligent) and DM-p (powerful) technologies within the DMO platform highlights energy efficiency without sacrificing trail abilities. 

BYD plug-in hybrid ute New Zealand

BYD says the electric four-wheel-drive system smartly adjusts torque distribution between the axles in milliseconds, which can be crucial for navigating slippery or uneven surfaces. 

This setup is claimed to be vastly more efficient than traditional mechanical systems, offering speed adjustments up to 30 times quicker.

Another unique feature of the BYD ute is its 540-degree camera view, combining a 360-degree surround with a 180-degree undercarriage perspective, which will likely aid in manoeuvering challenging terrains. 

The vehicle also includes vehicle-to-load (V2L) capabilities, potentially matching the Leopard 5’s 6kW output.

2025 BYD PHEV ute market launch

BYD plug-in hybrid ute New Zealand

Expected to launch soon, with deliveries anticipated by year’s end, BYD’s new ute could be priced at around ¥200,000 (approximately NZ$46,500), according to rumours.

As for its name, ‘Shark‘ has been thrown around as a possibility after the discovery of a South African trademark filing in January. BYD is notably fond of naming its vehicles after aquatic animals; the brand’s Ocean series includes the Seagull, Dolphin, Seal and Sea Lion.

Whatever it’s called, BYD’s plug-in hybrid ute is poised to launch in New Zealand, although official details remain elusive. Likely rivals within the electrified ute category include the new mild-hybrid Toyota Hilux, the Ford Ranger PHEV, and the forthcoming GWM Cannon Alpha.