Chinese automaker BYD is preparing to launch its second-generation Qin plug-in electric hybrid in Costa Rica next year. No details have been released yet on launch date, pricing, warranty or amenities. Sales will commence in Central and South America through what BYD describes as the region's "largest automobile distributors."

The Qin model name (pronounced "cheen," apparently) pays tribute to the first emperor of China. Last year at the Beijing Motor Show, BYD announced that the upcoming Qin will "Lead the EV way" with its new Dual Mode II powertrain. The Qin is supposed to get great fuel economy at 1.6 liters of fuel burned per 100 kilometers, which is the equivalent of 147 mpg. It will be powered by a 217 kW-drive system that can go from zero to 62 miles per hour in 5.9 seconds.

The Qin is the successor to the BYD F6DM. BYD introduced the original plug-in hybrid Qin in early 2012 as a replacement to the BYD F3DM. That Qin was a little bit slower – 0-62 mph in less than seven seconds – but it's lighter batteries did offer an improvement over the F3DM. The Qin PHEV will debut at a dealership in Costa Rica's capital city of San Jose.

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