Clean design and quality materials for the car that will mark the debut of the Shenzhen manufacturer in our country in 2023: 204 hp of power to be enjoyed in relaxation, 420 km of autonomy and a price yet to be defined
Act 3. Three like the cards of a game to which the Chinese electric car still forces us. We have three choices, to bet on the fact that it will be extremely cheap, or to bet on the technological advantage that the Great Wall already boasts in the battery sector, or to trust the most paradoxical card, that the manufacturers of the People’s Republic want to challenge those who invented the car. of the people, who in short in Europe really want to deal with Volkswagen immediately. Therefore, Atto 3, like the compact crossover with zero-emission engine that Gazzetta Motori has previewed. It is signed by BYD, the fifth Chinese manufacturer of motor vehicles and first in the sector of electrified ones, but also the third largest producer of batteries in the world. The managers of the Shenzhen company have not given any indications on the arrival in Italy, and therefore not even on the price, but in the game of the three cards sometimes you win by following the hands, and the moves. Atto 3 is the twin of the model sold in China under the name of Yuan Plus, which in its basic version has a base price corresponding to 20,500 euros, very different from the intentions expressed to Gazzetta Motori by BYD representatives. Anyone, however, can keep the ace hidden.
A short test on roads not open to the public is the right opportunity to focus on exactly what matters, to answer the real question about Chinese cars, the one about quality. Atto 3 is 446 cm long, 188 cm wide and 162 cm high, therefore with dimensions smaller than the ID.4 and larger than ID.3, precisely the pair of electric Volkswagens against which BYD seems to want to position the car in Europe. Not by chance.
At the head of the Chinese company’s design team is the German Wolfgang Egger, with a solid past in Lamborghini and Audi, and here the continental imprint is noticed in the proportions between low bonnet and cockpit, with the curvature of the roof. sloping towards the rear, all this with rather clean lines that connect well the front with the high sides, the 18-inch wheels and the horizontally developed rear lights. Really like the accuracy in the assembly of the various elements of the body, perfectly aligned with each other even in the less visible points.
If the exteriors convey a personality through clean lines, the interior can be said about the same by looking at the quality of the plastics and materials used, including the eco-leather upholstery for the central dashboard and for the seats, with the very enveloping front ones and headrests. integrated. The overall effect is pleasant, all too characterized by the chrome-effect plastics chosen for the louvered air vents and the gear lever, with a vaguely aeronautical taste. The small display integral with the steering column is less appreciated, while in its own way the solution of the central 12.8-inch display is surprising which, with a press on a button of the left spoke of the steering wheel, rotates 90 degrees, passing from a view panorama to a vertical, replicating the habits of use of smartphones.
The graphical interface of the system, based on Android and with a very quick response to commands, has been cured. The trunk of 440 liters of capacity has a regular shape, but also a rather high load threshold from the ground, while the distance between the two axles of 272 cm has made it possible to obtain more than adequate space for the rear passengers. The overall effect, in short, is not at all that of an economy car.
After a first landing in Norway in 2021, BYD is preparing in the next 18 months to enter the market of Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Spain and then Italy. The cars featured in this first wave will be three, the Han sports sedan and the Tang seven-seater family SUV, but above all the Atto 3, the only one of the trio to be built on the new e-Platform 3.0 modular platform. This is a package that primarily includes the Blade Battery, cell-to-pack batteries, i.e. not made in modules to be assembled, but in the form of blades, to be placed inside the accumulator compartment and with maximum gain. theoretical in terms of charge capacity in relation to space. They use lithium-iron-phosphate chemistry and are heated through a dedicated heat pump that brings them to the ideal operating temperature more quickly.
The e-Platform 3.0 also includes the world’s first 8-in-1 electric powertrain, which integrates the vehicle control unit, the battery management system, the power distribution unit, the motor proper, the controller, transmission, DC-DC converter and on-board charger. BYD is a totally vertical company and produces all the components of the platform on its own. Based on the partial information granted, Atto 3 uses a nominal capacity 60.5 kWh battery and a 204 hp electric motor combined with front-wheel drive, for a range of 420 km in the combined Wltp cycle. The maximum permitted charging power is 88 kw in direct current. It is also useful to remember that the e-Platform 3.0 is also the basis of the BYD Dolphin, a zero-emission compact car comparable to one of our B-segment city cars, with a 30.7kWh battery and a range of 301 km, but sold in China starting from a consideration of 14,500 euros. How broad the strategy of the Shenzhen company is, it takes little to understand: on the Australian market the Dolphin is sold as Act 2.
How is it going
A few laps on a circuit created inside the Valkenburg airport, 50 km west of Amsterdam, are worth the first contact with BYD Act 3. Not very significant in an absolute sense as regards the driving dynamics, but very indicative for photographing the build quality of the car, which is good, must be clearly stated. Once on board, you immediately notice the inclination of the steering column, which does not allow a truly vertical position of the steering wheel, but responds to the driving habits of a crossover, and indeed shows a centered alignment with the pedals. The driving position is correct, good visibility in all directions except to the rear, where maneuvers are to be understood with the exclusive aid of the camera. On the other hand, the perception of the dimensions is very good in movement, with few distractions deriving from the instrumentation and above all a good running silence even when starting or recovering.
The sound absorbing materials do an excellent job, with no noise coming from the bottom even on uneven surfaces. The braking is pleasing and convincing, with a front and rear disc system (not a banality compared to the German competition) where the combination of Brembo and Bosch components brings sensitivity, without that bite unsuitable for a family car. The same goes for the behavior of the engine, with the front-wheel drive transmitting only some slight uncertainty to the wheels at the moment of maximum thrust request, but then the possibility of adjusting the response in comfort or more dynamic mode. As for the steering, which, on the other hand, from the more dynamic setting does not collect at all greater precision when entering corners, but if anything, a thread of nervousness in returning to the exit, keeping too far away from comfort and from the spirit of driving in relaxation that naturally belongs to Atto 3. The latter result is not negligible for a Chinese car in Europe.
01 September 2022 (change 01 September 2022 | 13:54)
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