Though it may not yet be a household name on U.S. shores, BYD Auto is a name that you’ll no doubt be hearing a lot in the very near future. Founded in 2003, this Chinese marque produces all manner of commercial and passenger electric vehicles, including an ever-growing range of luxury models under its more premium Yangwang sub-brand. And after overtaking Tesla as the world’s largest producer of EVs, BYD has now rolled out what’s almost certainly its most noteworthy automotive offering to date with the game-changing Yangwang U8 SUV.
Spanning 209.4” in length and standing at 80.7” wide, the Yangwang U8 is a full-sized luxury SUV that combines a potent quad-motor powertrain with a world-class luxury interior, incredible off-roading capabilities, and a slew of advanced features and tech. Each of the SUV’s wheels contains its own 220-kW electric motor with precise torque vectoring that collectively generate 1,200hp and allow for a 0-60mph time of just 3.6 seconds. Also equipped with a 2.0-liter gas engine that solely acts as generator for the SUV’s battery pack, this plug-in hybrid system also boasts BYD’s Comprehensive Long Trip Capability range which offers 620-miles of range per charge, plus can receive a 30% to 80% charge in just 18 minutes when juicing up at speeds of 110kW.
On top of an off-road-ready suspension package with 5.9” of travel and continuously adaptive damping, the U8 also features BYD’s DiSus-P Intelligent Hydraulic Body Control System, wading capabilities of up to a meter, and approach, break-over, and departure angles of 36.5°, 25.5°, and 35.4°, respectively. It doesn’t end there, however, as Yangwang has also bestowed the U8 with some incredibly unique features such as the ability to perform stationary tank turns and a tire blowout stabilization system. The U8’s most noteworthy and innovative party trick, however, is undoubtedly its emergency flotation system which enables the SUV to temporally act like a boat, floating on the surface of a body of water rather than sinking — a feature designed as a safety measure, not one to increase go-anywhere capabilities. Trimmed in Nappa leather and accented in African Sapele wood, the interior of the U8 features a dual-layered cockpit setup with a 12.8” OLED Galaxy Curved Center Display supplemented via dual 23.6” longitudinal screens for the driver and front passenger, plus onboard wireless device charging and a premium Dynaudio Evidence Series 22-speaker audio system. The company is also producing a first-edition model known as the U8 Premium Edition.
Priced starting from CN¥1,098,000 (~ $150,400), the 2024 Yangwang U8 Premium Edition SUV is available for order now, with deliveries scheduled to begin next month.