This Luxe New 1,200 HP SUV Can Float Like a Boat in Emergencies

The new Yangwang U8 is truly an all-terrain vehicle.

The latest SUV from BYD’s luxury sub-brand isn’t just meant to be driven off-road. It can even be driven off-land. That’s right, the marque’s extended-range EV is so waterproof that it can temporarily be used as a boat.

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Last week, China-based BYD revealed that the upcoming U8 Premium Edition was designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, including flash floods. If you’re ever caught in a flood, the SUV will elevate its suspension, turn off its engine (more on that in a bit), switch its HVAC system to re-circulation mode and seal its windows so that it can remain afloat up to 30 minutes, according to CarScoops. The vehicle can do more than just float, though. It can also drive forward at speeds of up to 1.8 mph. You’ll be able to maneuver around objects if necessary, too. A video posted to YouTube by CarNewsChina shows the car performing a tank turn in water up to its windows.

Water readiness is far from the U8’s only attractive feature. The full-size SUV is being pitched as a Chinese alternative to the ultra-chic Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen and Range Rover. What really caught our eye, though, is its unique hybrid power train. The U8 is an extended-range EV (EREV), which means it pairs a four-motor electric power train with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that acts as a range extender. BYD says the setup produces 1,200 hp and has a range of 621 miles. It will reportedly start at $150,000.

BYD isn’t the first company to think about making a land-based electric ride that can travel through water. Elon Musk has had the same idea for the Cybertruck. Last year, the company’s CEO posted on X, then known as Twitter, that the eagerly anticipated EV would be able to “serve briefly as a boat.” We’ve yet to see the finished Cybertruck—the examples that have rolled off the line have only been production candidates—so it remains to be seen if the ability will be available.

Regardless, the U8 will have made it to (and through) water first.

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