The Dolphin Is BYD’s Answer To The Volkswagen ID.3

While looking like an ID.3 however, the BYD Dolphin could (theoretically) pack a Taycan-rivalling punch. 

Despite not being a relatively well-known brand outside of its home market of China, BYD is in fact one of the largest manufacturers of electrified vehicles in the world. And it may soon get even larger still, with the Chinese automaker set to debut its all-new mass-market compact EV. 

Dubbed the Dolphin, this all-electric city car would certainly be a departure from the Han luxury sedan and Tang SUV that BYD Auto is more commonly associated with. Though it does nevertheless share some similarities with another EV on the market currently, as there is no denying that this Chinese all-electric hatchback looks strikingly similar to the Volkswagen ID.3. 

Sure the Dolphin’s front and rear fascias are different to that of the ID.3, owing to some uniquely BYD lighting signatures on both ends. Look at it from the side however, and its blobby profile does bear more than a vague resemblence to Volkswagen’s own mass-market compact EV. With a similar C-pillar accent trim, as well as similar-looking star-shaped alloy wheel designs just further reinforcing that aforementioned point. 

What is to be distinctly BYD though will be what lies underneath the skin of the Dolphin, as this compact EV hatchback will be the first model to be underpinned by the Chinese automaker’s e-platform 3.0. A bespoke all-electric platform that has been touted to be able in producing cars that rocket to 100 km/h from a standstill in as quickly as 2.9 seconds, not to mention the ability to travel up to 1,000 km on a single charge too. 

Unfortunately for the Dolphin however, this all-electric hatchback will reportedly only feature a single rear-mounted 70 kW electric motor that is good for a top speed of 150 km/h. 400 km is also to be about as far as it will travel on a single charge of it’s lithium iron phosphate (LFP) Blade battery pack of an as-yet-unspecified capacity, but it should at least be able to topped up rather rapidly, courtesy of the e-platform 3.0’s 800 V architecture. 

Moving on inside meanwhile, BYD has unfortunately not revealed much official information about the cabin of the Dolphin. If the renders released by the automaker are anything to go by though, the interior of this Chinese all-electric hatchback does seem to be a rather premium affair, topped off with some interesting interior colour options. 

In continuing on the topic of interesting, the Dolphin also has a rather unique row of central switches that has the gear selector on one end and the volume control on the other. This is in addition to the other interesting interior design touches like the central stack that rises towards the rear and thus doubles as central arm rest, and the new BYD logo that makes its debut on the multi-function steering wheel. 

Now speaking of debuts, there is no word yet on when exactly this new Dolphin will actually officially be launched. It is however confirmed that it will be available in four variants, and will be sold via BYD’s e-network when it eventually goes on sale in its home market of China. 

Joshua Chin

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

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