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Tesla rival launches electric supercar that can reach 60mph in under three seconds

A BYD Co. Yangwang U9 electric vehicle
The Yangwang U9 costs around £185,000 and has a top speed of 192mph - Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

BYD has launched an all-electric supercar that can hit 60 miles per hour (mph) in under three seconds, as the Chinese start-up seeks to challenge luxury brands such as Ferrari and Lamborghini.

The Tesla rival’s Yangwang U9, which will initially go on sale in China with a price tag of 1.68 million yuan (£184,000), has claimed a top speed of 192mph.

BYD has said the car can accelerate from zero to 100 kilometers per hour (62mph) in just 2.36 seconds, while also boasting a range of 279 miles.

This marks BYD’s latest attempt to undercut Western carmakers after it recently overtook Tesla as the world’s best-selling electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer.

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BYD sold a total of 526,000 EVs in the final three months of 2023, beating Tesla’s tally of 484,000.

Across the year as a whole, the company posted three million battery and hybrid sales – which includes the company’s cut-price EVs that are now on sale in Europe, such as the BYD Dolphin.

As well as targeting Tesla, the Shenzhen-based company wants to challenge marque brands such as Ferrari, which will introduce its first all-electric model in 2025.

Lamborghini’s first all-electric supercar is not expected until 2028.

As well as including a clean energy supercar, BYD’s newly released Yangwang range will consist of other premium EV models, such as a luxury SUV.

BYD has rivalled European and US rivals with budget electric cars, which has fuelled an aggressive price war among manufacturers.

Its latest supercar is significantly cheaper than Western comparisons, such as Ferrari’s hybrid 296 GTB, which costs £241,000, and the Lucid Air Sapphire – which has a price tag of £197,115.

However, BYD has not been immune to investor concerns around waning EV demand, as its shares have fallen 12pc so far this year.

Ferrari's hybrid 296 GTB
BYD's supercar is significantly cheaper than Ferrari's hybrid 296 GTB, which costs £241,000 - Geoff Pugh for The Telegraph

The unveiling of the U9 comes as Tesla continues to tease an updated version of its Roadster sports car, originally released in 2008 but last sold in 2012.

Founder Elon Musk has claimed the new Roadster EV will be able to hit 60mph in 1.9 seconds and have a maximum speed of 250mph.

However, production of the new Roadster has been repeatedly delayed and is now not expected until late 2024.

The car’s price is expected to be north of £157,000.