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BYD's YangWang U8: Europe's Newest Aquatic SUV Sensation

BYD YangWang U8

Unveiling and Launch

In a striking move, BYD Auto Company">BYD has introduced its elite brand YangWang to the European market, captivating audiences with the launch of its avant-garde SUV, the U9, at the Geneva Motor Show in 2024. This vehicle has captured widespread attention with its unique ability to traverse water surfaces at speeds of up to 3km/h and execute impressive 360-degree maneuvers similar to a tank. It represents the zenith of BYD's mass-produced vehicles in terms of pricing.

Approximately a year prior, the YangWang U8 was unveiled, making its debut in January and hitting the market in September 2023 with a price tag of approximately 1,089 million yuan ($150,000). The commencement of its deliveries saw a significant milestone in December, with 1,652 units finding their owners in China by January 2023.

The U8: An Exemplar of Hybrid Engineering

The U8 stands as a testament to advanced automotive engineering, embodying an all-wheel-drive electric vehicle enhanced by an extended range (EREV). This innovation integrates an internal combustion engine (ICE) serving as a dynamic generator for the battery, though it does not engage the wheels directly. It boasts a Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) Blade battery with a 49.05 kWh capacity, ensuring a commendable range of 180 km. When fully charged and coupled with a 75-liter fuel tank, the vehicle asserts an uninterrupted travel capability of up to 1000 km.

Powering the U8 are four electric motors, each offering a robust 220 kW of power. The aggregate power output reaches an impressive 880 kW (1,180 hp), with a peak torque of 1,280 Nm. This potent electric powertrain pairs seamlessly with a 2.0L turbocharged ICE, capable of recharging the battery or energizing the electric motors, albeit not propelling the wheels directly. The vehicle's maximum velocity caps at 200 km/h, and it can surge from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 3.6 seconds.

Design and Dimensions: A Closer Look

Dimensionally, the U8 measures 5319 mm in length, 2050 mm in width, and 1930 mm in height, with a wheelbase stretching to 3050 mm. It resides on the innovative e4 platform and comes equipped with the Disus-P hydraulic body control system, enabling the SUV to adjust its height by up to 150 mm. Despite its grandeur in size, the U8 offers seating for five, eschewing the option for a third row. It has a gross weight of 3,985 kg and a curb weight of 3,460 kg.

Global Ambitions and Noteworthy Moments

BYD's announcement in September revealed plans to introduce the YangWang U8 to Brazil in May, although further details were sparse. A pivotal moment occurred in October when California's Governor Gavin Newsom was seen test-driving the U8 in China, signaling the vehicle's international appeal.

This week marked the unveiling of YangWang's second marvel, the U9, priced at 1.69 million yuan ($236,000). Unlike its predecessor capable of aquatic navigation, the U9 introduces capabilities akin to performing dances or jumps. With an initial preorder price set at 300k yuan, mass production is slated for the second quarter, with the anticipation of deliveries by mid-2024.

In Conclusion

BYD's YangWang U8 and U9 are not merely vehicles but symbols of technological advancement and luxury in the automotive sector. As BYD continues to expand its footprint globally, the introduction of these models in Europe and beyond exemplifies the company's commitment to innovation and excellence in electric vehicle production. The YangWang U8, with its unique features and groundbreaking capabilities, is set to redefine expectations for high-end SUVs, offering a glimpse into the future of luxury automotive travel. 

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Friday, 19 April 2024