BYD Yangwang U8 Unveiled in China

Chinese EV giant BYD has formally launched its premium electric sub-brand called Yangwang along with its first model – the Yangwang U8 (previously known by its codename R1).

At the launch event, the Chairman of BYD Wang Chuanfu personally drove the Yangwang U8 into the venue. In addition to the new premium SUV, the Yangwang brand also launched a driving technology known as ‘Yisifang,’ which will be used for the first time in the Yangwang U8.

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The Yisifang technology is a new wheel-side motor that powers the vehicle through four independent motors without relying on the steering wheel to turn. This enables the car to achieve 360-degree steering in one spot. Yisifang’s four-wheel independent motor technology can control the vehicle’s movement through real-time wheel torque regulation to help the driver in the event of steering wheel failure or tire blowout.

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According to BYD, the technology is 100% self-developed and suitable for pure electric and hybrid platforms, covering off-road, supercars, and other models. BYD says the electronically controlled four-wheel drive system responds 100 times faster than the traditional 4WD systems.

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Wang Chuanfu also stated that the Yisifang technology would be equipped as standard equipment on all models under the Yangwang brand. The Yangwang U8 is also equipped with an IP68 motor waterproof and body sealing technology that allows the SUV to actually float on the water.

BYD’s Yangwang U8 floating on the water

Designed by Wolfgang Egger, former Audi design chief who heads BYD’s design department since 2017, the U8 adopts the “Gate of Time and Space” design language, which merges futuristic elements with hardcore styling. The L-shaped headlight is unique and highly recognizable when lit. The grille’s interior is decorated in a dot matrix pattern while the grille’s center is inlaid with the brand’s logo.

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The side profile features retractable door handles, chunky side mirrors, squarish wheel arches, and horizontal slats at the D-pillars. The back gets a hexagonal spare wheel cover, a heavily indented bumper, and tail lights with a matrix-like pattern mimicking the front while adorning vertically placed LED signatures.

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byd yangwang u8 9 1000Overall, the U8 SUV has a staunch stance, with a length of 5,300mm and a wheelbase spanning 3,050mm. The vehicle will be offered with 20-inch wheels with a tire size of 275/60. BYD hasn’t revealed the interior; however, as seen in spy shots previously, the U8 SUV will be equipped with a full LCD instrument panel and an embedded central touch screen.

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In terms of power, the Yisifang technology platform will provide Yangwang U8 with four wheels and four motors. The maximum power of a single motor is 220-240 kW, and the peak torque is 320-420 Nm resulting in a combined output of a staggering 1100hp. This enables the U8 to go from 0-100 km/h in just 3.0 seconds. In addition, the U8 will also come equipped with BYD’s blade batteries.

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Various driving modes, including ice and snow, fixed circle, desert slope, flat tire to continue driving (120km/h), U-turn on the spot, and floating water mode, are available on the Yangwang U8. The SUV also supports ‘crab mode’ to offer greater vehicle maneuverability when off-roading and can control the driving circuit surface while wading in deep water.

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Being a premium brand, Yangwang is expected to manufacture vehicles within the 800,000 to 1.5 million yuan ($110,300 – $206,800) price range. While there was no mention of the price at the launch event, the U8 is expected to cost about 1 million yuan.

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