The BYD Tang SUV has been launched on the Chinese car market, and it is coming with a bang. Best news first: the total combined output of the plug-in hybrid-electric power train is 505hp and 820nm, much more than announced earlier. The output makes the BYD Tang one of the most powerful SUV’s and the most powerful hybrid SUV in the world.
Price is aggressive too. Initially, BYD will sell only two limited-edition models: the Tang Limited, seen above, a dare-to-be-first edition limited to only 98 cars. It comes with red alloys, a dressed up interior and special badges. Price is set at 300.000 yuan or 48.256 USD.
The second limited edition model is the completely mad Tang Ultimate Edition (yes it is real), a speedy sporty variant with a wild body work and lots of carbon fiber. The Ultimate Edition is limited to 200 cars. Price is an astonishing 600.000 yuan or 96.530 USD. A lot of money but this is almost a true supercar, with gold painted alloys!
Price for the non-limited regular car has yet to be announced. Price will start just above 300.000 yuan and end around 450.000 yuan. We will update as soon as we get the exact numbers.
The maximum green-car subsidy for a hybrid car like the BYD Tang is 80.000 yuan, divided by 31.500 by the central government, another 31.500 by local governments (city level), and an exemption from purchase tax worth 17.000 yuan. That means the 300.000 yuan Tang Limited goes for 220.000 yuan at the dealer, which translates into 35.389 USD. That is basically a bargain for the power it offers.
Interestingly, the Beijing, always so keen on green cars, does not offer a local government subsidy, so total subsidy in the capital is only 48.500 yuan.
BYD calls the underlying tech “542 Technology” (542技术), a marketing thingy that sound just hip enough. The meaning however is a bit fuzzy. The five stands for ‘acceleration under five seconds’, the four stands for ‘four-wheel drive’, and the two stands for the fuel consumption of ‘2 liter per 100 kilometer’.
BYD uses yet another marketing phrase: “four-wheel drive, dual-mode” (三擎、四驱、双模). This phrase is a lot better as it is all true. The BYD Tang has three engines, powering all-four wheels, and it is a dual-mode hybrid, being able to drive on pure-electric mode (EV) or in hybrid-electric mode (HEV).
Tech talk now! The three engines refer to a 2.0 liter turbocharged petrol engine and and two electric motors. The petrol engine and one of the electric motors are located at the front (photo), the second electric motor is located at the rear axle. Gearbox is a ‘6HDT45’ six-speed DCT, developed by BYD.
The output of the 2.0 turbo is 205hp and 320nm. The output of each electric motor is 150hp and 250nm. Total output stands at 505hp and 820nm. Just massive. The enormous amount of power is good for a 0-100 in 4.9 seconds. The Tang Ultimate Edition tops that with 4.4 seconds.
For comparison, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, powered by a 4.8 liter V8 with 520hp and 750nm, needs 4.5 second to reach the hundred. The Tang Ultimate will beat it by a tenth of a second…
The 18 kWh high-capacity lithium iron phosphate battery is located under the floor. The fuel tank is located behind the batteries. The maximum range on battery only is 80 kilometers. The battery can be charged with a normal-household 220V connection.
The second electric motor is located right on the rear axle, The inverter unit is located just to the left of the right-rear wheel.
Within the dual mode system, the Tang has four driving-modes. The first is pure electric, powering only the rear wheels using only the rear electric motor.
The second mode is for full speed. Rear electric motor powers the rear wheels, and front electric motor and petrol engine power the front wheels.
This is the range-extender mode. Rear electric motor powers the rear wheels, and the front electric motor powers the front wheels, supported by the petrol engine.
The fourth and final variant. The rear electric motor is out, and the front electric motor powers the front wheels, again supported by the petrol engine.
The switch that controls is all, set in carbon fiber of course!
The Tang comes with a very luxurious interior with lots of leather and wood. Instruments are all digital.
The instrument binnacle.
The center dial houses the built-in air purifier, developed to filter the killing PM2.5 particles out of the dirty Chinese air, leaving the occupants of the vehicle with air slightly more breathable. BYD claims that the system can bring the PM2.5 index down from 700 to 12 in only four minutes. The worst we had in Beijing this year was 543, so that will be clean in about three and a half minutes. BYD is the first automaker to offer build-in air purifiers, and the idea is a hit. All other automakers in China, local and international, are currently developing similar systems.
Happy faces and a happy car. The BYD is an impressive vehicle with an impressive drivetrain delivering impressive power. BYD should be applauded for bringing the Tang to the market (especially the Ultimate Edition…), a wild bet that deserves a serious chance. Chinese automotive media are generally positive and the Tang is the talk of the day and hype of the week.
We join the madness and will be back later with more…