Chinese auto giant BYD last week launched the new premium EV brand Yangwang tasked with targeting top European automakers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
BYD also revealed during a Jan 5. launch event the first two products from Yangwang: the U9 hypercar and U8 rugged SUV.
Both vehicles are based on BYD's Yisifang platform, which features a quad-motor all-wheel-drive system. The motors are individually controlled, which in the U8 enables the vehicle to not only perform a tank turn but also to move laterally without moving forward, unlike the Hummer EV's Crab Walk, which moves the vehicle move forward along a diagonal path.
A demonstration of this side-motion ability took place during the launch event.
In the U8, the four motors generate a peak 1,100 hp, or enough to propel the almost 17.4-foot-long SUV from 0-62 mph in about three seconds.
The electrical system of the SUV also has a water and dust protection rating, known as the Ingress Protection rating, of IP68. This means the system can withstand fresh water depths of up to 59 inches for up to 30 minutes.
BYD has taken advantage of this ability to design the U8 so that it can float and travel across a body of water, something the company has demonstrated with prototypes.
Few details were provided for the U9 but we know the hypercar will generate 1,288 hp from its four motors. This will be enough for 0-62 mph acceleration in around two seconds, BYD said.
Availability and pricing for Yangwang's products haven't been announced, though prototypes for the U8 have been spotted in China and appear to be at a late stage of development.