On the road with the BYD Atto 3, the Chinese compact electric SUV

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The test is not really a real test, more like an “audition”, however interesting. Because the BYD Act 3 is probably the most European of the three electric models with which the Chinese manufacturer (acronym for Build Your Dreams, build your dreams) launches the great offensive in the Old Continent. It is already present with zero-emission buses (it builds them both in Hungary and, through a joint venture, in the United Kingdom) and some also circulate in Italy, for example in Turin, while with the Tang 7-seater SUV it made its debut successfully. a year ago in Norway.

The Atto 3 is a more compact five-seater SUV, about forty centimeters shorter (445 versus 487), with pleasant and modern lines. The first indications on the price should be released on the eve of the Automobile Paris, the French show that returns after 4 years between 18 and 23 October, even if the sales manager, the Spanish Pere Brugel, has ruled out wanting to focus on the price list. to woo European customers. The aim is to offer a premium range at affordable costs. Among the very few rumors that filter out there is that of a unique, but substantially full optional set-up for the Atto 3, which in any case will be fitted as standard with the heat pump (to increase efficiency and mileage), the rotating screen for the infotainment and the panoramic roof.


The C-segment SUV is front-wheel drive and has a 204 horsepower unit combined with a 60.5 kWh Blade Battery developed and produced internally (as well as the semiconductors) that passed the very tough “test without catching fire or exploding. of the nail “. The vehicle has already undergone crash tests as part of the EuroNcap program and the European subsidiary of BYD is awaiting the results: the goal is five stars.

The mileage declared in the Wltp homologation cycle should be 420 kilometers. If the difference between the announced data and the real one should be like that found on the Tang in Norway (with 11% the best result among the more than 30 models examined) it is a very interesting value, even if the price variable will be decisive. . The euro equivalent of the Australian one is less than 33,000 euros.


The external lines are signed by the German “pencil” Wolfgang Egger, who has spent among others also in Alfa Romeo and Lamborghini. The most innovative elements of Act 3 are found inside, which Michel Jauch Paganetti, a very “Italian” Swiss, has dealt with. Four in particular: the aeronautical-inspired central lever, the central rotating screen (when in vertical position it exceeds the “horizon” of the dashboard, taking away a bit of view) of 12.8 ” as standard and 15.2 ” ” on request, the shapes of the “screwed” air vents, basically fusilli, and the three “guitar strings” (the sound is rather that of a bass) to complete the door pockets. Cables can act as wind chimes, but imagining a journey with children sitting behind strumming is a nightmare. The instrument panel is integrated into the steering (you need to get used to it) and rear visibility is penalized by the shape of the rear window. Otherwise, the materials are pleasant to the touch and you can also sit comfortably on the rear sofa thanks to the flat central floor.


The short drive takes place inside a former Dutch navy air base along a route where, in theory, you cannot travel beyond 60 hours. But there is a stretch where you can experience acceleration (without jerking), which takes place in 7.9 seconds from 0 to 100. The reaction is brilliant and the set-up is composed, even if between a vehicle and the else there is a lot of difference. The impression is that of being behind the wheel of a quality SUV, stable, composed, with direct steering (in Sport mode) even if not immediate and also equipped with a reassuring braking system (the suppliers are Bosch and Brembo).


BYD ACT 3 – the card
What is that:
it is the vehicle with which the Chinese BYD inaugurates the new 3.0 platform which features the “first 8-in-1 electric powertrain system in the world produced in series, with an overall efficiency exceeding 89%”. It means it integrates control unit, battery management function, power distribution box, motor, controller, transmission, DC-DC converter and on-board charger. The manufacturer also declares a thermal efficiency that increases up to 20% in winter

Dimensions: length 4.45 meters, width 1.875, height 1.61, pitch 2.72

Rivals: Volkswagen ID.4, Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV, Citroen e-C4

Traction: front

Engines: electric unit with 204 Hp and 310 Nm of torque

Full speed: 160 km / h

Battery and Charging: the accumulator is 60.5 kWh and for a refueling from 30 to 80% it takes half an hour

Boot capacity: between 440 and 1,338 liters

Advantages: finishes, interior design, trim

Defects: rear visibility, instrument panel integrated into the steering

Production: (China)

Prices: the manufacturer has promised to make them known on the eve of the Automobile Paris (18-23 October), even if it will not be the Italian list because the debut period has not yet been set, probably by the end of 2023. In Australia the version with the “European” battery it is listed at the equivalent of less than 33,000 euros and is offered with a 7-year warranty.

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