BEIJING, March 6 (Reuters) - Chinese automaker BYD on Wednesday added fuel to the flames of a brutal price war in China by cutting the price of its cheapest electric car, the Seagull, by 5%.

Prices for the Seagull will now start 69,800 yuan ($9,700).

Earlier this week BYD priced the new version of its best-selling car - the Yuan Plus crossover - known as the Atto 3 in overseas markets - nearly 12% lower than the previous model.

And last month, it offered lower-priced new versions of its Han sedans and Tang SUVs, and for some other models offered even bigger discounts than it did in in 2023.

The price war in China, the world's largest auto market, began at the start of last year with cuts by Tesla and has only intensified since as automakers strive to win sales amid a slowing economy.

Over a dozen automakers have this year rolled out fresh discounts, including Tesla, Geely Auto, GAC Aion, Leapmotor and Xpeng.

($1 = 7.1978 yuan) (Reporting by Qiaoyi Li, Zhang Yan and Brenda Goh; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)