BYD Brings Denza Brand To Europe With Striking D9 Minivan

Posted on

The 2024 Geneva Motor Show kicks off today, and while most international brands are missing, there are a handful of European debuts. This D9 minivan marks the launch of Denza on the Old Continent. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, it’s a brand created by Chinese automaker BYD and Mercedes in 2010. Initially, the joint venture was 50:50, but the German luxury brand reduced its share to 10 percent in 2021 when Denza underwent restructuring.

BYD is paving the way for Denza in Europe by bringing the D9, a large people mover with a high-end interior to rival another posh minivan – the Lexus LM. It’s not a completely new model since it initially went on sale in China in 2022. Much like in the People’s Republic, the Euro variant can be had as a plug-in hybrid or as a full EV.

The three-row family hauler has a boxy shape, large electrically operated sliding doors, a generous greenhouse, and two equally polarizing grille designs. The imposing front end is just as striking as other new minivans, including the Volvo EM90 / Zeekr 009 and the Toyota Alphard / Vellfire twins. The boxy shape with a nearly flat roofline maximizes interior space and there’s a large panoramic sunroof to make the cabin feel more airy.

Even though it’s showcasing the D9 in Geneva, Denza remains tight-lipped about the technical specifications for now. However, look no further than the Chinese version to discover all the relevant numbers. It’s 5250 mm (206.7 in) long, 1960 mm (77.2 in) wide, and 1920 mm tall (75.6 in), with a massive wheelbase of 3110 mm (122.4 in).

Read More:   Porsche Macan EV Spied With Deceiving Camo Trying To Look Undisguised

Since Denza wants to lure you away from buying that luxury SUV, the D9 has an upscale interior with leather just about everywhere you look. The cabin has a 2+2+3 configuration with adjustable and folding seats, not to mention ventilation and massaging functions. Aside from the usual pair of screens in the front, there are extra displays mounted on the armrests of the second-row seats to control various functions.

In addition, there’s a rear-seat entertainment system with dual screens, along with a small fridge that can hold as many as six bottles. The captain’s chairs in the middle slide fore and aft, offering copious amounts of legroom, while the grab handle on the B-pillars makes it easier to get in and out. Even rearmost seats get USB ports and a central armrest, along with LED ambient lighting, and speakers from the Dynaudio sound system.

Denza D9
Denza D9

While Denza keeps European specifications shrouded in mystery for now, the D9 sold in China can be had as a plug-in hybrid with a turbocharged 1.5-liter gasoline engine. The PHEV model is available with front- and all-wheel drive, along with a 20.39-kWh battery and a bigger 40.06-kWh pack.

The combustion engine is good for 137 hp and 231 Nm (170 lb-ft) while the front-mounted motor is rated at 228 hp and 340 Nm (251 lb-ft). Go for the all-wheel-drive model and Denza throws in a rear-mounted motor that produces 60 hp and 110 Nm (81 lb-ft). The FWD versions have a combined output of 296 hp and 571 Nm (421 lb-ft), good for a sprint to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 9.5 seconds. Step up to AWD models and you’re rewarded with a healthy 401 hp and 681 Nm (502 lb-ft) to cut the sprint time to 7.9 seconds.

Read More:   Kia Stinger Tribute Edition Revealed To Mark The End Of Production

In China, the Denza D9 electric model is also offered with a choice of FWD and AWD. Both have a front motor with 308 hp and 360 Nm (266 lb-ft). Upgrading to the all-wheel-drive model brings a rear motor producing 60 hp and 110 Nm (81 lb-ft) for a combined 369 hp and 470 Nm (347 lb-ft). The FWD variant takes 9.5 seconds to complete the sprint, or just 6.9 seconds if you go with AWD. Both share a 103.36-kWh LFP (lithium iron phosphate) battery pack.

As far as range is concerned, we should point out that the China Light-Duty Vehicle Test Cycle (CLTC) differs greatly from the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) used in Europe. The Denza D9 electric model with front-wheel drive promises to cover 385 miles (620 kilometers) while its all-wheel-drive counterpart can do 373 miles (600 kilometers). Maximum charging power is 166 kW, in which case 15 minutes enables a driving range of 143 miles (230 kilometers).

The D9 isn’t Denza’s only model at the 2024 Geneva Motor Show since BYD’s sub-brand also has the purely electric N7. It’s a five-seater SUV with a height-adjustable air suspension, panoramic sunroof, and a maximum driving range of 354 miles (570 kilometers). It’ll take 20 minutes to juice up the battery from 30 to 80 percent thanks to 230-kW charging capabilities.

Denza is scheduled to reach the European market near the end of the year.