We are all aware that electric vehicles are the future, and for this reason, automakers are creating new and innovative EVs every passing day. However, this particular EV SUV created by BYD, the Chinese automotive giant, has shaken things up. The company, under its high-end sub-brand, YangWang, unveiled its latest creation, named the YangWang U8 Premium Edition.
This remarkable hybrid electric SUV boasts an impressive range of 1000 kilometers on a single charge and full fuel tank but also has a unique ability to float on water. Yes, you heard that right; this massive hybrid SUV can float on water.
First off, let’s start with the exterior design of the all-new YangWang U8 EV SUV. Everyone cannot help but notice the striking resemblance of the YangWang U8 to the legendary Land Rover Defender. Chinese automakers are famous for copying designs of popular vehicles around the globe, and this is no exception.
It boasts a very rugged and robust design. From its bold and boxy exterior to its sturdy stance, the U8 copies the British SUV manufacturer Land Rover Defender’s timeless design. The U8’s front grille, prominent wheel arches, and square-shaped silhouette all resemble the Defender. While it may be seen as a nod to the past, the U8’s design carries a modern and distinctive flair, making it stand out as a unique and formidable presence on the road.
From the inside, the YangWang U8 has been provided with an extremely plush and upmarket cabin that appears extremely luxurious. It gets a massive 12.8-inch OLED Galaxy Curved Center Display which takes center stage. It is then complemented by two 23.6-inch longitudinal screens for the driver and front passenger. The SUV has also been laden with premium Nappa leather seats, coupled with African Sapele wood accents.
Technologically, the YangWang U8 does not miss out on any modern amenities. It offers three wireless charging stations capable of 50 kW fast charging. It also gets a Dynaudio Evidence Series 22-speaker audio system that, according to the company, delivers an immersive listening experience.
Coming to the powertrain side of things for this EV SUV, the YangWang U8 gets a highly advanced powertrain. It features an advanced 49.05 kWh LFP battery with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. The electric motors, one for each wheel, collectively deliver a jaw-dropping 1,184 horsepower to the wheels. This configuration helps in taking the U8 from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 3.6 seconds.
This SUV provides a pure electric range of 180 kilometers. Additionally, when the engine of the YangWang U8 kicks in as a range extender, with a full tank of 75 liters of fuel and charged batteries, the U8 can do an astonishing claimed range of 1000 kilometers across various terrains. As for charging capabilities of the YangWang U8, it gets a fast DC charging capability of up to 110 kW. In just 18 minutes, the vehicle can change from 30% to 80%.
The Most Unique Feature: “Yachting Mode”
Now coming to the main highlight of the YangWang U8, it is its ability to float on water. It is understood that many people might question this feature which mixes electricity and water; this modern EV has been designed to take on this task without a hiccup. According to the company, the base model can wade through water up to a meter in depth, while the Off-Road Master Edition takes it to the extreme with the capability to wade up to 1.4 meters, thanks to a snorkel.
Now the above-mentioned feat is already very impressive; however, what truly sets the U8 apart is its “Yachting Mode.” As per the company, in the event that a driver finds himself in deeper waters than expected, this mode will come into action. It will autonomously elevate the suspension, close all the windows, open the sunroof, deactivate the engine, and switch the internal HVAC system to re-circulation mode. In this mode, the U8 can stay afloat for up to 30 minutes, gracefully navigating waters at a speed of 1.8 mph (3 km/h) by spinning its wheels. It’s a feature designed for emergencies, providing a vital escape route and is not meant to be used regularly.
Safety and Technology
In terms of safety features, the YangWang U8 comes packed with advanced safety and technology features. The SUV gets nearly 40 sensors lining the vehicle, including three Lidar units, 16 cameras, and 14 ultrasonic sensors. Automated Valet Parking is a feature available right from the start, with ‘City Navigation Autopilot’ set to come via an over-the-air update in the future, enhancing the vehicle’s autonomous capabilities.
Pricing and Availability
As per the company, the road-focused YangWang U8 Premium Edition is set to be delivered in October of this year. The YangWang brand, which is the sub-brand of BYD, has priced the U8 at a starting price of $149,008 USD or roughly Rs 1.23 crore. As for the Off-Road Master Edition, pricing details are expected to be announced in the coming months.