BYD has issued a media release about the car but oddly, no exterior shots. This image is courtesy of LeBlogAuto.com

BYD has issued a media release about the car but oddly, no exterior shots. This image is courtesy of LeBlogAuto.com

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BYD has launched the 6B, the replacement for the F3. The Civic-sized sedan features several innovations, one of which is a speaking robot that rises out of the dashboard.

The new car was seen only last month at the Beijing motor show, badged as the F3 Plus concept. This pre-production model looked all but identical to the new 6B.

BYD is launching a telematics software package with the 6B. The car's so-called 'i-system' can reportedly be used in conjunction with a smartphone to locate the car, as well as lock or unlock it. The company notes that the driver can also 'use the embedded terminal equipment to download or upgrade applications and music in the BYD application store'. Further, a small robot, which sits atop the dashboard, will reportedly read out news headlines or other relevant, requested information.

The 6B is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine, while both six-speed manual and six-speed dual clutch transmissions are available.

BYD's Changsha plant in Hunan province is the production location for the new model. That means it is built in the same plant as the F0 (A-segment hatchback), F6 (minivan) and K9 (electric bus). The company states that it has capacity at Changsha to build 50,000 cars and 1,500 e-buses during 2012.

Author: Glenn Brooks