• 2015 BYD Qin

    Can a Chinese brand actually survive in a skeptical American market? We'll likely soon find out, as BYD appears primed to release its Qin in the U.S.

The BYD Qin might not be a known vehicle in the U.S., but that soon may change. The Chinese automaker BYD is preparing to make its entrance into the American market . The Qin is the successor to the F3DM plug-in hybrid that launched in 2008. While sales were initially good for the F3DM, a slow-down prompted a replacement, so BYD decided to take its hybrid technology and stuff it into the Su Rui sedan, thus creating the Qin in 2013. Now the BYD Qin is aiming for car markets in Europe with availability happening sometime in the latter part of 2015 and an American entrance happening shortly after.

Previous Qin models have been a huge success for BYD in China. The company, which was founded in 2003, has rocketed to the top spot in plug-in hybrid sales in its home country. Now with an American headquarters already located in California, BYD is poised to invade.

However, this isn’t the first time BYD has promised a U.S. version of its cars. Back in 2010, BYD was set to bring its e6 hatchback over, but the move was ultimately postponed. Now with a more solid product, the automaker is more ready than ever.

So what’s the Qin all about? Well first off, don’t get used to the name. BYD says the Qin nomenclature will likely be changed for European and American sales. What its name will be is still unknown. What we do know is the heavily revised 2015 Qin is a respectable plug-in hybrid vehicle with an obtainable price, decent range, and styling that isn’t half bad.

Click past the jump to read more about BYD Qin.

  • 2015 BYD Qin
  • Year:
  • Make:
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  • Engine:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    1.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    5.9 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    115 mph
  • Layout:
    Front Engine; FWD
  • Price:
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • car fuel:
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2015 BYD Qin Exterior
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2015 BYD Qin Exterior
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2015 BYD Qin Exterior
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Interesting cuts and angles in the design make the Qin instantly recognizable.

The BYD Qin’s styling is uniquely its own, but somehow looks reminiscent of a Toyota Camry. Detail-rich headlights flank a stylized front grille, while lower fog lights and vertically oriented turn signals complete the look. Side mirror-mounted turn signal indicators, chrome brightwork, and double-spoke, satin chrome wheels help bring interest to the Qin’s sides. Other wheel options bring diversity into the model’s lineup like the back and machine-finished example seen in the pictures below.

Around back, the taillight assembly spans the entire rear section. Interesting cuts and angles in the design make the Qin instantly recognizable. A curvy lower bumper with reflectors helps bring more visual interest and safety to the table.

Otherwise, the BYD Qin looks like a generic four-door family sedan. That changes once the doors are opened and a glimpse of the interior is caught.

Exterior Dimensions

Length mm(in.) 4740 (186.61)
Width mm(in.) 1770 (69.68)
Height mm(in.) 1480 (58.26)
Wheelbase mm(in.) 2670 (105.11)
Track (F/R) mm(in.) 1525/1520 (60.04/59.84)
Curb weight kg(lb.) 1720 (3791.97)


2015 BYD Qin Interior
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2015 BYD Qin Interior
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2015 BYD Qin Interior
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A separate screen sits atop the center stack and provides navigation, entertainment options, and fuel economy information.

The Qin’s interior is decidedly futuristic. It features a 12.1-inch TFT gauge cluster shows all the vehicle information, including speed, engine revs, and battery charge — among other things — all displayed in a creative manner. A separate screen sits atop the center stack and provides navigation, entertainment options, and fuel economy information. The center stack and control panel look something like what’s inside a late model Buick Verano, but it’s different enough not to be a copy.

BYD has also developed a self-driving mode for the Qin. The car can be maneuvered remotely at very slow speeds from outside the vehicle, like say a parking lot for example.

Of course, all the modern conveniences are included, like a smart-key system, tire pressure monitoring, an electronic parking brake, child-seat mounting points, electronic stability control, and 12 airbags are all present.


2015 BYD Qin Exterior
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The combined powertrain puts out a total of 291 horsepower, allowing the car to accelerate from zero to 62 mph in a respectable 5.9 seconds.

Under the Qin’s hood is where the real story lies. A 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine works in conjunction with a hybrid battery system that gives owners the ability to drive 44 miles in full electric mode and average a combined fuel economy rating 177 MPGe. Those are pretty good numbers considering the car’s moderate cost.

The combined powertrain puts out a total of 291 horsepower, allowing the car to accelerate from zero to 62 mph in a respectable 5.9 seconds. Its top speed is limited to a pedestrian 115 mph. Four driving modes (EV+ECO, EV+SPORT, HEV+ECO and HEV+SPORT) allow owners to change the way their Qin drives.

BYD says the Qin is great for those customers who suffer range anxiety in fully electric vehicles as the gasoline engine extends the car’s range when the battery is depleted. Charging the battery can happen on the go via regenerative braking and engine power as well as at home via a standard home power outlet.


Engine type BYD 476ZQA(1.5Ti)
Engine rated power 151 HP @ 5200 RPM
Engine max. torque 240/1750-3500
Motor max. power kW/BHP 110/148
Motor max. torque 250 NM (184 LB-FT)
Total power kW/BHP 217/291
Total torque 479 NM (353 LB-FT)
Acceleration 0-100kmh (62 mph) 5.9 seconds
Fuel consumption under normal conditions L/100km 1.6, MPG 177
Top speed 185 km/h (115 mph)
Tank capacity 50 liters (11 gallon)
Range in EV mode 70 km (44 miles)


2015 BYD Qin Exterior
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BYD has yet to announce U.S. or European pricing at this point, but will cost the equivalent of $30,205 in China at the current exchange rates. Extra options will bump the price to near $33,400. Both those prices are before any government subsidies, which in China, brings the price down into an even bigger market.


Chevrolet Volt

2014 Chevrolet Volt High Resolution Exterior
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The Volt has been around the U.S. for a few years now and its sticker price continues to fall. Now for 2014, a new Volt can be had for $35,000 — that’s before the federal rebates and incentives.

Like the BYD Qin, the Volt comes with battery packs supplemented by a range-extending gasoline engine. At full charge, the Volt will run 38 miles without a drop of gasoline. With the 84-horsepower, 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine running, the Volt achieves 35 mpg city and 40 mpg highway while its combined rating lands at 98 MPGe. Acceleration is downright slow compared to the Qin, coming in at 8.7 seconds to 60 mph.

Toyota Prius Plug-In

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
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The Prius has long been the hybrid of choice for Americans and car buyers the world over. Its proven tech means folks feel more comfortable buying one, though its driving dynamics and styling are at the back of the pack. The Prius Plug-in is only capable of 11 miles of full-electric driving, but is rated higher overall for a combined mpg score. Its 50 mpg rating trumps that of the Volt’s, but its MPGe rating of 95 falls just short.

A 1.8-liter four-cylinder does the motivating when the battery packs are charging or greater power is needed. Making 98 horsepower, the engine is just enough to get the Prius moving, with a zero to 60 mph time of 10.9 seconds.

Pricing for the Prius Plug-in starts at $29,990 and rises upward with added options.


2015 BYD Qin High Resolution Exterior
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The Qin looks to be a solid plug-in hybrid for BYD to move global with. Its decent exterior looks, interior tech, and its 44-mile electric range help make it strong competitor with the Volt and Prius. Only time will tell whether the U.S. and European markets are ready for another foreign brand that isn’t from Japan or South Korea. Perhaps just like Hyundai and Kia, BYD and its rival Chinese company Geely will make names for themselves as quality and parts accessibility become non-issue items for non-Chinese buyers.

  • Leave it
    • Unproven brand and product to U.S. buyers
    • Uncertain U.S. release date & possible delays
    • No dealer network yet
Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read full bio
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Press Release

BYD has officially launched its Qin model in China, a new and high tech, performance-based hybrid car intended to target key world markets. European availability of a similar but probably renamed model is planned for early 2015.

2015 BYD Qin Exterior
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The dual mode Qin can accelerate from 0 to 100kph (62 mph) in just 5.9 seconds and has a top speed of 185kph (115 mph) with a claimed overall fuel consumption of up to 1.6 L/100km (177mpg). The Qin can be driven in pure electric mode for up to 70km (44 miles), a distance which BYD research indicates will satisfy most daily travel needs and is believed to be by far the longest achieved by a PHEV (at least twice the range of competitor models). For long distance journeys the car uses its BYD 1.5TID petrol engine thus eliminating any ‘range anxiety’ associated with battery power vehicles.

When the first 100 Qin cars were put on sale on line in China, BYD set a record for new car sales anywhere. All 100 cars were snapped up by eager buyers in just two seconds – thought to be a record in the car industry. About 95,000 people had visited the BYD e-shopping mall, 6,000 actually registered and 23,405 were online when the sale began. An incredible 4,155 of them rushed to purchase the innovative new model from BYD.

2015 BYD Qin Exterior
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The new car utilises the technology pioneered and fully proven in the original BYD F3DM model, of which many tens of thousands have been sold. As a PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) the Qin can be recharged at any normal household socket. When power is low or there is an on-demand need for ultimate acceleration the HEV mode is activated; this can be programmed either automatically or manually. The Qin also generates electric recharging power during deceleration – either by means of engine braking or via the foot brake – typically contributing 2.5 to 3 kWh every 100km (62 miles).

The Qin offers four fully matched driving functions – EV+ECO, EV+SPORT, HEV+ECO and HEV+SPORT modes. These can be selected by the driver, commanding the appropriate blend of economy and performance for any driving condition.

All models in the Qin family feature a 12.1-inch TFT instrument panel, smart key system and BYD’s unique remote driving facility, which allows the car to be manoeuvred remotely at very low speed from the outside of the vehicle where permissible.

Standard safety features include Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Electric Park Brake, ISO-FIX mounting points for child safety seats, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), Control Deceleration Parking and 12 air bags.

2015 BYD Qin Exterior
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The Qin family includes advanced internet connectivity encompassing a Cloud-based services system, currently available only in China, which brings together the intelligence technology and interactive experiences into one driver-friendly control unit.

The BYD Qin, spearheading a range of BYD petrol, hybrid and pure electric cars for the consumer market, is expected to be launched in Europe in early 2015. Initial prices in China prior to any EV subsidies range from €23,725 to €26,225 (£19,645 to £21,715).

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