The BYD Seal went on pre-sale in China on May 20 with a starting price of RMB 212,800 ($31,860) and received 22,637 orders in seven hours.

BYD's new sedan, the BYD Seal, is about to officially go on sale, potentially becoming one of the company's most important models and possibly the strongest rival to the Tesla Model 3 in China.

BYD will hold a launch event on July 29 for the BYD Seal, which will have iTAC intelligent torque control technology and thus inherently sporty genes, according to a poster released by the company today.

BYD Seal to be officially launched on July 29-CnEVPost

BYD's latest poster provides no further information, and the BYD Seal went on pre-sale in China on May 20, with a price range of RMB 212,800 ($31,860) to RMB 289,800.

For comparison, the Model 3 is currently offered in two versions in China, with the entry version priced at RMB 279,900 and the Performance version priced at RMB 367,900.

BYD Seal's pre-sale orders reached 22,637 units within seven hours of the start of the pre-sale, information shared by BYD on May 21 showed.

Earlier this month, several local media outlets quoted unnamed BYD dealer sources as saying that the BYD Seal would go on sale in China on July 18, though this did not become a reality.

The BYD Seal, the second model in the company's Ocean series after the Dolphin, is the first to use BYD's CTB (cell to body) technology, which allows the battery to be integrated into the body.

It comes with a 150-kW rear motor for the standard range version and a 230-kW rear motor for the long-range version. Its four-wheel-drive performance version has a total front and rear motor power of 390 kW and accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds.

The model's length, width and height are 4,800 mm, 1,875 mm and 1,460 mm, with a wheelbase of 2,920 mm. For comparison, the China-made Tesla Model 3 has a length, width and height of 4,694 mm, 1,850 mm and 1,443 mm, and a wheelbase of 2,875 mm.

In terms of power, energy consumption, and size specifications, BYD Seal has significant advantages over Tesla Model 3, said the team of Xu Huixiong from local brokerage Essence Securities, in an April 28 research note.

The Seal is expected to be the most important model in BYD's history, the team said, adding that with reference to Model 3 sales, they expect the model's steady-state monthly sales to exceed 30,000 units.

BYD Seal has been in mass production at BYD's plant in Changzhou city, Jiangsu province, in eastern China, in June, and is expected to have a monthly capacity of 15,000 units when it reaches production, according to information previously released by the Changzhou Municipal Government.

BYD Seal opens for pre-order in China, prices start at about $31,860

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