BYD Seal X: Ocean-M hot hatch concept heads into production

Jet Sanchez
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Can the BYD Seal X hold its own against the MG4?

Can the BYD Seal X hold its own against the MG4?

The BYD Ocean-M was one of the many intriguing concepts shown at the recent 2024 Beijing Auto Show, and now it's getting a production version dubbed the BYD Seal X.

This latest revelation, sourced from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), showcases significant design simplifications as the vehicle transitions from concept to production. 

The Seal X joins the ranks of BYD's expanding Ocean series, marking a significant step in the brand's electric vehicle (EV) ambitions.

Design evolution

BYD Ocean-M concept
BYD Ocean-M concept

The Seal X retains the aggressive stance and angular headlights of the Ocean-M concept, but it sees a departure from the more flamboyant aerodynamic features that characterised the show model unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show. 

Notably absent in the production model are the pronounced aerodynamic splitter and the large air intakes on the hood that were prominent in the concept.

 BYD Seal X New Zealand

Further modifications are evident along the sides and rear of the vehicle. The production version discards the large aero fins that adorned the concept’s skirts and replaces the fixed rear wing with a simpler yet still sharp-looking rear diffuser. 

These changes suggest a shift towards practicality and manufacturability, without completely sacrificing the sporty aesthetic.

Powertrain options

BYD Seal X New Zealand

Prospective buyers of the Seal X will have a choice between two power configurations. The base model features a single rear-mounted electric motor that delivers 160kW, making it a spirited option for everyday driving.

For those seeking more thrill, a dual-motor setup with a more robust 310 kW will also be available, promising exhilarating performance.

BYD Ocean-M concept
BYD Ocean-M concept

Both Seal X variants are equipped with BYD’s proprietary lithium-iron phosphate Blade batteries, developed by its FinDreams battery division. Range figures are yet unavailable.

For some perspective on its power output, one of Seal X's prospective rivals, the MG4, delivers 125kW in its base Excite 51 configuration and 320kW in its performance-oriented XPower guise.

Market impact

BYD Ocean-M concept
BYD Ocean-M concept

The introduction of the Seal X is poised to stir the EV market, particularly in the hot hatch segment. 

As consumers increasingly lean towards environmentally friendly yet performance-oriented vehicles, the Seal X stands out with its blend of practical design modifications and robust power options.

BYD's strategic pivot from the conceptual extremes of the Ocean-M to the more toned-down Seal X could well be a masterstroke in appealing to a broader audience while maintaining enough flair to excite the enthusiasts. 

This model is expected to hit the markets soon, complete with a small LiDAR system that hints at advanced driving aids and autonomous capabilities.

There's no word yet on whether New Zealand will see this new hot hatch from BYD, but we like our chances. In the meantime, BYD still offers the Seal sedan in the country, bringing the best of what the Chinese brand has to offer.

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