Chinese brand to bring in life-size RC car you can also drive


If you’re too wary to ride inside a Chinese-made car, then why not drive one outside it?

For all practical intents and purposes, this is the head-turning offer of the BYD F5 Su Roi sedan. Its Remote Driving Control (RDC) technology reportedly earned it the Best Leading Science and Technology award in the 2012 Beijing Auto Show.

The RDC technology allows the F5 Su Roi owner to switch on the car’s engine and air conditioner, then enable the vehicle to move forward and back, turn left and right, and travel at a restricted speed—without the driver even being in the vehicle—all at the press of a button.

Auto company Build Your Dreams (BYD), the maker of the F5 Su Rui, will open its first showroom in the Philippines on Sept. 7 at 312 Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City. And no doubt, this novelty of an RC car will be one of the top crowd drawers. It would also raise the tricky question: “If I want to test-drive the car, would I have to do it inside or outside the vehicle?”

BYD Co. Ltd. claims to be the world’s biggest rechargeable battery manufacturer, and the first Chinese automotive brand to penetrate the US market. It says it branched out into the auto business in 2003, and has “kept a robust yearly growth rate.”

According to a statement by the BYD, in 2008, Warren Buffett invested $232 million to take a 9.89-percent stake in the company.

It added that today, it is “the fastest-growing Chinese auto company and a global pioneer in the field of new energy vehicles, including Dual Mode Electric Models and Pure Electric Models. In 2010, BYD and Daimler AG set up a 50-50, $88-million tieup.”

In the Philippines, BYD is distributed by Solar Transport and Automotive Resources Corp., with Anna Marie Tanhueco as GM, and Mark Tieng as managing director.

Aside from the F5 Su Rui, which is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged all-aluminum alloy engine with dual clutch transmission, BYD also offers its SUV (the BYD S6) and another sedan variant (the BYD L3).

The S6, which BYD claimed was awarded China’s “SUV of the Year” in 2012, reportedly received a 5-star rating in the C-NCAP crash tests.

The vehicle is available in 2.4- and 2-liter variants. Both are fitted with a dual-mode sun roof, ABS (antilock brake system), EBD (electronic brake distribution), dual front airbags, side airbags, curtain airbag, parking radar with reverse camera, 7-inch multitouch screen monitor, DVD player, nine speakers and smart key—all pretty much standard in today’s SUVs.

Then everyone’s attention reverts to that RDC car. And you’ll think, what’ll they come up with next?

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