Remember the world's very first production plug-in hybrid?

No, not the 2011 Chevy Volt. Not the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid either.

Way back in late 2008, it was the Chinese BYD F3DM, with a lithium-ion battery pack and a combined parallel and series hybrid powertrain inserted into the Corolla-knockoff body of the BYD F3--China's best-selling car model.

Now, BYD has redesigned and updated the F3DM, and given it a new name: It will become the BYD Chin.

The company will officially unveil the car at next week's Beijing International Automotive Exhibition.

The original F3DM didn't get very good reviews from the few journalists able to drive one, and it didn't sell very well either in the notoriously price-sensitive Chinese domestic market.

But while BYD is largely focusing on its all-electric e6 crossover--we saw an updated version in the Hertz booth at last week's New York Auto Show--the company is sticking with the plug-in hybrid sedan as well.

The photo above and the following details are all that BYD has provided so far (conversions in brackets are ours):

The Chin adopts BYD’s new Dual Mode II system, with improvements on the current dual mode electric model F3DM in efficiency, power and energy-saving.

With a high voltage, high-speed motor and high-density batteries, the Chin requires just 16RMB [$2.54] of energy per 100km [62 miles], which equates to 2 liters of fuel per hundred kilometers [118 mpg].

We'll bring you more details from the Beijing show as we get them. Meanwhile, what do you think? Is the BYD Chin an improvement on the former BYD F3DM?

Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.


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