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Having first surfaced two years ago at Auto China 2012 in Beijing, the BYD Qin is finally on sale in China. It’s the plug-in hybrid version of the F3 Su Rui (yes, the one with remote-controlled driving) and the successor to the F3DM (DM for dual-mode), the world’s first mass-produced plug-in hybrid vehicle.

BYD is targeting “key world markets” with this one, and reveals that a similar model could be sold in Europe sometime in 2015, probably with a different name. Funnily enough, the Qin has already been on sale in Costa Rica since November.

The Chinese company, into which Warren Buffett has invested US$232 million (RM765 million) for a 9.89% stake, is planning to enter the US market in 2015.

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Taking its name from China’s first dynasty, the BYD Qin carries a 154 PS/240 Nm 1.5 litre TID petrol engine and a 150 PS/250 Nm electric motor for a total output of 295 PS and 479 Nm of torque.

This accelerates the plug-in hybrid to 100 km/h from rest in 5.9 seconds and on towards a 185 km/h top speed. Fuel economy “under normal conditions” is a claimed 1.6 litres per 100 km, and it can travel 70 km on electric power alone.

The driver can select EV+Eco, EV+Sport, HEV+Eco or HEV+Sport modes. When charge is low or when the driver demands acceleration, HEV mode automatically activates and the petrol engine kicks in (can also be done manually).

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The regenerative braking system recovers between 2.5 to 3.0 kWh every 100 km. Recharging can also be done from any conventional household socket.

Standard features include a 12.1-inch TFT instrument panel, smart key, tyre pressure monitoring, an electric parking brake, Isofix, ESP, Control Deceleration Parking and… ready? 12 airbags.

Like its non-hybrid sister, there’s remote-controlled driving too, and cloud-based connected services (currently China-only) and internet connectivity are also available.

How much for all this? Prices range from the equivalent of 23,725 to 26,225 euro (RM106k-117k), prior to any EV subsidies. 4,155 bookings have already been recorded in China.