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PHEV powertrain for BYD's new Shark pickup.

BYD Shark PHEV Pickup Launches in Mexico

Automaker's first new model launch outside of China targeting light to midsize Latin American truck market.

BYD’s Shark pickup truck launches in plug-in hybrid form to be built in its Mexican plant to compete with U.S. products from Ford and Toyota in Latin America.

It’s the first vehicle to be launched outside the Chinese market by the world’s biggest manufacturer of battery-electric vehicles. However, its hybrid powertrain is considered a more attractive offering in countries with inadequate vehicle charging infrastructures.

Aimed at the compact to midsize pickup market, the vehicle measures 18 ft. (5,486 mm) long and 6.5 ft. (1,981 mm) wide with a wheelbase of 10.7 ft. (3,261 mm) It’s powered by a gasoline engine of as-yet unspecified capacity driving the front wheels but claiming 231 hp and 228 lb.-ft. (309 Nm) of torque while an electric motor on the rear axle provides a further 203 hp and 250 lb.-ft. (339 Nm) of torque.

The automaker claims the truck can accelerate from 0-to-62 mph (100 km/h) in 5.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 99 mph (159 km/h) with fuel consumption of 33.6 mpg (7.0 L/100 km). Its 29.58-kWh battery pack claims a 62-mile all-electric drive range with the hybrid system able to deliver a total working range of 522 miles (840 km).

Shark seats five people and claims a maximum towing weight of 5,500 lb. (2,495 kg), a payload of 1,837 lb. (833 kg) and cargo capacity of 51.2 cu.-ft. (1,450 L). Cabin features include a 10.25-in. (26-cm) LCD screen, 12.8-in. (32.5-cm) center screen and a 12-in. (30.5-cm) head-up display. The tech is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

BYD tells Reuters it plans to enter the U.S. market with the vehicle, albeit regulators probably would go through the construction of the truck with a fine-tooth comb to see if it avoids new tariffs on Chinese products, such as its lithium-ion battery pack and semiconductors.

TAGS: Powertrain
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