BYD is set to reveal a prototype of a C-segment plug-in sedan. The Qin, which is believed to be headed for production in 2013, would be a natural rival for FAW Volkswagen’s forthcoming Kaili EV.

Apart from releasing images of the Qin, which is referred to as a concept, BYD has said very little about the car. The company terms the model a ‘dual mode EV’, and boasts of the Qin as being a performance model.

If BYD does indeed launch the Qin in 2013, it would be stealing a March on other forthcoming EVs for China’s B/C-segments. Nissan is yet to commit to local production of the similarly sized Leaf but its JV with Dongfeng Nissan announced in July 2011 that it would launch a Venucia-branded EV for the Chinese market by 2015. 

Volkswagen Group also has ambitions to lead the emerging segment in China for small plug-in sedans: the FAW Volkswagen JV is said to be developing a plug-in version of the existing New Bora sedan for its forthcoming Kaili low-cost brand. There have been suggestions that the partners will build such a model at the Foshan plant, currently under construction.

Full details of the BYD Qin will be announced on 23 April, the first media day of the Beijing show.