Cars > Driven

BYD Han: The first of many super sports sedans from China

Is this a potential German EV killer for P3,113,000?

Yes, you're looking at a Chinese EV. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

Electric vehicle technology has allowed car manufacturers in their relative infancy to leapfrog years of no engineering pedigree, experimentation, experience, and continuous improvements to achieve what many of the long-established legacy brands took lifetimes to achieve.

A cursory browse of automotive history shows that it was only at the turn of the millennium that 500+hp cars became prevalent. Of course, these vehicles needed to be safe, reliable, long-lasting, well-mannered, reliable, and able to pootle around town like a pussycat. They also had to have the mundane things that were really difficult to engineer.

And yet, BYD suddenly unveiled its own high-performance super sedan, the Han, and shook the automotive landscape with the car’s jaw-dropping figure. And the best part is that the electric sedan costs a cool P3,113,000—a bargain for everything you get.

It's also one of the fastest Chinese EVs on the market today. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

A shade under 510hp and 700Nm of torque propel the Han to 100km/h from rest in a supercar-baiting 3.9 seconds, thanks to an electric motor strapped to each of the axles, giving all-wheel surety of grip.

The top speed isn’t a very impressive 180km/h, perhaps to extend range and battery life as maximum output heats up and wears away the battery life faster.

Nonetheless, still impressive is its advertised 610km range from its 85.44kwh BYD Blade battery capacity. With a super slippery 0.233 drag coefficient from its handsome fastback profile, the Han is also stunning as it is efficient.

How can you call BYD a copycat if the Han looks unlike anything else on the road right now? PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

Large Brembo brakes behind intricate 19-inch alloy wheels shod with 245/45 Michelin Pilot Sport tires round out the footwork and provide the stop to match the go. The regenerative braking also does its job of harnessing energy.

Aside from the usual passive safety systems of ABS-EBD and traction/stability control, the Han comes with the latest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) such as adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot detection, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, and lane-change assist.

Inside is a cabin worthy of an executive's time. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

Inside, you sit in beautifully sculpted six-way power-adjustable sports seats that offer decent side and thigh bolsters for support, but still comfortable enough for long drives.

The two-spoke steering wheel houses auxiliary controls, and you get a massive 15.6-inch rotating infotainment display, with both wired and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, plus a 12.3-inch main instrument cluster. Dynaudio provides the hi-fi surround-sound system to really liven things up in the cabin.

It just so happens to be fully loaded with tech, too. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

For starters, the power delivery even in the car’s gentlest driving mode is a tad jerky versus other EVs. The shock absorbers are underdamped, and spring rates are too soft. The car can barely control all of that power when unleashed.

The steering can feel vague on-center, which can be a bit disconcerting on the highway, and is very light with effort. It also has poor self-centering ability, which means highway driving can be tiring as you need to constantly correct it and keep it on the straight and narrow. The build quality is good, but it lacks the solid heft one expects from a truly premium product.

Suspension tuning is needed to truly make the Han a contender for the likes of the Taycan and the e-Tron GT. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

Perhaps I expect too much. Perhaps the Han is the victim of its own hype. But regardless, I enjoyed it immensely, and at least the suspension concerns can be improved by the aftermarket.

In fact, aftermarket suspension and wheels are being produced for other popular BYD EV models. If this is what China can do for a proper sports sedan, then I’m excited for the next generation coming in a few years. In conclusion, exciting times are ahead in the field of EVs for driving enthusiasts.


EngineDual permanent synchronous motors
TransmissionSingle-speed fixed-ratio automatic
Power510hp (combined)
Torque700Nm (combined)
Dimensions4,995mm x 1,910mm x 1,495mm
Drive layoutAWD
UpsideGreat value for the available power, space, comfort, and technology.
DownsideLacks polish in driving dynamics. Underdamped suspension. Vague steering. And abrupt power delivery for low-speed driving.

Botchi Santos

Botchi is your friendly, walking car encyclopedia. He loves helping people choose the right vehicle for themselves as much as he enjoys picking the right one for himself. Expect him to write about car culture, test drives and car-shopping advice. His regular column is called ‘Car Life’.