Home Tech This Chinese luxury hybrid SUV combines a tank, a Bentley and a boat

This Chinese luxury hybrid SUV combines a tank, a Bentley and a boat

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This Chinese luxury hybrid SUV combines a tank, a Bentley and a boat

Watch the U8 be tested by sailing through the watch in boat mode. Be careful, you can only do this for 30 minutes.

Boat mode is only designed to be used in an emergency, such as a flash flood, and BYD says the U8 is designed to do so for just 30 minutes. It is not clear what happens on long trips.

Drivers/skippers are also urged to take the U8 to a workshop for an inspection after unintentionally (or perhaps intentionally) taking their 3,460-kilogram electrified luxury car/yacht into the water. This might make the U8’s bathing capabilities seem like an unnecessary feature, but in countries prone to extreme rainfall and flooded roads, building a car capable of floating back to safety isn’t as strange as it seems.

…and in the Mountains

Back on dry land, the U8 promises to be a very capable all-rounder. Intelligent driving modes send power and torque to any corner that needs it, and because there’s an electric motor for each wheel, the U8 can perform a tank spin, turning in place by turning its left and right sides in opposite directions. . On tarmac, it will create enough friction to buy the Michelin Man a new holiday home, but it’s a smart way to negotiate tight spaces while driving off-road.

We mentioned earlier that this is a hybrid, but its transmission doesn’t work in the conventional sense. While there is a 2-litre turbocharged petrol engine, it is not connected to the wheels. Instead, it acts as a range-extending generator and sends its energy to the U8’s modest 49 kWh battery pack.

BYD says the U8 will go 112 miles on electricity alone or 620 miles when the engine is involved. The four electric motors combine to produce a frankly absurd 1,200 horsepower, making the U8 the most powerful SUV in the world. And BYD says the nearly 4-ton car accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.6 seconds.

Specified technology

The flagship U8 Premium Edition supports DC fast charging up to 110 kW. Now, that doesn’t sound like much in a 320 kW Porsche world, but the Yangwang’s relatively small battery means that charging from 30 to 80 percent takes about 18 minutes. The engine can be used as a vehicle-to-load (VTL) generator, delivering up to 6 kW to charge electrical appliances and power household appliances.

As expected in 2024, the U8 also includes driver assistance technology. Those three taxi-like protrusions on the roof are lidar units for creating real-time 3D scans of the road. There are also 5 millimeter wave radars, 14 ultrasonic sensors and 16 cameras. BYD says semi-autonomous highway driving and urban navigation Autopilot will arrive via future over-the-air updates.

The U8 is priced equivalent to £120,000 (around $149,000) in China, where it’s available right now. Unfortunately, BYD has not yet committed to selling the car in Europe and the UK, or even bringing its premium Yangwang brand here. But when you consider European drivers’ new willingness to try new car brands, along with a luxury SUV market that already offers the BMW iX, Mercedes G-Class and Range Rover, the idea of ​​U8s turning like tanks in narrow city streets or wade confidently through flooded fords on both sides of the Atlantic does not seem far from reality.

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