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BYD’s 291bhp plug-in hybrid is coming to Europe

Chinese carmaker BYD has launched a high-performance plug-in hybrid in its domestic market, claiming a similar model will arrive in Europe during 2015.

The Qin, which will be sold in Europe under a different name, features a drivetrain combining a 152bhp 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine and 148bhp electric motor, both of which can work independently or in unison.

Working individually, the car offers a 44-mile electric range, contributing to a claimed 177mpg fuel economy figure on the combined cycle. With both power sources combined, it produces 191bhp and reaches 62mph in 5.9 seconds – slightly faster than the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid.

Drivers can make the most of its fully electric or hybrid capabilities using four driving modes. These comprise economy or performance-focused setups for electric or part-electric driving.

BYD said the development had been informed by the plug-in hybrid version of the F3 saloon, of which there are tens of thousands on the road in China. The first 100 examples of the Qin, which is priced between £19,645 and £21,715 in its home market, sold out via its website in two seconds, according to the manufacturer.


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