It's always interesting when companies change things between press releases.

In this case, the vehicle we described on Friday as the BYD Chin (based on BYD's own press release)--an updated version of the world's first plug-in hybrid, the BYD F3DM--now turns out to be called the BYD Qin.

Which, as the most recent release helpfully explains, is pronounced "Chin." And there you have it.

BYD has provided a few more technical details of the Qin plug-in hybrid sedan that it unveiled at this week's Beijing Auto Show.

The Qin is still based on BYD's F3 compact four-door sedan, which was China's single best-selling model at one point. The car's shape is remarkably reminiscent of a previous-generation Toyota Corolla.

The company says the Qin uses a new "Dual Mode II" plug-in hybrid system, with improvements over the first-generation system used on the previous F3DM.

The 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine is turbocharged, and total output of the combined system in hybrid mode--including the 110-kilowatt (148-horsepower) electric motor--is a substantial 300 hp (223 kW) and a remarkable 325 pound-feet (440 Newton-meters) of torque.

The system is said to be 7-percent more efficient, and its 10-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack provides a 30-mile (50-km) range in pure electric mode.

byd auto f3dm plug in hybrid 08

byd auto f3dm plug in hybrid 08

BYD says the Qin will accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.9 seconds, and has a top speed of 115 mph (185 km/h), though it doesn't specify which mode is used to provide this performance.

Other innovations include what BYD terms an "intelligent cloud system platform" that incorporates telematics, cloud computing, and full 24-hour coverage for roadside assistance, remote vehicle monitoring, vehicle positioning, and various infotainment services including music and video downloads.

Despite the technical advances BYD is promoting, the updated Qin plug-in hybrid is not likely to make it to the United States.

Instead, the company is focusing its efforts on the BYD e6, an all-electric five-seat crossover now being tested by the Los Angeles Housing Authority and, soon, by Hertz as an electric rental car.


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