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.


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).


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.