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New BYD Dolphin electric hatch starts from £25,490

BYD’s upcoming hatchback is aimed at budget EV sector

Chinese brand BYD has just launched its latest EV - the Dolphin. It’s a hatchback-sized pure-electric car designed to take the fight to the Vauxhall Corsa Electric, Volkswagen ID.3 and the MG4.

Sales of the Dolphin are expected to start in the summer, ahead of first deliveries in early 2024. The Dolphin will sit below BYD’s all-electric Atto 3 SUV in its lineup with prices starting from £25,490 - undercutting the Atto 3 by over £10,000.  The Dolphin uses the same e-platform 3.0 as the Atto 3, with an advanced ‘Blade’ battery design where the cells are integrated into the car’s structure instead of being collated into the usual packs.

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The Dolphin will be offered in four trim levels, Active, Boost, Comfort and Design. The entry level Active and Boost come with a 44.9kWh battery, which allows for 211 miles of range in the Active and 193 miles in the Boost. That’s because the Active comes with a 93bhp electric motor sending power to the front wheels (all Dolphins are front-wheel drive) and the Boost comes with 178bhp. 

The higher-spec Comfort and Design both come with the larger 60.4kWh battery to enable up to 265 miles of range. That also means there’s 204bhp and 310Nm of torque available for a 0-62mph time of seven seconds.

BYD hasn’t given charging speed figures for the smaller battery models but the ones fitted with the 60.4kWh unit will see a recharge rate of 88kW granted a 30-80 per cent top up in 29 minutes. Three-phase 11kW AC charging and a heat pump will both come as standard, too. There’s also a vehicle-to-load capacity to allow the Dolphin to charge external devices. 

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A heavily updated version of a model that’s already on sale in China, the Euro-spec BYD Dolphin is slightly larger, at around 4.3 metres long - almost 30cm longer than Vauxhall’s Corsa Electric but around 10cm shorter than the newly electrified Astra. BYD says the car’s rounded profile resembles a leaping Dolphin - hence the name. The Dolphin’s boot capacity is 345 litres, and this can be expanded to 1,310 litres when the rear seats are folded down – although this doesn’t leave a completely flat floor.

Even the entry-level Active model comes with the same 12.8-inch infotainment system as the Atto 3 – and as on that vehicle, it can rotate between portrait and landscape layouts. The electrically-operated front seats are upholstered in vegan leather. 

The Boost starts from £26,490 and beside the extra power you also get 17-inch two-tone wheels and a multi-link rear suspension. The Comfort is priced from £29,490 and comes with two front parking radars, heated front seats and an uprated sound system. The top-spec Design starts at £30,990 and adds two-tone exterior paint, tri-colour alloy wheels, a panoramic roof, tinted windows and a wireless smartphone charging pad.  

Now read our review of the BYD Dolphin...

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Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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