The future of the automotive industry is undeniably electric, with automakers continuously introducing innovative electric vehicles (EVs). However, BYD, the Chinese automotive giant, has taken innovation to new heights with its latest creation under the high-end sub-brand YangWang – the YangWang U8 Premium Edition.
This extraordinary hybrid electric SUV not only offers an impressive range of 1000 kilometers on a single charge and a full fuel tank but also possesses an astonishing ability to float on water. Yes, you read that correctly – this massive hybrid SUV can actually float on water.
Let’s begin by examining the exterior design of the all-new YangWang U8 EV SUV. It’s hard to overlook the striking resemblance between the YangWang U8 and the iconic Land Rover Defender. Chinese automakers have often been criticized for borrowing designs from popular vehicles worldwide, and this instance is no different.
The U8 boasts a rugged and robust design that unmistakably echoes the Land Rover Defender’s timeless aesthetics. Its bold and boxy exterior, along with its commanding stance, pays homage to the British SUV manufacturer’s iconic design. The U8’s front grille, pronounced wheel arches, and square-shaped silhouette all bear a striking resemblance to the Defender. While it may draw inspiration from the past, the U8’s design also incorporates modern and unique elements, ensuring it stands out as a distinct and formidable presence on the road.
As for the interior of the YangWang U8, it boasts an exceptionally opulent and high-end cabin with a strong emphasis on luxury. The centerpiece is a massive 12.8-inch OLED Galaxy Curved Center Display, which takes center stage in the cabin. This prominent display is accompanied by two equally impressive 23.6-inch longitudinal screens, one for the driver and another for the front passenger. The interior is adorned with premium Nappa leather seats, complemented by African Sapele wood accents, enhancing the overall sense of luxury.
In terms of technology, the YangWang U8 leaves no modern amenities behind. It features three wireless charging stations capable of 50 kW fast charging, ensuring quick and convenient charging for electronic devices. Additionally, the SUV is equipped with a Dynaudio Evidence Series 22-speaker audio system, promising an immersive and captivating listening experience, as claimed by the company.
Regarding the powertrain of the YangWang U8 EV SUV, it boasts an advanced and innovative setup. At its core lies a cutting-edge 49.05 kWh LFP battery, which is complemented by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. The vehicle utilizes electric motors, with one dedicated to each wheel, resulting in a remarkable combined output of 1,184 horsepower delivered to the wheels. This power configuration enables the U8 to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in an impressive 3.6 seconds.
In terms of electric-only driving, the SUV offers a pure electric range of 180 kilometers. Moreover, with the engine acting as a range extender and a full 75-liter fuel tank combined with charged batteries, the YangWang U8 claims an astonishing range of 1000 kilometers across various terrains. Charging capabilities are equally impressive, with the U8 supporting fast DC charging of up to 110 kW. In just 18 minutes, the vehicle can charge from 30% to 80%.
The Most Unique Feature: “Yachting Mode”
Now, let’s delve into the most remarkable feature of the YangWang U8: its water-floating capability. While some may question the wisdom of combining electricity and water, this modern EV has been engineered to handle this task without issue. According to the manufacturer, the base model can confidently wade through water up to a meter in depth. However, the Off-Road Master Edition takes water-wading to the extreme, with the ability to navigate waters up to 1.4 meters deep, thanks to the inclusion of a snorkel.
What truly sets the U8 apart is its “Yachting Mode.” In case a driver unexpectedly finds themselves in deeper waters, this mode automatically activates. It elevates the suspension, closes all windows, opens the sunroof, deactivates the engine, and switches the internal HVAC system to re-circulation mode. In this mode, the U8 can gracefully float for up to 30 minutes, navigating waters at a speed of 1.8 mph (3 km/h) by spinning its wheels. This feature is designed for emergencies, providing a vital escape route and is not intended for regular use.
Safety and Technology
When it comes to safety and technology features, the YangWang U8 is equipped with an array of advanced options. The SUV boasts a comprehensive suite of sensors, with nearly 40 of them placed around the vehicle. This includes three Lidar units, 16 cameras, and 14 ultrasonic sensors. The SUV offers Automated Valet Parking right from the start, and there are plans for a future over-the-air update that will introduce ‘City Navigation Autopilot,’ further enhancing the vehicle’s autonomous capabilities.
Pricing and Availability
The road-focused YangWang U8 Premium Edition is scheduled for delivery in October of this year, according to the company. The starting price for the U8 from the YangWang brand, a subsidiary of BYD, is set at $149,008 USD, which is approximately Rs 1.23 crore. Pricing details for the Off-Road Master Edition will be announced in the coming months.