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Cheaper BYD Seal facelift lands to take on its Model 3 refresh competitor that Tesla denies

The new, cheaper Seal Champion Edition (image: BYD)
The new, cheaper Seal Champion Edition (image: BYD)
Tesla was forced to deny a report that it will start production of the 2023 Project Highland Model 3 refresh on June 1 at the Shanghai Gigafactory. Meanwhile, BYD outed a facelift of the Model 3's main competitor - the Seal sedan - that is cheaper and offers more range bang for the buck.

While Tesla is gearing up to unveil its 2023 Model 3 refresh that will test the limits of its production costs voodoo, its main competitor BYD already announced a new, cheaper version of the Model 3's nemesis, the Seal sedan.

The new BYD Seal is priced from just US$27,380 for a RWD version with 550 kilometre (342 miles) range, 10% cheaper than its predecessor and the whopping 18% cheaper than Tesla's Model 3 in China which offers shorter range on a charge. Here are all the new 2023 BYD Seal Champion Edition versions and their prices:

  • 550km (342 miles) Elite edition for ¥189,800 (~$27,380 )
  • 550km Prestige edition for ¥202,800 (~$29,000)
  • 700km Prestige edition for ¥222,800 (~$32,000)
  • 700km (435 miles) Performance edition for ¥239,800 (~$34,585)
  • 650km AWD Performance edition for ¥279,800 (~$40,355)

If you need a RWD version with longer range and more power, the 700 km (435 miles) Performance Edition costs US$34,585 with 230 kW motor and 360 Nm of peak torque. The most expensive, AWD BYD Seal now costs a bit over US$40,355 and can accelerate from 0-62 MPH for just 3.8 seconds.

This one has the optional light-sensitive panoramic sunroof as standard, as well as iTAC Pirelli silent tires on 19-inch five-spoke double fork wheels. The suede interior is standard as well, whereas the interior upgrade for the other Champion Edition versions includes leather seats and steering wheel plus an adjustable cup holder in the armrest.

The two base models with 342-mile range have a 61.4 kWh blade battery, while the ones that cover 435 miles or are AWD come with 82.5 kWh battery packs. That's on the China-specific CLTC cycle, of course, which anecdotal evidence shows is roughly a third more generous than EPA's range estimates.

In the meantime, Tesla China was forced to deny the rumors that it will be making the Model 3 refresh dubbed Project Highland there. It is not clear if it meant a debunk of the speculation that production will start on June 1, or that the Model 3 facelift will be assembled in China altogether.

On May 9, it was reported that Tesla’s replacement Model 3 will be mass-produced in Shanghai on June 1, and several photos of the new Model 3 also leaked out. However, Tesla China denied the authenticity of the news to the first financial reporter today.

The purported Model 3 redesign already leaked out a few times, but here Tesla is referring to some new photos that claim to be of the 2023 facelift. Those will most likely be making the rounds pretty soon to illustrate what the BYD Seal Champion Edition facelift may be up against later this year when Tesla releases the Model 3 refresh.

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BYD Seal Champion Ediion
BYD Seal Champion Ediion
BYD Seal Champion Edition front
BYD Seal Champion Edition front


BYD (Weibo) & Yicai via Electrek

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 05 > Cheaper BYD Seal facelift lands to take on its Model 3 refresh competitor that Tesla denies
Daniel Zlatev, 2023-05-10 (Update: 2023-05-10)