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

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.

Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.

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