BYD Shark PHEV ute arrives in Mexico, NZ launch imminent

Jet Sanchez
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Chinese automotive giant BYD has officially unveiled its latest offering, the Shark plug-in hybrid (PHEV) ute, in the Mexican market. 

Known for combining robust power with innovative features, BYD emerges with the Shark as a formidable contender in the mid-size ute segment. 

Design and dimensions

BYD Shark New Zealand

By all indications, the BYD Shark draws inspiration from iconic American models (primarily Ford), sporting a distinct design highlighted by a bold BYD grille, vertical headlights and striking LED contour lighting. 

The ute's aesthetic is further enhanced with 18-inch alloy wheels, roof rails and a chase bar, closely mirroring the American ute style, yet with unique touches.

The Shark measures 5457mm in length, 1971mm in width, and 1925 mm in height, making it slightly longer than the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger but still shorter than the mammoth Jeep Gladiator.

Powertrain and performance

BYD Shark New Zealand

Under the bonnet, the Shark ute boasts a turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine that delivers around 320kW and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.7 seconds - quicker than a Ford Ranger Raptor and its twin-turbo petrol V6.

Its plug-in hybrid system enables the vehicle to cover 100km on pure electric power, according to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). 

What’s more, the battery can be charged from 30 to 80 per cent in roughly 20 minutes, ensuring minimal downtime.

Interior and technology

BYD Shark New Zealand

Inside, the Shark is equipped with a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12.8-inch infotainment system that, like most BYD offerings, features a rotating screen. 

The system supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and voice recognition technology. Unique to the Shark is its karaoke function, complete with an optional handheld microphone, adding a wacky touch of entertainment to the driving experience.

Tech and safety features

BYD Shark New Zealand

Beyond entertainment, the Shark is loaded with practical features such as a digital key, a 50W wireless smartphone charger and a 12-inch head-up display (HUD). The surround view monitor offers a glimpse of the terrain beneath the vehicle, enhancing driver awareness and safety. 

The new ute also includes an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), including features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and emergency lane change assist. Rounding out the active safety features are automatic emergency braking and forward & rear collision warning.

Pricing and availability

BYD Shark New Zealand

Priced competitively at MXN$899,980 (around NZ$88,400), the BYD Shark undercuts its rivals in Mexico by a significant margin, providing more features and power at a lower cost. 

This pricing strategy not only makes the Shark an attractive option for potential buyers but also signals BYD's aggressive push into international markets, challenging American dominance in the ute segment.

However, note that pricing doesn't always translate well across borders, given differences in taxes and import regulations.

Still, Kiwis won't have to speculate for long, as the New Zealand launch of BYD's Shark ute will occur at Fieldays on June 12, with the first right-hand drive example possibly debuting as soon as next week.

But it won't be the country's first PHEV ute at launch, as that distinction goes to the GWM Cannon Alpha, whose own competitive pricing was recently revealed.


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