News/ Launches/ The BYD Shark is China's New PickUp, Hilux To Worry?

The BYD Shark is China's New PickUp, Hilux To Worry?

The Chinese automotive giant BYD has globally unveiled its latest offering, the BYD Shark, and it's making waves in the mid-size pickup segment. This feature-packed plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is not only powerful but boasts an impressive electric-only range, making it a compelling option for eco-conscious truck enthusiasts.

A New Player in the Pickup Arena

BYD, known for its electric vehicles and batteries, is making its foray into the world of pickup trucks with the Shark. This mid-size contender takes aim at established players like the Ford Ranger, Chevy Colorado, Toyota Hilux, and Nissan Navara, but with a distinct edge: a PHEV powertrain.

While the official launch is targeted outside markets, with a focus on Mexico for now, the possibility of the Shark reaching other shores, including the US, remains a possibility due to BYD's new plant in Mexico.

Shark: Name and Design

The name "Shark" aligns with BYD's existing "Ocean Series" that features aquatic-themed names for their car and SUV models. While some design similarities to the Ford F-150 have been noted, BYD emphasizes the Shark's inspiration coming from the agility of its namesake predator.

The Shark lives up to its size reference. BYD claims it has the largest body in its class, measuring a substantial 5,457mm in length and 1,925mm in height, positioning it between the popular Ranger and F-150 in terms of dimensions.

Power, Performance, and Efficiency

The heart of the BYD Shark lies in its PHEV powertrain.  A 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine works in conjunction with a dual-mode off-road electric motor system, dubbed DMO by BYD. This combination delivers a combined output of a staggering 430 horsepower (figures vary slightly depending on the source).

BYD boasts impressive performance metrics. The Shark  is estimated to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in a brisk 5.7 seconds.  But where the Shark truly shines is in its electric-only range. With a 29.58 kWh battery pack, BYD claims the Shark can travel up to 62 miles on electric power alone, making it a practical choice for everyday commutes and errands with minimal reliance on gasoline.

Towing, Payload, and Off-Roading Capabilities

The BYD Shark isn't just about speed and efficiency.  It maintains its utility as a true pickup truck.  With a body-on-frame construction and independent front and rear suspension, the Shark is built to handle tough terrain.  A payload capacity of 1841 pounds and a towing capacity of 5512 pounds ensure the Shark can handle your hauling and towing needs.

The DMO electric motor system also plays a role here.  This system is designed to optimize off-road performance, providing additional power and control when venturing beyond paved roads.

Looking head: The BYD Shark's Impact

The BYD Shark is a significant entry into the mid-size pickup segment.  It offers a powerful and efficient PHEV powertrain, impressive electric-only range, and retains the functionality expected from a pickup truck.  While its initial launch targets specific markets, the possibility of the Shark reaching a wider audience, is an exciting prospect for eco-conscious truck buyers who are also seeking next level capabilities. Also, given how Toyota is benefiting from BYD's patented battery technology, it would be interesting to see how other monufacturers use BYD's expertise and pruduct planning into their own vehicle line-up. I mean, looking at what all the electric G-Wagon is capable of, I am more than excited to drive an e-powered off-road pick-up through some serious trails. 

TopGear Magazine July 2024