- Image courtesy of BYD
The Chinese car industry is oft-maligned, and sometimes for good reason. The BYD (Build Your Dreams - yes, really) marque has suffered its fair share of the slings and arrows of outraged journalists over the years, from the BMW-like badge it once wore, to the rather Mercedes-Benz-like exterior of its F8 convertible. BYD has however been concentrating on electric and hybrid drivetrains for its more recent offerings. The latest, a rather innocuous-looking 4 door saloon they call the Qin, is a hybrid with a 1.5 litre direct injection petrol motor powering the front wheels, coupled with an electric motor that can drive through the rear wheels. It can operate in petrol-only, electric-only or a combination of the two. When this last option is engaged, the Qin shows most small hybrid makers just how to do it. The combined hybrid system power of the Qin is 303 PS, and despite the rather hefty 1650 kg kerb weight, the Qin can really fly with that sort of power. It's 'Qin quick, in fact: 0-100 km/h is dispatched in a scant 5.9 seconds, and it hits 160 km/h (the old imperial ton) in a truly incredible 12.9 seconds. You can see it taking on and embarrassing a whole lot of more glamorous machinery over at China Car Times.
The Qin sits on a 2660 mm wheelbase and is 4740 mm long overall. The 1.5 litre direct injection turbocharged petrol engine displaces 1497 cc and produces 153 PS (151 bhp, 113 kW). The 500V electric motor that powers the rear wheels produces 150 PS (148 bhp, 110 kW) and the system has combined power and torque of 303 PS and 440 N·m. The power is transmitted through a six speed dual clutch automatic transmission.