Media representatives from across Asia-Pacific recently had the thrilling opportunity to experience first-hand both the prowess and technological innovations of the all-electric BYD Seal at the Zhuhai International Circuit (ZIC) in China.
The best time to test drive a vehicle is in the rain, and The Bruneian had the chance to test that theory during a typhoon season which brought in heavy rains and wind in the city of Zhuhai.
Through the twists and turns and wet weather, getting behind the wheel of the BYD Seal during the ‘Innovation Meets Acceleration’ event was both an exhilarating and comfortable experience.
Before the driving activities began, we were briefed on the highlighted technology features of the BYD Seal which involved the Cell-To-Body (CTB) construction, Blade battery, and robust safety features.
The BYD Seal is the first model equipped with the Cell-to-Body (CTB) technology, which incorporates a blade battery into the vehicle’s construction to improve handling, performance, safety, and stability.
To further test out the capabilities of its technology, The Bruneian had a chance to experience the all-electric sports saloon further through several courses around the Zhuhai International Circuit (ZIC).
The Zhuhai International Circuit (ZIC) is 4.3 km in length and runs clockwise featuring 14 turns with nine right turns and five left turns.
The track also features a combination of long straights, high-speed corners and sharp hairpins, making it a true test of a driver’s skill and strategy.
During the event, the available BYD Seal model range for the driving programme were the rear-wheel drive (RWD) and an all-wheel drive (AWD) version.
In a series of courses involving high-speed lane changes, our first course was the slalom session.
During the course, the BYD Seal surprised us by ducking between the cones with ease. In maneuverability, the all-wheel drive sedan steering provides a new sensation with less needed steering effort and is easier to control.
The performance sedan cuts around cones without much body roll or dive which inspired confidence in fast-paced handling, thanks to the battery integrated into the chassis and stiffer body that enhances the Seals cornering ability.
Up next was a series of exercises around the race track including acceleration, emergency braking and corner exercises lead by professional race car driver from China, Zhen Zhuowei.
In every challenge, the BYD Seal is simply fun to drive. It pulls hard and quick, the suspension is extremely tight and the steering is actually quite responsive.
When it comes to braking performance, BYD sets themselves to a high standard. Which is felt throughout in the Seal, featuring an impressive and powerful braking system inspiring stability and confidence on the slippery road surfaces.
Not only, the drive also showcased BYD’s latest intelligent Torque Adaptation Control (iTAC) system which reduces the risk of skidding and improves handling for a smooth driving experience, especially during wet weather.
As for performance and power, during our final session we had the opportunity to push the BYD Seal to its limit and even tried out its safety features during the hot laps course.
All dressed in white balaclavas and headgear, each participant was given a chance to do a full lap of the race track under the guidance of an instructor.
The BYD Seal proved itself to be extremely agile during the hot laps with the high-performance sports sedan best experienced tearing around a track or charging hard through tight curves.
According to BYD, The Seal AWD version features a dual-motor all-wheel drive configuration with 390kW of power that can easily accelerate from 0 – 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds.
Even when tested to its full speed potential through the wet race track, the Seal is firmly planted on the road with quite a strong grip, making our drive smooth and confident.
During the laps, it was also easy to exceed the speed limit without even realising it. However, the BYD Seal has an array of innovation that keeps both drivers and passengers safe and certainly makes our driving easier.
BYD Seal: Sleek Exterior and Premium Interior
At first sight, the BYD Seal is captivating in design.
During the during the Media Track Day, we got a chance to get up close and personal with the BYD Seal.
Outside, the all-electric sports sedan is definitely a head-turner; based on the company’s signature ‘marine design’ language, which harmonises functionality and elegance inspired by the ocean.
The front of the BYD Seal follows the X design concept, with nicely sculpted edges and aerodynamic lines giving the 5-seater a more sportier and refined look.
Indeed, BYD has done a terrific job, bestowing an air of elegance and athleticism upon a conventional sedan silhouette.
As you slide inside the car, the BYD Seal will surely entice you, sporting quilted leather seats, high-quality materials throughout the cabin and an array of new technology.
As observed by the majority of the media during the event, what impresses the most is the comfort, both from the driver and passenger perspective.
The five-seater layout gives a good sense of space — in the rear head and legroom with the panoramic sunroof truly gives it that open feel.
Not only that, but the cockpit wraps around the driver, putting all controls and dials within easy reach.
The cabin of the five-seater also maintains a focus on technology, creating a modern ambiance to appeal to tech-savvy customers.
At the heart of the cabin, like the ATTO 3, the Seal also gets a rotating 15.6-inch infotainment display in the centre console, with the driver getting a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a head-up display.
All and all, with an impressive blend of power, performance and cutting-edge technology the BYD Seal is an awe-inspiring new entry into the D-segment electric sedans.
Visiting the BYD Headquarters at Shenzhen
During the final day, media representatives had the chance to visit the BYD Corporate Headquarters in Shenzhen, China.
Once inside the glass doors of the headquarters, customers are greeted to a vast and modern showroom displaying the entry-level BYD Seagull, the premium Denza N7, and Denza D9, luxury off-roader, the YangWang U8 and more.
We were then given a tour of the BYD Museum which provided us an eye-opening insight into the rich company’s history with all its milestones from its beginnings to the present day and Its innovative electric vehicle line-up.
Founded in Shenzhen, China, in 1995, the company has evolved from a rechargeable battery manufacturer into the world’s largest manufacturers of electric vehicles (EVs) and batteries.
During the tour we also witnessed the company’s diverse portfolio and its commitment towards sustainability extending beyond automobiles including electric buses, trucks, energy storage solutions and more.
Another highlight of the tour was the nail penetration test on the BYD Blade battery and the NCM battery.
While undergoing nail penetration tests, the NCM bursts into flames, whereas the Blade Battery emits neither smoke nor fire and its surface temperature rises no higher than 60°C.
Also on display is the BYD Han, positioning itself as the flagship electric luxury sedan. The Han offers an impressive range, cutting-edge technology, and sleek and razor-sharp appearance, a sleek design that is definitely a head-turner.
Not only that, the media also had the chance to take some of their cars including the BYD Dolphin, Seal, Han, Tan and Denza N7 for a ride around the headquarters.
Altogether, the headquarters and museum tour has been quite an eye-opening and immersive learning experience.
Brunei’s potential for an electrifying future
The automotive industry has recently witnessed a growing shift towards electric vehicles (EVs) in Southeast Asia, however Brunei’s EV adoption rate still remains low.
Introducing publicly accessible charging stations and attractive incentives could help boost the future demand for EVs in Brunei, highlighted General Manager of BYD Asia-Pacific Auto Sales Division Liu Xueliang in an interview during the BYD Media Track Day.
“In my opinion, I believe that Brunei can push to popularise EVs. This is because from the aspects of overall economy, environmental conservation as well as energy, EVs are essential for the Brunei market,” he said.
With EVs driving distances of over 400 kilometres, there will be no issue over using EVs in Brunei, Liu Xueling said.
“Looking at popularising the use of EV, I feel that there is still room for improvement. We believe that the popularisation of EVs in Brunei is not only good for the country’s growth, but will also give a good image on the global stage,” he added.
“EV is a very new industry. So, at any market, the development of the new industry can only be achieved with government support,” he said.
He also highlighted that many countries have provided tax-free and incentives for EVs and hopes that Brunei will provide EVs a fair chance to progress further.
THE BRUNEIAN | ZHUHAI