Except for hypercars such as the 918 Spyder, F60, and P1, hybrids are typically rather slow grocery-getters for eco-conscious human beings. BYD, however, thinks otherwise. So they built the Qin, which is a Plug-in-Hybrid moonlighting as a 'Sports Saloon'.
Looking past the obvious fact that the Qin (pronounced as 'cheen') is a compact 4-door sedan, it's actually BYD's flagship model that demonstrates what the company can do on a technological aspect. In this case, they're flaunting their know-how in Plug-in-Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV). The Qin relies on a 1.5L turbo direct-injection gasoline engine and an electric motor for propulsion, which sums up to 300 hp and 440 Nm combined. That allows it to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 5.9 seconds, which is as quick if not quicker than a 2015-spec Subaru WRX.
But obviously, that's not the main reason why people would buy a Qin. That's why it comes with 3 driving modes: HEV-SPORT, HEV-ECO, and Pure EV. HEV-SPORT uses both gasoline and engine power units for maximum performance. HEV-ECO runs on pure electric up to speeds of 40 km/h, then starts the petrol unit after that to yield a fuel efficiency of more than 50 km/L. But in Pure EV mode, this thing has a range of 70 km on a single charge.
Yes, you can charge it either with a special Wall Charger that takes 3.5 hours to fill up or a 220v Mobile Charger that does it in 8.0. Not bad considering a full change only costs around P100 in electricity.
It really looks like you can go drag racing with the BYD Qin... or at least on paper. Take that Prius!
Aside from the awesome powertrain, the Qin also packs quite a lot of luxuries we normally wouldn't expect from a 'Chinese automaker'. You know... 'coz 'China car' usually means cheap. But that's not the case for BYD. This sedan features an 8-in touch screen infotainment system, a sunroof, audio and A/C controls in the back seat arm rest, 10 friggin' airbags, and a 360 deg. panoramic parking camera.
Mind you, the Qin can also be controlled via remote at low speed just like the F5 Suri.
The exclusive distributor of BYD in the Philippines, Solar Transport Automotive Resources Corp. (STAR Corp.), is now selling the Qin at P2.488-million a pop. While that isn't exactly what you'd call affordable, we'd like to think of it as an investment for environment – an investment that can go from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds.