South Africa

Shark shows its jaws to Ranger and Hilux as BYD’s first bakkie

A project known to have been in development for more than two years, Chinese new energy vehicle giant, Build Your Dreams, known better by the abbreviation BYD, has officially debuted its first bakkie in the shape of the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Shark.

New predator

Its first body-on-frame double cab that rides on a platform shared with the Leopard 5 SUV made by its Fang Cheng Bao brand, the Shark will reportedly become a world model and debut in among other markets, Australia, as a rival for the incoming Ford Ranger PHEV.

Showcased in Mexico, and reportedly set to go on-sale in Brazil by the end of the third quarter, the Shark becomes the latest model to fall under BYD’s so-called ocean range of products comprising the Dolphin electric hatch, the Seal sedan, Sea Lion coupe crossover, Seal U large crossover and the Seagull known as the Dolphin Mini in certain export markets.

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Unsurprisingly the biggest of the range, the Shark measures 5 457 mm long, 1 971 mm wide and 1 925 mm tall while sporting a wheelbase of 3 260 mm.

According to BYD, the claimed payload is 835 kg with the PHEV drivetrain resulting in tow capacity dropping from the usual segment 3 500 kg to 2 500 kg. Neither the wading depth nor ground clearance was revealed.

Hybrid hardware

Its styling bearing a close resemblance to the current Ford Ranger at the front with the rear and side being reminiscent of the original Volkswagen Amarok, the Shark’s central point is the plug-in hybrid powertrain that consists of a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine paired to a 29.58-kWh Blade design lithium phosphate battery pack driving a rear axle mounted electric motor.

A design BYD calls DMO or Dual Mode Offroad, the setup sees the combustion engine producing 170kW/310Nm on its own, while the electric module develops 150kW/340Nm.

BYD finally debuts new Shark bakkie
Shark’s side profile and rear facia bears a close resemblance to the original Volkswagen Amarok. Image: BYD Global via

In combined form, the Shark delivers 320kW/650Nm, which translates to a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 5.7 seconds. The claimed all-electric range is 100 km and the total overall distance using both the petrol engine and electric motor 840 km.

Supporting vehicle-to-load charging, which allows it to power certain electrical items, the Shark, being a PHEV, doesn’t support rapid DC charging and as such, can either be topped-up from a household socket or from AC charger up to 40 kW that will require a waiting time of 20 minutes from 30%-80%.

Known spec

Offered in two trim levels in Mexico, GL and GS, the Shark’s interior also differs from BYD’s current models, though it does keep T-shaped aircraft-style gear lever for the transmission, as well as the rotating 12.8-inch infotainment system.

BYD finally debuts new Shark bakkie
Interior is largely unique to the Shark, though the rotating infotainment display remains present. Image: BYD Global via

Resplendent with physical switchgear as well as a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, the Shark’s model dependent standard specification sheet comprises a 50-watt wireless smartphone charger, a transparent underbody camera, Head-Up Display,  Adaptive Cruise Control, a 360-degree surround-view camera system, Lane Keep Assist and Autonomous Emergency Braking.

South Africa incoming?

Priced from 899 980 (R980 260) to 969 800 pesos (R1 056 309) in Mexico, the Shark, though slated for Australia, remains a certainty for South Africa despite Malaysia’s reporting approval had been given for the local market later this year.

As is stands, no word from BYD South Africa has emerged where the brand has been relatively quiet since debuting the Atto 3 to much fanfare last year.

Additional information from Brazil and

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