BYD’s YangWang U8 Launched: Car That Can Float on Water

BYD has formally launched the Yangwang U8 in China, the EREV SUV was unveiled earlier this year. As a reminder, YangWang is a premium sub-brand under BYD’s umbrella. U8 is their first product whereas the U9 electric sports car was also unveiled in January.

The Yangwang U8 has been launched in two versions – Premium Edition and Off-road Master Edition. With this launch, presales of the Premium Edition have kicked off with deliveries (in China) to begin in October. The Off-road Master Edition will hit the market later and offers some extra off-road add-ons, such as a rugged front bumper, that extends toward the bottom of the car to protect against collision in the wild. It also features a snorkel and detachable roof rack with a small ladder on the side.

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Riding on the e4 platform, the U8 is equipped with a Disus-P hydraulic body control system, which allows the vehicle to rise and lower up to 150 mm. U8 can perform 360° tank turn, wade, and float on water in emergencies.

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Related: BYD Showcases Yangwang U9 EV with Most Advanced Vehicle Body Control System

The interior features Nappa leather and 6 massive screens: a 23.6″ instrument panel for the driver, a 12.8″ central control screen, and another 23.6″ infotainment screen for the co-pilot. Two more screens are for rear passengers mounted to the back of the front seats, and the last LCD is on the console between the rear seats.

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There is also a 50″ HUD and 22 speakers from Dynaudio. The U8 also features some not-so-common in-car tech, such as a thermographic camera and integrated satellite phone.

BYD YangWang U8 Premium Edition 14

The SUV has an AWD setup with four electric motors and boasts a combined output of 880 kW (1,197 horsepower). U8 is an electric range extended vehicle (EREV), which means it has an ICE (internal combustion engine) that works as a power generator for the battery. In this case, a 2.0L turbo powers a 49.05 kWh LFP Blade battery. It is supplemented with Cell-to-Chassis (CTC) technology, which means the battery is integrated into the chassis. The range is 180 km under CLTC terms, and the comprehensive range with a full battery and 75-liter fuel tank is 1,000 km.

BYD Yangwang U8

U8 supports DC fast charging up to 110 kW, making 30% – 80% achievable in just 18 minutes. Its 6kW vehicle-to-load (VTL) discharge capability can power electronic devices for up to 25 hours. Yangwang U8 Premium Edition costs 1,089,000 yuan ($150k USD), making it China’s most expensive mass-produced electric car. The price of the Master Off-road Edition is yet to be announced but can be slightly higher than the Premium Edition.

Wading and Floating mode

The Premium Edition of Yangwang U8 can wade in a maximum depth of 1,000 mm, while the Off-road Master Edition can wade up to 1,400mm thanks to the snorkel. When the wading mode is activated, the vehicle will use its sensors to monitor the environment, water depth, wheel slip status, etc. The emergency floating mode is automatically activated when the car goes deep over the limit.

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When activated, the ICE will immediately shut down, Disus-P will raise the suspension to the maximum level, windows will be closed automatically, A/C will be switched to internal circulation, and the sunroof will open, providing an emergency exit. Moreover, the vehicle will display the water depth and attitude on the central control screen.

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U8 can stay afloat for 30 minutes and move forward at 3 km/h by accelerating and turning wheels. It can even perform tank turns while floating. BYD highlights that it is only for emergencies such as floods and not for fun crossing lakes and rivers. BYD claims U8 is IP68-level waterproof, however, after the emergency floating mode activation, BYD says the vehicle needs to be brought to a service center for inspection.

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