The BYD Seal U is the Chinese mid-size SUV that begins its first European deliveries this very month in the 100 per cent electric version, but at the Geneva Motor Show 2024 it will be revealed in a brand new plug-in hybrid variant.

Its full name is BYD Seal U DM-i and it represents the entry of BYD's Super DM (Dual Mode) technology in Europe, which combines a petrol engine, electric motor and BYD's Blade battery. It will arrive in Europe in spring.

A five-seater PHEV SUV 4.77 metres long

From the outside, the Seal U DM-i plug-in rechargeable differs from the electric variant in the slender air intakes in the centre of the front, while the rest of the styling remains virtually unchanged. The 19-inch alloy wheels have a two-tone finish.

BYD Seal U DM-i

BYD Seal U DM-i, front three-quarter view

The styling is therefore that of a modern, rounded SUV that carries forward BYD's 'Ocean Aesthetics' concept inspired by marine forms. The length is slightly less than that of the electric Seal U, coming in at 4.77 metres, while the width remains unchanged at 1.89 metres and the height increases only slightly to 1.67 metres.

BYD interior styling and large boot

Inside the BYD Seal U DM-i is a five-seat interior with vegan leather upholstery, ambient lighting and front seats with integrated headrests. The 'Ocean-heart' centre console houses the crystal-finished gearstick lever and a 15.6-inch in-dash rotating touchscreen. There are also voice commands, wireless charging for smartphones, Infinity premium audio system and OTA online updates.

BYD Seal U DM-i

BYD Seal U DM-i, the dashboard

The rear seat backrests can be folded down in a 60:40 ratio and give access to a luggage compartment with a load capacity ranging from a minimum of 552 to a maximum of 1,440 litres.

A plug-in hybrid system that promises much

Among the few technical features anticipated by BYD for its European version of the Seal U DM-i is the proprietary Dual Mode plug-in hybrid technology that prioritises operation in electric mode, as well as the Blade Battery with 'pulse heating' system that increases thermal efficiency by 10 per cent.

BYD Seal U DM-i

BYD Seal U DM-i, the charging socket

On request, the Seal U DM-i can also be fitted with DC charging, which enables the battery to be recharged from 30 to 80 per cent in 35 minutes. Standard on the other hand is the VTOL function for charging electrical devices by connecting them to the car.

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Chinese versions

The rest of the information for Europe is still top secret, but based on the versions already on sale in China (under the name BYD Song Plus Champion Edition) we can anticipate that the combustion engine is a classic 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with 110 PS, combined with a 197 PS electric motor.

BYD Seal U DM-i

BYD Seal U DM-i, the interior

Two different battery sizes are also available on the Chinese market, 18.3 and 26.6 kWh, which guarantee an electric range of 68 and 93 miles respectively according to the old NEDC cycle.


Prices have not yet been announced, but it is easy to imagine that the price list of the Seal U DM-i could start at well below €42,000 (approx. £36,000) for the electric version.

Availability for European customers is already planned from the second quarter of 2024, i.e. this spring.

Gallery: BYD Seal U DM-i