BYD launches premium EV brand YangWang with hypercar U9 and SUV U8

Chinese auto giant BYD last week launched new premium EV brand YangWang, tasked with targeting top European automakers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

BYD also unveiled YangWang’s first two products: the U9 hypercar and the U8 rugged SUV during the launch event on Jan. 5.

Both vehicles are based on BYD’s Yisifang platform, which features a four-motor all-wheel-drive system. The motors are controlled individually, allowing the vehicle in the U8 not only to perform a tank turn, but also to move sideways without moving forward, unlike the Hummer EV’s crab walk, where the vehicle moves along a diagonal path moved forward.

During the launch event, a demonstration of this lateral movement ability took place.

In the U8, the four engines have a peak output of 1,100 hp, or enough to accelerate the almost 5.4 meter long SUV from 0 to 100 km/h in three seconds.

The SUV’s electrical system also has a water and dust protection rating, known as an ingress protection rating, of IP68. The system can withstand fresh water depths of up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes.

BYD has taken advantage of this ability to engineer the U8 to swim and drive over a body of water, which the company has demonstrated with prototypes.

Yang Wang U9

Yang Wang U9

Few details have been provided for the U9, but we do know that the hypercar will produce 1,288 horsepower from its four engines. This will be enough for 0 to 100 km/h acceleration in about two seconds, BYD said.

Availability and pricing for YangWang’s products has not been announced, although prototypes for the U8 have been sighted in China and appear to be in a late stage of development.