BYD’s New Shark Borrows F-150 Looks To Take On The Hilux

This new pickup from BYD also should boast shark-like speed from its 480 hp PHEV powertrain. 

Following closely on from BYD’s ambition to take on Tesla with its Model 3-rivalling Seal, the Chinese EV giant has since decided to challenge Toyota too with a recent tease of its new pickup truck. One which incidentally now finally has a name attached to it: Shark, to presumably chomp down on the whales that have long dominated this segment. 

Though while there are still a few innuendos that can be made from that name, what is perhaps more pertinent to detail here is for much of the Shark’s exterior and interior have seen floated onto the internet. So here therefore is just a quick run through on what to expect from this upcoming BYD pickup, ahead of its official launch at the Beijing Auto Show later this week. 

Starting with its exterior first, the leaked photos of the Shark has revealed for this pickup to have borrowed quite a lot of design cues from Ford’s F-150 series. Something that is made all the more clear from the Chinese automaker’s own teaser for the truck, with the lighting signature from its full-width LED bar up front looking more Blue Oval than BYD. 

To make matters (subjectively) worse too, the Shark loses the Ford’s sleek nose by instead featuring a protruding snout with the words BYD emblazoned across it. The Chinese automaker does nevertheless double-down on the macho theme with a chunky aluminium-style skid plate at the front to match the chunky grille, with side steps between its dual-tone alloys then underlining its rather slab-sided profile boxy side. 

As for things even further back meanwhile, the leaked pictures of the Shark shows it to feature a roll bar on the rear bed and a full-width light bar across its tailgate. Though perhaps the most intriguing thing regarding this BYD round its rump is the presence of an exhaust pipe, as under its hood up front is to be a PHEV powertrain!

The exact details regarding what will power the Shark is still murky thus far, but it has been revealed for this pickup to be sitting on BYD’s DMO Super Hybrid Off-road Platform. And while exact technical details remain elusive, there have been reports touting for this all-wheel drive plug-in hybrid setup is expected to pack a nearly 480 hp punch. 

Latest reports further suggest for the Shark’s on-board Blade batteries integrated within its ladder chassis will offer an electric range of approximately 100 km, and achieve up to a combined driving distance of up to 1,000 km. While it is still an unknown too on whether a full EV powertrain will be offered with this pickup, the possibility is nevertheless high considering that this is a BYD after all. 

Turning towards the cabin of this Shark now, this BYD pickup has brought with it some more rugged elements to the automaker’s conventional floating instrument screen and rotatable central infotainment screen dashboard setup. These include chunky grab handles on either side of the centre console and a shelf built into the passenger dash pad, while orange highlights around the vents and similarly vibrant contrast stitching doing their bit to liven up the cabin a tad. 

Interestingly enough, while it might not look it too, this Shark is to technically be slightly larger than a Hilux. The Chinese automaker has since confirmed that this pickup measures 5,457 mm long and 1,971 mm wide, with a 3,260 mm (128.3 inches) wheelbase, which therefore sees for it to be slot in somewhere between the aforementioned Japanese pickup and the full-sized American alternative that it has mimicked the look of.

It is currently predicted that Mexico will be among the markets that BYD will be launching this truck in, given that all these leaked photographs came from over there. It is similarly expected to be sold in China and Australia too, as well as in ASEAN in the near future. 

So, could the venerable Hailak vernacular soon be replaced by Shark? 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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