BYD will be hoping for the seal of approval as it introduces its third new vehicle to the UK motoring landscape – a sleek sports saloon crammed full of tech.

The Chinese manufacturer has already launched the Atto 3 and Dolphin on these shores, and is now looking to make an even bigger splash with another all-electric car – the Seal.

Globally, BYD has sold 1.86 million ‘New Energy Vehicles’, hitting 300,000 units per month for the first time in October.

The Mail: The Seal in action on the M-Sport test track in Cumbria The Seal in action on the M-Sport test track in Cumbria (Image: .)

We were invited to the UK launch in Cumbria this week, with the chance to put the car through its paces on a secure test track at M-Sport’s development centre and also on the public roads around the Lake District.

With sleek looks and a refined interior, this D-segment car exudes a luxurious quality and is set to compete with the likes of the Tesla Model 3.

But it’s the car’s driving dynamics that impress the most, with excellent agility and grip in the corners and a pleasing turn of pace.

The Seal comes with a choice of two drivetrains, both with a battery capacity of 82.5 kWh.

The single-motor ‘Design’ version with rear-wheel drive has 313 PS of power and accelerates from 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds.

The four-wheel drive ‘Excellence’ version packs even more of a punch, with an electric motor on the front and rear axles, offering a total power output of 530 PS.

The Mail: The Seal on the roads of the Lake DistrictThe Seal on the roads of the Lake District (Image: .)

On the test track, there was a chance to use launch control to fully enjoy the punchy acceleration, with this version taking just 3.8 seconds to reach 62mph.

Despite the track being drenched from Storm Debi, the Seal displayed a remarkably sure-footed quality, with grip levels during brisk cornering defying what looked to be slippery conditions.

A low centre of gravity helps the Seal fell well-planted, as does the car’s Intelligent Torque Adaption Control system, which has been newly developed by BYD to improve stability and reduce the risk of skidding and wheelspin.

The system continually monitors wheel speeds and can predict loss of traction control, responding by adjusting the drivetrain and power distribution pre-emptively.

Independent suspension, with double wishbones at the front and a five-link rear suspension, also contributes to the trustworthy handling and we found the ride to be very compliant on the mixed surfaces of the Lake District’s undulating roads.

At the media briefing, BYD bosses explained how the Seal uses cutting edge technology and is built on the company’s pioneering e-Platform 3.0 with an 8-in-1 powertrain.

The Seal is also the first vehicle to use BYD’s advanced Cell-to-Body technology and fully integrates the ‘Blade Battery’ into the entire vehicle structure for better safety, torsional rigidity, driving dynamics and space.

The Mail: The Seal's refined interiorThe Seal's refined interior (Image: .)

In terms of looks, the Seal is attractive from all angles, boasting athletic and aerodynamic lines in what BYD calls its ‘Ocean-X’ design language.

The cabin benefits from plenty of premium materials and you have to look hard to find anything that doesn’t look and feel high-end.

The centrepiece is the large 15.65-inch multimedia touchpad , which rotates from landscape to portrait at the press of a button. Meanwhile, the 10.25-inch full instrument LCD panel is clear and perfectly-located.

Headroom and legroom in this five-seater is generous, mainly thanks to the cleverly-designed platform.

The Mail: The rear seats of the SealThe rear seats of the Seal (Image: .)

The range is another plus point, with the rear-wheel drive version good for 354 miles on the WLTP combined scale, with the all-wheel drive version offering an official 323 miles.

The Seal has an 11 kW 3-phase onboard charger for AC charging as standard, and can be fast charged with a maximum150 kW. With this amount of power, the battery can be charged from 30 per cent to 80 per cent in 26 minutes.

You’ll pay £45,695 for the rear-wheel drive model and another £3,000 for the all-wheel drive version - a pricing structure that should prove competitive and has potential to give more traditional rivals food for thought.

The Lowdown

BYD Seal 

TRIM: Excellence AWD
PRICE: £48,695 on the road
ACCELERATION: 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds
CHARGING: 30 per cent to 80 per cent in 26 minutes.
RANGE: 354 miles