The new BYD DOLPHIN – first model in what its Chinese automaker calls their ‘Ocean’ series – has arrived in Ireland and can be seen at BYD dealerships in Dublin and Cork.
Taking its place alongside the BYD ATTO 3 SUV (which launched here last April), the battery powered DOLPHIN is a compact C-segment hatchback whose wide range of standard features and competitive price offering will likely appeal to eco-friendly Irish motorists keen to embrace lower-cost, emissions-free, all-electric motoring.
Soon to be followed here by the new SEAL – second model in BYD’s ‘Ocean’ series – the DOLPHIN is at first distinguishable by its visually-appealing European good looks – the leader of BYD’s design team being a distinguished veteran of the German auto industry.
Built on BYD’s state-of-the-art e-Platform 3.0, and powered by their highly efficient 60.4 kWh LFP Blade Battery, DOLPHIN boasts a range of 427km (WLTP) with a 30% to 80% fast charging speed of 29 minutes.
Available in a choice of four trim levels – Active, Boost, Comfort & Design – each DOLPHIN comes equipped with a wide range of standard specifications tagged to a competitive price offering that – in the case of first-arrivals Comfort and Design models – begins from €29,318 after state subsidies. Information regarding Active and Boost models will be announced nearer to their market entry early next year.
Combining BYD’s game-changing EV technology with an abundance of standard equipment and its playful ‘Ocean Aesthetics’ design concept, DOLPHIN represents what BYD says is ‘the epitome of safe, efficient and practical eco-friendly motoring, priced to make high-tech electric mobility accessible to more consumers’.
Eye-catching features are its rounded profile and side silhouette resembling what its designers call ‘the graceful lines of a leaping dolphin’. Inspired also by the dolphin’s own natural characteristics, designers have given DOLPHIN a two-tone body available in seven colour combinations, echoing the colours inside and out to create a feeling of exclusivity.
Measuring 4,290 mm long, 1,570 mm high, and 1,770 mm wide, with wing mirrors unfolded, its long 2,700 mm wheelbase and short front/rear overhangs combine to give it a more spacious appearance, optimised for space and passenger comfort.
Inside, DOLPHIN has a light and airy feel with space for five occupants. Ergonomically designed sports seats and headrests are made from vegan leather. Front seats have 6-way electric adjustment for the driver and 4-way electric adjustment for the front passenger. Seats have shoulder and back support, optimised with body-hugging wings for a more comfortable, wraparound ride. Rear seats provide generous legroom for passengers.
Rear seats split 60:40 allow its 345-litre boot to expand to 1,310 litres when both seats are folded flat – space sufficient to carry four standard 20-inch suitcases, enlarged by over 20 tucked-away spaces for knick-knacks and the like. One standard element is a 3.3kW external discharge ‘vehicle-to-load’ facility which can be used to charge accessories and power external devices.
Standard across the board is an abundance of safety and advanced driver assistance features. Cutting-edge lighting technology provides a broader beam of light to enhance visibility when driving at night, with High Beam Assist, Adaptive Front Headlights and Follow Me Home lighting as standard.
All models come equipped with Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Rear Collision Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Brake, Lane Departure Prevention and Emergency Lane Keeping Assist. Adding to the enjoyment of driving DOLPHIN is Adaptive Cruise Control and Intelligent Cruise Control. A panoramic camera gives the driver 360-degrees visibility for safe vehicle manoeuvring. Additional driver aids include Blind Spot Detection System, Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control, Hill Decent Control, Automatic Vehicle Hold, and Traffic Sign Recognition with Intelligent Speed Limit Control.