BYD Shark PHEV ute lands in New Zealand: first local pictures

David Linklater
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Advanced PHEV technology is key to the Shark's appeal in NZ against conventional diesel rivals.

Advanced PHEV technology is key to the Shark's appeal in NZ against conventional diesel rivals.

A local in the know has shared these images of the first BYD Shark to land in Auckland, New Zealand with DRIVEN Car Guide, ahead of the model's launch at Fieldays, Mystery Creek (June 12-15). It's pictured outside the distributor's head office in Mount Wellington.

BYD Shark 6.
Not just a Shark, but a 'Shark 6' according to the tailgate.

Shark is the next big thing for BYD in NZ, as well as being quite big: slightly larger than the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux.

While the Kiwi importer is still firm that it has nothing more to say about the new ute until Fieldays, the basic technical package is now well known: it's powered by a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine and proprietary BYD plug-in hybrid system that serves up 316kW combined and can deliver 100km pure-electric range - albeit under the quite lenient NEDC standard, with a NZ-specific 3P-WLTP figure still to come.

The battery comes with vehicle-to-load (V2L) technology, allowing the Shark to power external devices, while DC fast-charge capability means it can be recharged from 30-80 per cent in 20 minutes.

BYD Shark.
Shark uses BYD Blade battery tech, two electric motors... and a petrol engine.

It's 4WD, with electric motors front and rear. The petrol engine can only drive the front wheels directly, although the BYD hybrid system differs from the mainstream in that much more emphasis is placed on electric power with assistance from petrol, not the other way around.

The powertrain is similar to that used in the just-announced Sealion 6 SUV.

The performance (it's more powerful than a Ranger Raptor) and potential fuel efficiency look enlightening against conventional ute rivals, although preliminary figures from the launch in Mexico earlier this month suggest Shark is down on towing (2.5t) and payload (835kg) against established one-tonners. However, these are yet to confirmed for the Kiwi-spec model.

One final observation from our shoot-and-run photographer: this NZ vehicle is badged Shark 6, suggesting further variants are on the way.

First deliveries to Kiwi customers are expected in October.

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