Last week, BYD’s new high-end subbrand, YangWang, unveiled its latest creation: a massive, range-extended electric SUV named the U8. This model has set its eyes on challenging established luxury SUVs like the Range Rover and the Mercedes G-Class.
To demonstrate its readiness to take on these competitors in terms of features, YangWang showcased two impressive capabilities of the SUV: a 360-degree tank turn and the ability to stay afloat and wade in water during emergencies.
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The YangWang U8 is powered by four electric motors that combine to put out a massive 1,184 hp (880 kW/1,196 PS) to the wheels. Because each wheel is powered by its own motor, they can all turn in a different direction, allowing the SUV to turn in place.
This feature was recently demonstrated in a video shared by CarNewsChina, showcasing the U8 performing a slow, 360-degree rotation in place. The gradual rotation gives it the appearance of being on a turntable, although there is some noticeable juddering during the maneuver. The video is silent, which masks what would likely be some rather unpleasant tire-screeching sounds.Naturally, if this trick were performed off-road, it would likely be quieter and smoother.
It can float and wade through water for 30 minutes sailing at 3km/h
As mentioned, the U8 has more than one impressive feature up its sleeve. Being an off-roader, it can also handle deep water wading. While the standard model can wade up to a depth of 1 meter (39 inches), the Off-road Master Edition can go even deeper, up to 1.4 meters (55 inches), thanks to its snorkel.
If you’re curious why an EV would require a snorkel, it’s for the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, which serves as a range extender. This unit generates electricity to recharge the 49.05 kWh LFP batteries that provide power to the four motors. When the tank is full (20 gallons/75 liters) and the batteries are charged, the U8 boasts a claimed range of 621 miles (1,000 km) across various terrains.
However, should you go deeper into that stream than the intake allows (snorkeled or otherwise), the U8 offers a special Yachting Mode to protect itself. Utilizing onboard sensors, it will autonomously elevate the suspension, deactivate the engine, switch the internal HVAC system to re-circulation mode, close the windows, and open the sunroof, providing occupants with an emergency escape route. In this mode, YangWang claims that the U8 can remain afloat for up to 30 minutes and sail at 1.8 mph (3 km/h or 1.6 knots) simply by spinning its wheels.
Deliveries of the more road-focused YangWang U8 Premium Edition are set to begin in October, with prices starting at 1,089,000 yuan ($149,008 USD at current exchange rates). Prices for the Off-Road Master Edition are expected at a later date.