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Australia's new passenger-car "King" from China? New BYD trademark points to new plug-in hybrid Toyota Camry and Mazda6 rival for Australia

BYD King incoming?

Two mysterious new BYD trademarks point to the Chinese brand taking on the heavy hitters of the passenger-car space – putting the Toyota Camry and Mazda6 squarely in its sights.

The brand lodged an application with Australia's patent office to secure the names King and King L for our market, as well as the name Shark which we expect to be applied to its incoming ute.

If BYD in Australia go with Shark, it will be in keeping with international markets, where similar trademarks have appeared, largely in South and Central America. Interestingly, the brand has specifically called out "pickup trucks" in the classification description in its Shark application.

But that leaves us with the King and King L, and again we look to overseas markets for clues.

The BYD King, which is thought to be the international moniker given to the Chinese market BYD Qin, is a passenger sedan powered by the brand's DM-i (Dual Motor Intelligence) plug-in hybrid system, which will soon debut in Australia in the Seal U mid-size SUV, as well as in the Shark ute.

According to the model's Chinese specs, the King will be fitted with a 1.5-litre petrol engine that generates around 81kW and 135Nm. It is paired with an electric motor generating its own 132kW and 316Nm.

As standard, the King is fitted with an 8.32kWh "Blade" battery, which allows for a 55km NEDC EV only driving range. There is also a long-range option, which swaps the smaller battery for a bigger 18.32kWh battery, upping the EV range to 120km NEDC.

BYD's coming plug-in hybrid dual-cab ute is expected to be called Shark.

The Qin, or King, measures 4765mm in length, 1837mm in width, and 1495mm in height, with a wheelbase of 2718mm. The L version, though, is bigger still, measuring 4830mm in length, 1900mm in width, and 1495mm in height, with a wheelbase of 2790mm.

Impressively, the brand claims the the King can deliver a total 1245km driving range, and will sip an average 3.8L/100km.

BYD has previously described its Dual Motor Intelligence plug-in hybrid technology as a "best of both worlds" solution.

"It is the best of both worlds – 100kms range on pure electric, and then switch over to the dual-motor technology. So we're going to have a vehicle of circa-1000kms, if not more range, but when you're driving around the city you'll be fully electric," EVDirect founder Luke Todd has said of DM-i tech.

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to the Nissan Pulsar Reebok that shook like it was possessed by a particularly mean-spirited demon every time he dared push past 40km/h, his personal car history isn't exactly littered with gold. But that seemingly endless procession of rust-savaged hate machines taught him something even more important; that cars are more than a collection of nuts, bolts and petrol. They're your ticket to freedom, a way to unlock incredible experiences, rolling invitations to incredible adventures. They have soul. And so, somehow, the car bug still bit. And it bit hard. When "Chesto" started his journalism career with News Ltd's Sunday and Daily Telegraph newspapers, he covered just about everything, from business to real estate, courts to crime, before settling into state political reporting at NSW Parliament House. But the automotive world's siren song soon sounded again, and he begged anyone who would listen for the opportunity to write about cars. Eventually they listened, and his career since has seen him filing car news, reviews and features for TopGear, Wheels, Motor and, of course, CarsGuide, as well as many, many others. More than a decade later, and the car bug is yet to relinquish its toothy grip. And if you ask Chesto, he thinks it never will.
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