Chinese automobile giant, BYD, is launching a luxury car brand in 2023 and is starting with the Yangwang SUV.
Intending to compete with fellow luxury off-roaders like the Mercedes Benz G-Class and Land Rover Defender, prices for the all-electric and plug-in hybrid SUV will begin at roughly $110 000, making it BYD’s most expensive vehicle to date.
BYD, able to take advantage of government incentivisation, has been able to scrap production of gasoline-powered vehicles this year.
The Warren Buffet-backed firm joins several other prominent automotive manufacturers like Volvo and Ford, which committed to ditching internal combustion engines (ICE) in Europe by 2030 and 2035, respectively.
The name Yangwang, or ‘look up’, was chosen because of a person’s propensity to look upward while innovating or when in deep thought.
Early reports from its designers indicate the premium EV will be built on a body-on-frame chassis, increasing its ride height and aiding its off-road capabilities significantly.
Customers can choose from either a full-electric or plug-in hybrid version, but the manufacturer’s notes did not specify if there were any price discrepancies between the two.
BYD’s Yangwang is packed with innovative features and the company reportedly issued several patents surrounding the concept.
A massive battery sends power to all four wheels generating an impressive 650 horsepower – more than the notoriously powerful Mercedes Benz G-Class.
Each wheel is powered by a single motor which is controlled by a central processing unit (CPU) that can manage torque distribution, evenly spreading the load to all four wheels equally.
Another feature BYD is looking to incorporate is ‘tank turn’, something Rivian and Mercedes have also expressed adding to their all-terrain vehicles, including the keenly-awaited Mercedes Benz EQG EV.
The ability essentially allows the operator to make a 180-degree turn on the spot, giving the vehicle an incredibly tight turning circle, making parking and manoeuvring the beefy SUV a much simpler prospect.
Automotive blog, Car News China, pointed out a patent for amphibious capabilities. According to the patent, the Yangwang will sport a “floating mode”, and will be able to traverse small ponds and other bodies of water.
Spy shots of the interior show a spacious cabin and dual-cowl dashboard separated by a large infotainment screen.
Other design aspects like the back seating area and centre console were clearly unfinished and still in the development cycle.
Automotive site, Carscoops, said the Yangwang would make its public debut at the Guangzhou Automotive Show in December and could be available for purchase in the second quarter of next year.