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Denza Z9GT to fight Porsche Taycan in race for EV super-saloon supremacy

Sub-brand could be the next BYD brand to launch in Europe, and it looks like BMW should be very worried…

Denza Z9GT - front

BYD has fired a warning shot across the bows of BMW, Mercedes and Porsche with the new Denza Z9GT, a premium fastback that’s set to reach Europe in 2025.

Originally launched in conjunction with Mercedes, Denza is a brand with a more premium positioning than BYD’s self-badged products – and the Chinese company plans to launch it in Europe, including the UK, over the next 18 months. 

So far Denza’s range comprises the D9, a luxury-focused MPV that’s likely to spearhead the brand’s push beyond China, and the N7, a mid-size SUV. The Z9GT marks a major step in design and execution for Denza, though. 

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Created under the guidance of BYD’s group design chief Walter Egger, it mixes a muscular front end with pronounced rear haunches and a fastback profile that’s not dissimilar to the look of the Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo. BYD says the design mixes “subtle yet revealing” Far-Eastern cues with simplified “Bauhaus philosophy” – and there’s no doubt that the model looks like a more global creation than the other two vehicles in the maker’s line-up.

The car is 5,180mm long and 1,990mm wide; slightly larger overall than the Taycan Sport Turismo, but smaller than the latest Porsche Panamera. But the Z9GT’s wheelbase is significantly longer than both of those cars’, potentially delivering better cabin space.

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BYD launched the car at the Beijing Motor Show as a design only, so technical details are thin on the ground for now. However, we know that the Z9GT is a pure EV, and that it’s likely to be based on the same e-Platform 3.0 as the BYD Seal. That should allow it to be offered with a choice of single-motor rear, or triple-motor four-wheel drive layouts, along with BYD’s ‘blade’ battery technology and an LFP-chemistry pack measuring at least 80kWh. The maximum power output of the highest-performance derivative is said to be 952bhp.

Denza Z9GT - rear

BYD’s Beijing show car didn’t have a functioning interior and the company hasn’t released any details on what the cabin might look like, but based on existing Denzas, it’s likely to include an infotainment screen measuring at least 15 inches, along with a second display for the front passenger. It could, potentially, feature front seatback-mounted displays for those in the second row, too.

Denza could well be the second BYD brand to reach UK showrooms. The company’s executive vice-president Stella Li has indicated that BYD plans to badge its Fangchengbao models as Denzas for Europe, boosting the offering to include chunky off-road-focused plug-in hybrid SUVs alongside the likes of the Z9GT.

What do you think of the Denza Z9GT? Let us know in the comments...

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Deputy editor

Richard has been part of the team for over a decade. During this time he has covered a huge amount of news and reviews for Auto Express, as well as being the face of Carbuyer and DrivingElectric on Youtube. In his current role as deputy editor, he is now responsible for keeping our content flowing and managing our team of talented writers.

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