Denza going to Europe and taking a rebadged Fangchengbao Bao with it

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At last year’s IAA Munich show BYD displayed the Denza D9 car on its stand. Now it seems that Denza is definitely heading for Europe and the launch car will be the Z9 GT station wagon which comes complete with two refrigerators. Furthermore, the Fangchengbao brand will be rebranded as Denza for Europe with the Bao 5 being the launch car from that brand.

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British car magazine Autocar revealed that Denza’s head of European operations Yi Sun said that BYD is in talks with potential dealers to introduce the Denza electric brand to Europe. Currently, there is no confirmed start date for sales.

For Europe Denza will be positioned as a direct competitor for the German trio of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes. Regarding formerly rumored plans for introducing the Fangchengbao brand to Europe under the Denza name Autocar quotes Yi Sun as saying, “we want to put everything under one luxury brand.” BYD believes the Bao 5 (see specs) is a good fit for the European market.

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To help with the entry of the Denza and BYD brands into Europe the company is strengthening its local R&D team within Europe to better meet the needs of European customers.

Currently, in China the Denza Z9 GT is attracting a lot of attention thanks to it having two refrigerators. Whether this will be a feature in the European versions or whether it will even appeal to European consumers is another question. Also, it is not clear now whether the dual fridge configuration is standard or whether it is something exclusive to top-spec models.

For those cars fitted with the two fridges, there is one in the center console between the two front seats and a further one In the rear behind the fold-down armrest. The front one has a volume of 4l and can reportedly hold six bottles of soft drinks whereas the one in the rear has a volume of 10l and can hold around two bottles of champagne. In China a lot of people have criticized having two refrigerators as being overly extravagant. BYD however, have countered that the compartments are not just for refrigeration and can also be heated, so you can have a situation where one is heating and the other is cooling. For heating the compartment can heat from 35°C to 50°C whereas for cooling it can be set to a temperature of between -6°C and +6°C. With the front compartment, the temperature is set using a small digital dial just behind the dual cup holders.

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Possibly a big problem for the European market is that it appears that the Z9 GT equipped with the rear fridge cannot have the center part folded down while the two parts to either side can be folded down. If this is the case it will restrict the appeal to Europeans who often use such cars for moving larger items.

Revealed a few days ago the interior of the Denza Z9 GT adopts the Denza 2.0 cockpit design language. Buyers have a choice between a white or burgundy interior. Although full specifications have yet to be announced we can see from pictures that there is a large central infotainment screen while the passenger gets an entertainment screen, and for the driver there is an LCD instrument panel. Most likely there will also be a head-up display as well but as yet nothing has been announced. From the front we can also see that the air conditioning outlets are hidden and that there is a large gear selection lever behind which are some physical switches for the air conditioning and some functions of the car. There are dual 50W wireless phone charging pads and the front passenger has a zero gravity seat which can fold to near flat. Seats of course have heating, ventilation, and massage functions. One interesting feature is that there are rear passenger makeup mirrors which fold down from the car’s ceiling. The car also features a 2.1 square meter panoramic roof. Rear passengers benefit from heating, ventilation, and massage and the seat’s rake can be electrically adjusted.

Designed as a shooting break the Denza Z9 GT will be one of the flagship cars for the brand. It measures in at 5180, 1990, and 1500 mm (l/w/h) and the wheelbase is 3125 mm. It will be available in both all-electric and PHEV versions, both of which use three electric motors.

For the all-electric version, the front motor is 230 kW while it has two electric motors at the rear each with a peak power of 240 kW giving a combined total of 710 kW. While the top speed is 240 km/h, we do not know anything about the range or the battery capacity.

The PHEV version of the Denza Z9 GT gets a BYD479ZQA 2.0T engine and three electric motors. Maximum power of the engine is 152 kW, and the front motor is 200 kW, while both rear motors are 220 kW each. We know that the PHEV has a 38.512 kWh battery pack which uses the blade battery, a lithium iron phosphate unit from BYD subsidiary FinDreams. All electric range is claimed to be 161 km using WLTC, while the top speed is slightly lower than the EV at 230 km/h.

Denza started life as a 50:50 joint venture between BYD and Mercedes-Benz but BYD now owns 90% of the brand.

Sources: Fast Technology, Autohome

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2 COMMENTS

    • The armrest folds down, that’s how you get to the rear fridge. What’s not apparent though is that the fridge unit can be folded down. I tried to post a picture showing the two seats down but the fridge still upright but I couldn’t get the picture to upload.

      My experience with similar systems in sedans is that the seats on either side may fold down but you cannot fold down the middle section. This would be a huge problem on the Z9, which is meant to be a wagon!

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