Inspired by the marine mammal we all know and love, the BYD Dolphin is the Chinese automaker’s latest entry-level offering, soon to be sold in the European market. Starting at just £25,800 in the United Kingdom or €29,990 in the rest of Europe, the Dolphin is BYD’s answer to the Volkswagen ID.3. 

Residing at 4,290 millimetres (168.9 inches) long, the Dolphin sits 165 mm (6.5 in) shorter than its Atto 3 sibling. Like the Atto 3, the Dolphin is propelled by a front-mounted electric motor. 

The Dolphin ships in four different variations: Active, Boost, Comfort, and Design. The first two trims will feature 45 kWh battery packs with 7 kilowatt (kW) AC charging and 60 kW DC fast charging. The Active will make a rather paltry 94 bhp, though the Boost will push 174 bhp along with an upgraded multi-link rear suspension. The former offers a WLTP range of 211 miles and the latter brings 188 miles to the table. Though, these won’t be available initially. 

The Comfort and Design versions step things up a notch. Packing a more substantial 60.4 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack with an 88 kW charge rate, they can travel 265 miles on the WLTP scale. The onboard AC charger gets a bump too with 11 kW. Power output also increases with a 201 bhp motor that’ll be good for a zero to 62 miles per hour run in seven seconds flat. 

Gallery: BYD Dolphin (Europa)

Standard features across all trims include a heat pump, 12.3-inch centre display, 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control, and a suite of safety features. Step up the top-tier Design trim, and in comes wireless phone charging, a panoramic glass roof, and a well-appointed cabin with sporty vegan leather seats paired with a black cabin headliner. 

Like all BYD cars, it features the somewhat inspirational ‘Build Your Dreams’ text inscribed across the rear. 

Deliveries of the Dolphin will begin in Q4 this year, following pre-orders starting this summer. The Dolphin’s launch will precede BYD’s other carnivorous sea mammal-inspired vehicle, the Seal. The Seal is a RWD-based saloon aiming to compete with the Tesla Model 3 and Volkswagen ID.7