Mercedes has teamed up with Chinese giant BYD to develop an electric minivan: D9 MPV For the time being, the first model is destined for the Chinese market and has just rolled off the production line.
Although BYD is just arriving in Europe, as the Chinese firm presents its range at the Paris Motor Show, it has already been working with European brands for a while. Indeed, since 2010, the Chinese giant has been working with Mercedes in a joint venture called Denza. Several models had then seen the light of day without much success. So much so that the carmaker with the star had decided to give up and let BYD control 90% of the business. Although the German brand prefers to focus on developing its EQ range in China, it is not throwing in the towel.
DENZA D9 MPV A NEW MODEL
Mercedes continues to work with BYD, and the joint venture between the two partners has resulted in a brand new electric minivan, the D9 MPV. It just came off the assembly line last August and will start its first deliveries simultaneously. A competitor to the Zeekr 009 with its screens in the doors.
10,000 units should be produced by December. Co-developed by Mercedes, this new model doesn’t let anything show, adopting a very particular style, even rather aggressive. It is 5.25 meters long and has a generous wheelbase of 3.11 meters, while four to seven people can sit on board. As Pandaily explains, the rear doors can be opened from a distance of up to eight meters.
Inside, the presentation remains rather classic, while the minivan is equipped with a large 17.3-inch touch screen, combined with a digital LCD handset, whose diagonal was not disclosed. The car also has a head-up display and screens installed behind the seats for the passengers in the back.
There are seven screens in the driver’s seat, while cameras are installed in the vehicle to monitor children or conduct video meetings. The D9 MPV has a mini fridge between the front seats, ventilated, heated, and massaging seats, and an induction charging system.
READ MORE: BYD arrives in Europe with 3 electric cars
DENZA D9 MPV: IN PLUG-IN HYBRID AND ELECTRIC
Several versions of the D9 MPV are offered to customers, in hybrid but especially in electric. The latter is equipped with a 103 kW BYD LFP (Blade) battery and claims a range of 620 kilometers according to the NEDC cycle, which is much more optimistic than the WLTP.
Based on BYD‘s e-Platform 3.0 platform, this electric variant is also equipped with a heat pump, which reduces energy consumption when the heater is on. Only 15 minutes are needed to recover 230 kilometers at a power of 166 kW.
This performance is due, in particular, to the presence of two charging ports, a first on the market. General Motors is also reportedly working on a similar device, but it is still only at the patent stage.
It’s also important to note that the minivan is equipped with a Level 2 autonomous driving system, which works thanks to 24 sensors spread around the vehicle, including a dozen ultrasonic radars. A driverless parking feature is also said to be available, as well as the “find my car” system, which automatically records the vehicle’s location when it is parked.
DENZA D9 MPV: PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The entry-level version with a hybrid engine starts in China at 329,800 yuan (about 46,506 euros), while the electric variant ranges from 389,800 yuan (about 54,967 euros) to 459,800 yuan (about 64,838 euros). For the moment, this electric minivan is not planned for Europe.