On January 5, the BYD sub-brand – YangWang – was officially launched in China along with its first model – the BYD YangWang U8 (internal code name: R1). The new vehicle is a fully electric ladder-frame luxury off-roading beast. In an unprecedented move, YangWang also unveiled a supercar dubbed the U9.
At the launch event, Wang Chuanfu, chairman of BYD, personally drove the car into the venue. In addition to the new SUV, the Yangwang brand also launched a driving technology known as ‘Yisifang,’ also known as the e⁴ platform, which will be used for the first time in the YangWang U8.
The Yisifang technology is a new wheel-side motor that powers the vehicle through four independent motors without relying on the steering wheel to turn. This enables the car to achieve 360-degree steering in one spot.
Yisifang’s four-wheel independent motor technology can control the vehicle’s movement through real-time wheel torque regulation to help the driver in the event of steering wheel failure or tire blowout.
The technology is 100% self-developed and suitable for pure electric and hybrid platforms, covering off-road, supercars, and other models. According to BYD, the electronically controlled four-wheel drive system responds 100 times faster than the traditional four-wheel drive system. Wang Chuanfu also stated that the Yisifang technology would be equipped as standard equipment on all models of the YangWang brand.
The YangWang U8 is also equipped with an IP68 motor waterproof and body sealing technology that allows the SUV to float on the water.
Designed by Wolfgang Joseph Eiger, the new vehicle adopts the “Gate of Time and Space” design language, which merges futuristic elements with hardcore styling.
The L-shaped headlight is unique, and it is highly recognizable when lit. While the grille’s interior is decorated in a dot matrix, the grille’s center is inlaid with the brand’s logo.
Overall, the SUV has a staunch stance, with a length of 5300mm and a wheelbase of 3050mm. It is also equipped with hidden door handles, aerodynamic designs on the wheel arches, and D-pillars. The new car will be offered with R20-inch wheels with a tire size of 275/60 R20.
At the rear, the shape of the taillights is similar to the headlights, and the tailgate, which opens sideways, is equipped with external tires.
The automaker did not reveal the car’s interior; however, previous spy shots show that the SUV will be equipped with a full LCD instrument panel and an embedded central touch screen. There is also a three-spoke multi-function steering wheel, and the buttons in the SUV are marked in Chinese.
In terms of power, the brand-new Yisifang technology platform will provide four wheels and four motors. The maximum power of a single motor is 220-240 kW, and the maximum torque is 320-420 Nm. In addition, the new car will also be equipped with blade batteries and a non-load-bearing body. Various driving modes, including ice and snow, fixed circle, desert slope, U-turn on the spot, and floating water mode, are available on the Yangwang U8.
Additionally, the automaker revealed that the SUV could keep driving at 120 km/h (75 mph) even with a flat tire. This is down to the vehicle’s ability to adjust the torque 1,000 times per second, keeping it under control even with a flat.
The SUV also supports ‘crab mode’ to offer greater vehicle maneuverability when off-roading and can control the driving circuit surface while wading in deep water. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h is 3 seconds.
YangWang is BYD’s new high-end sub-brand, announced by BYD in November 2022. According to the carmaker, this high-end brand is expected to manufacture vehicles within the price range of 800,000 to 1.5 million yuan ($110,280 – $206,800).
The YangWang U8 is the brand’s first model, and while there was no mention of the price at the launch event, it is expected to cost about 1 million yuan.
The automaker didn’t provide details about the range, battery, and release date. Also, there’s no info about autonomous driving just yet. However, this new SUV has what it takes to disrupt the status quo and challenge rivals like the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and Land Rover Defender.