Chinese automaker BYD is poised to profit from two converging trends: the government’s support for new energy vehicles, and what the company calls China’s insatiable appetite for SUVs. BYD has begun taking pre-orders for the Tang, a plug-in SUV that’s named for the most prosperous of Chinese dynasties.
The Tang is built on BYD’s second-generation DM (Dual-Mode) PHEV platform. Its 2.0-liter gas engine and front and rear 110 kW electric motors deliver total system output of 498 hp and 605 lb-ft of torque for the entry-level model (551 hp and 642 lb-ft for the performance model). Both models go from 0-60 in under 5 seconds. The 18.4 kWh Li-iron phosphate battery pack yields an electric range of around 80 km (50 miles). The driver can switch between all-electric and hybrid modes.
The entry-level model goes for 300,000 RMB ($48,306) before EV incentives, and the performance model is priced at about twice that.
BYD has also announced two more PHEVs that will become available later in 2015: the Song mid-size SUV and the Yuan compact SUV.