The Bao 5, the first car from BYD’s third sub-brand, Fang Cheng Bao, known in the rest of the world as Leopard 5 has finally gone official. And guess what? It’s not going to break the bank.
The Leopard 5 is priced between RMB 300,000 and 400,000, which translates to roughly £33,400 to £44,500. That’s a pleasant surprise, considering initial estimates had the price hovering between RMB 400,000 and 600,000. For early adopters in China, a RMB 1,000 deposit gets your foot in the door, and that triples to RMB 3,000 when you pay the full price. Not bad at all, especially when you consider what you’re getting for that price.
Fang Cheng Bao is positioned as a mid-premium brand, sandwiched between BYD’s other sub-brands, Denza and Yangwang. While Denza focuses on premium city crossovers, Fang Cheng Bao is all about genuine off-road SUVs. So, if you’re looking to conquer the great outdoors, this might be your ride.
The Leopard 5 is built on BYD’s new DMO platform, which is specifically designed for off-roaders. While BYD has been a bit coy about the details, it’s likely an enhanced version of their DM-p platform for 4WD plugin hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and EREVs (extended-range electric vehicles).
This medium-sized SUV from BYD is quite serious about its off-road skills. It boasts a 39° approach angle, a 35° departure angle, and a 27° breakover angle. The maximum ground clearance is 12.2 inches, and the SUV can bump that up another 5.5 inches thanks to BYD’s Disus-P suspension system.
The design language used for Leopard 5 is called “Leopard Aesthetics,” a concept developed by Wolfgang Joseph Egger, an ex-Audi veteran and currently BYD’s global design director. The design aims to blend strength, technology, and off-road aesthetics. It works, even if it makes the car look familiar – as if it borrowed many design clues from other serious off-roaders.
As for performance, the Leopard 5 is no slouch. Because it is an EREV, it still uses gasoline and it consumes 0.275 ft³ of it per 62 miles of range added to its batteries. The combined range is 746 miles with a full tank and battery. The SUV comes with two electric motors that offer a combined output of 500 KW (680 HP), paired with a 1.5L Xiaoyun internal combustion engine (ICE). And it can go from 0-62 mph in just 4.8 seconds.
Inside, the Leopard 5 is decked out with physical buttons, two LCD screens, a 50-inch AR-HUD, and 18 speakers from high-end French audio maker Devialet. If you’re in China and are willing to take a small leap of faith, the Leopard 5 seems like a solid bet for off-road enthusiasts who don’t want to empty their savings accounts.