This Chinese Range Rover is the flagship luxury and high-tech SUV from BYD! Yangwang U8 REVIEW

This Chinese Range Rover is the flagship luxury and high-tech SUV from BYD! Yangwang U8 REVIEW

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A big car, more than 5 meters 30 long, more than 2 meters wide and more than 190 high. It's a big vehicle but it's a vehicle full of big ideas. It is a sub-brand from BYD Auto which is the more affordable partner.

This is the high-end, everything we can, everything we are able to do showcase platform. Today with me, Peter and with the Yangwang U8. I'm going to take you around the whole car which is a long walk but it's worth it. I'm going to show you the outside, the inside. And of course we're going to do a bit of driving to tell you all about this new brand.

We're going to start here in the front of course with this enormous daytime running LED signature strip. This is quite the feature and it really sort of sets the tone for the whole front of the car. You can see also this... This triangle element here in the middle, this is supposed to represent the universe with individual stars.

And those stars also are represented here in the LEDs. Of course, many functions are possible. For example, when you use the hydraulic suspension to lower and raise the car, you will get arrows pointing in the direction of where the car is going. It's really cool. There's a lot possible.

Obviously, there's still a lot of development possible with this as well, because since it's LEDs, you can really play with this and really give it... even more features. Now... I'm not going to stand here and say that this is the most beautiful car I've ever seen but it sure is impressive and it's very distinctive as well. Now the radar in the front is only the beginning because this car is loaded with sensors. Here on the roof you can see these three humps.

Now the outside two are empty but the middle one houses one of the three LiDAR systems so that system reads the road and there's a whole range of features inside that make use of that. The outside too, you can put your own things in here really. Anything from night vision to extra lights to whatever you really fancy. So that is room for expansion.

You see the sensor overload almost continuing with a camera here and a camera over here. That's of course when you go off-roading so you have good visibility and also because it is such a huge vehicle it is great for parking. You see in the middle over there is a camera. Now that is also for parking but it's also functioning as a dashcam. Earlier today we already did a bit of driving.

We did an acceleration and a brake test, which is mighty impressive with this drivetrain. 1200 horsepower remember, so this thing really moves and despite its weight it also stops quite impressively. Thanks to that drivetrain, remember four motors on one motor on each wheel, four in total, this car is also able to do tank turns, which we also did earlier today, which is actually quite fascinating. You can set the car to rotate a certain amount of degrees. And the car just does it for you. Now I mentioned this is a big car.

I'm not a small person. I'm about 183 high and about 90 kilos heavy and you can see how high just the bonnet is. It's coming up here. If you move down the car you can also really get a sense of scale.

I'm 183 high like I said. This car is over 190 high. Again it's big and also things like the mirrors you can see how big of a unit it is and in scale a normal mirror unit is only this big.

It's so much bigger and then when you take the whole car into perspective, 5 meters 30 plus and not including that rear wheel, it is a very big vehicle. But a very big vehicle has a lot of room for cool features. For example, this might look like a styling element, but it actually has LED strips built in.

Now, that doesn't really serve any function in terms of illumination, but for example, when you charge the car, this is the world's largest battery indicator. It starts flowing up like it does on your smartphone. This vehicle also has vehicle to load, so when you plug something else into the car, it actually changes color and starts to cascade downwards.

So the vehicle might be enormous, but it does give designers room to play with features like this. And that's actually kind of cool. Now here in the back, the design language continues. First of all, you have this giant optional spare wheel with a camera.

But here, especially in the lights, you can see the same signature as on the front. Really cool. That they continue it this way and you can again see this sort of blocky shape here. Two more cameras again for the assistance systems. Use them to record your own videos but obviously when you're doing any kind of off-roading that will also give you the whole overview of the car. And again with parking obviously this car being as large as it is you need all the help you can get.

You might have seen on the other side there was also a port over there. Now this one is for charging. This is the Chinese spec car so... The plugs you will probably not recognize, but on this side you do the charging and on the other side you actually have a petrol traditional fuel filler cap.

Because this is a hybrid, but not in the sense that you might expect, because this is electric drive only. There's only electric motors powering the wheels, four of them actually. This is the Yangwang's proprietary E4 platform with one motor on each corner, also used by BYD. And the generator motor in the front only acts as an extra range extender. So there's a 75 liter petrol tank and you can actually only use that petrol to burn to create electricity for the drive. So this is always an electric drive car.

With an almost 50 kWh battery in the middle, BYD's Blade battery technology, they have a claimed combined range of about 1000 km. As long as you put petrol in the tank, you're good to go. But you're always driving purely electrical. This will only kick in when necessary. You can dive into the settings to set where you want your charge to be when you want the engine to kick in. The only exception is in Sport Plus mode, then it will always be on.

Because Sport Plus with the 1200 horsepower full boost, full banana setup will require so much energy that they always have the engine on to recharge the battery. Wheels and tires, obviously a big vehicle needs big tires. 22 inch rims on this one you can get smaller as well. That is mainly if you want to go off-roading. You can see that the rubber here is already quite chunky so on the road this is fine. When you go off-roading though you want a bit more compliance with a bit more rubber so that you can go down some rim size and gain a bit more in terms of rubber.

Last we have this piano black wheel arch with a few aero elements here and the E4 logo for the drivetrain system fits with this car in terms of the design that you have the green paint and you have the whole top part of the car is in the same piano black. Now when you're off-roading ground clearance is the name of the game and suspension travel is the other name of the game. Here we have the suspension pumped up in its highest setting and you can see the extra... height that you can get and the extra travel the wheel can have thanks to this hydraulic suspension. Interestingly you can also use it to self level the car so when you're parked on an angle and the car is not straight you can use the suspension to pump up each wheel individually and level the car by itself. Now here in the front you can again see the scale of this car.

Earlier I said I'm 183 and the suspension is in its highest setting now but you can see how massive this door is just to begin with. In here the theme of Nappa leather and wood continues. You can see with these sort of swoosh lines this design element and again the same metal that we saw in the rear. The bottom again here lined with that Nappa leather and the emergency latch. Again, same thing as in the back, they kept it simple here.

Simple buttons for the control of the mirrors and the windows, locking the windows for the rear and a button to open the door. Nice and simple, nice and clean. I like that they didn't overdo it here with screens or any kind of trying to reinvent the wheel. This is traditional, everybody knows how this works and it works just fine.

So no need to go crazy here. Seats, obviously luxury all throughout here in this Nappa leather again. Perforated as you can see because they're ventilated and heated. These bolsters here on the side are interesting because depending on the setting that you have in the driving mode, these bolsters will auto adjust when you go through corners. So they will actually push in and keep you in your seat so to speak.

A little bit like a racing seat, but as soon as then you level out, you go straight again, then the bolstering goes away and you just sit as you normally would. So it's not constantly pushing in your sides, just when you go around the corner. Down here you have all the seat controls like you would expect. Again they kept it traditional here, everybody knows how this works, everybody knows where to find this and what it does. So that's also quite nice that it's kept simple.

You can see it's a nice large opening to get in, no extra handles here that might be handy for some people, but again you have the extra running board to get into the car to make life a bit easier getting this high up. You can see we have a little adjustment for the steering wheel here motorized so that is very nice. The steering wheel is actually continuing the theme of keeping things traditional and not too complicated because we have... Real buttons, real wheels, real things to press. So that was the Chinese assistance. This is still a Chinese car, so you'll also see a few Chinese symbols around here.

But everything is where you expect it to be. There's no capacitive buttons, there's no swiping, there's no weird things going on. Everything is nice and traditional, which I like, which is a good way to do it. That's not to say they haven't skipped any kind of innovation.

There's still some controls for the lights, for example, are here in the screen. Some things for your seat you can do here, your head-up display. That's all controlled here on the side instead of a traditional knob or dial.

So it's not that they've completely skipped on innovation, they've kept things sensible where necessary and put other things in the screen that make sense, which is actually quite nice. Middle tunnel is... Massive! It's really large, the vehicle is broad so there's space for it but it does intrude on the driver space a little bit. So for example if you want to put your knee here to the right you can't because you know the tunnel is right there.

So cockpit overview, it's a very simple layout. I like that it's clean, there's nothing... too busy going on to distract you from the driving experience.

The vents here on the top obviously almost reminiscing of the bulbs here on the top of the roof with the LiDAR that we saw earlier. It's dominated by this big curved screen here in the middle. That's where you do everything that is related to the car. So we can go in here and you have your car and obviously you can pinpoint all the functions that you want to change.

Anything from the sunroof open/close to your seats to whatever really you want. But luckily they haven't put everything in the screen. You can see down here there is still a whole row of physical buttons. This is for your drivetrain, this is for your auto parking. My Chinese is not very good so I don't know what that means. Hazard lights and down here you even have actual buttons for diff locks for turning the car on and off, the suspension and your EDC.

So it is... Very technologically advanced because you can do pretty much anything in the screen but they haven't forgotten about user comfort and usability while driving especially. So the buttons are still there.

You sit here, it's very commanding. In front of you you have another screen with all your relevant driving information. It's not very bright though, especially with sunglasses on that might be an issue. Down here you have two dials. One is for your driving mode, you can go to normal, sport, eco.

All your driving as you do it day to day. You can see that the car also changes with some sounds and some colors, ambient lighting changes and so on. If you want to go for the full Sport Plus you have to do it through the menu. I'm not sure if that's a safety feature or not but you can just select your driving modes and if you want the full banana then you got to go into the central screen.

The other dial here is for your terrain modes. So if you want to go wading, mountain, muddy, sand or land or snow, you can also see the graphics here they change and you can also play with your display here in terms of what you want to do with the car and then again especially in combination with the diff lock you can set it up exactly the way you want. You can also do that here on the middle screen actually, you can select your terrain, but it's very nice that it is available here on the steering wheel as well in terms of a physical dial. Last on the passenger side, it's hard to see for me from the driver's side because they polaroided that out, but there is another screen here for the passenger, usable for anything from navigation to movies to browsing the internet. Now going down this central tunnel you have two inductive charging pads which is actually quite nicely located here in the front so you can still see and grab your phone if necessary.

Two cup holders here adjustable in size so that is also nice makes sense to have them here. And a special mention for the key here because often keys are cheap plastic full of fingerprints. Not the case here. This is, I don't know what it's made of, glass or stone, but this is a heavy, it feels like a pebble and it looks like a pebble, key fob. So obviously it's wireless keyless go but this feels like a very nice premium accessory. Really sort of captures the whole experience of this car.

Down here in the middle we can open the split and you have a place to maybe store a phone or something. But here in the middle part you can see that we have an extra cubby hole. Very deep and you might wonder well what is that for? It is actually a refrigerator. Going back up here to the screen we can actually both cool or heat. This cubby.

So if you put it on refrigeration we can go from minus six, I kid you not, all the way to plus six so you can keep your food frozen in there really. Or if you want to go for heating you can go... please turn on yes...

you can go from 35 to 50 degrees. So if you're getting any kind of takeout it fits in here and it stays either warm or cold so no more... tap it drinks in the summer or take out that gets cold on the way home. Quite nice.

Big button here lined with felt. Simple and easy and effective but there's more. If I go into the menu I have a special option for the storage box. Watch over here.

And here we have an additional locked storage area so you can put, I don't know, some kind of valuable in there and you can actually set a pin code to open this. So if there's something that you don't want to get stolen or want to have hidden out of view, that's where you put it and when you close this It is actually locked. Smart feature. Now interior design.

This car is equipped with Nappa leather and real wood in this case. There's no animal friendly options available as far as we know at the time of filming. The grills here for the speakers.

They have a 22 speaker sound system. Also stand out nicely and what I really like is that they kept it clean. There's just one button here for the window and one button to open the door and that's it. So no screens, nothing crazy going on.

Down here in the storage you see a manual override button for the door in case of an emergency or in case of some kind of unforeseen power failure you can still open the door this way and no filled in here also again full leather here in the storage bin in the door. Not a big one but it is fully lined and there's even a little bit of elastic here. Stepping inside the vehicle made easy by this running board and the chunky handle here in the side. You can see plenty of space for an adult to sit. A lot of controls here in the back as well, which is quite unique as you would assume this is a front seat.

But no, the luxury is definitely also here available in the second row. All the seats are heated and cooled. Easily enough space even for six foot one, 183 person, no issues whatsoever. And the same goes for legroom. You can see how much space there is here.

This seat is in my driving position, So... Easily enough leg room and because it is a full flat architecture there's no hump here in the middle so you know plenty of room for your feet and also here under the seat there is more than enough space to park your feet which is obviously great on long journeys. Sliding here to the middle this is I wouldn't say a full seat but it is no problem for an adult to sit here. Again plenty of leg room... plenty of headroom as well even with the panoramic window cover closed here. And the same goes on here on the side.

Now you have these two infotainment screens where you can do anything from TikToks to Zoom calls and watching movies and anything in between. So that's a great optional extra maybe if you have kids. Speaking of kids, here in the ISOFIX area you can see this little flap. It says ISOFIX on it and when we pull that out with velcro you can see that it reveals the ISOFIX points. Which I think is a really nice and elegant solution because often you see some kind of clip here that is impossible to open or something that you remove altogether which will then instantly get lost. So that is never a good solution this is actually quite elegant because it looks like it's one part of the seat it doesn't get in the way and you're not losing anything.

So that is a great solution. Here in the middle... Like I said, you can sit here if you want, it even has a headrest, but you can also open this up and put it in this position. Then you have some cup holders up here, great for your drink. You have an additional screen here to operate your seats, even massage function.

Adjustments, it's all possible here. And then when you open this last bit up, you have two USB charging options and you have a wireless charging pad as well. Down here you have a small screen for your climate control. Here you can adjust your airspeed and your temperature. Obviously that's for these here, which also have a manual dial.

Then down here you have two more USB, a C and an A type for your charging needs. This pops in here. And then lastly you have the controls for the passenger seat. So you can imagine if this is a chauffeur driven car or when you just want some more room in the back and you want this seat to go... That way then you can control that over here. You can even press one button for it to lay down by itself completely.

So you can see with this passenger seat in its fully folded position it is almost like an executive feel back here. And then especially when you use the electric seat controls to fully recline, turn the seat heating on, then you're really set up for a very nice journey. And especially when you sit like this. You can see that you go for the full business class experience. We got to have a look at the boot because you would expect for such a large vehicle to have an enormous boot. Now it opens very G-Class style but as you can already tell by my backpack it's not enormous in here.

If we use the tape measure. You get about 95 centimeters in depth and well you have to fit it between these so if we measure that we're looking at 102 centimeters approximately. So it is a big opening certainly more than your traditional hatchback. But you can also see when I step in...

That it is pretty full pretty quickly. Luckily you can also fold the seats down. You can do that from here and thanks to the hydraulic suspension you can have it squat down, so it's easier for you to load things into because you can see here. It is a completely flat load lip which is quite nice and you even have this mirror finish down here.

I'm sure you can also get that in different spec to rest something on before you put it into the boot. We have a bit more storage for some pillows and some charging cables and some emergency stuff but no place to put anything else. So if you do want to charge this with a power plug you're probably going to have to store them over there.

Now of course we've got to show you how big it gets in here with the seats down. You have this little control panel here in the back, nicely illuminated with a power symbol. Down here you have a Chinese plug in this case but obviously in the European spec this will be a European outlet. With this panel you can raise and lower the suspension here for easier loading and you can electronically raise and lower the seats. So let's try that out. So you can see here that the whole sequence starts in the front.

The front seats move, then the seat base of the middle seats move and only then the headrests and the whole seats are coming down. That of course to create the most space but also to create the full flat floor. Now I will go to the side.

To show you that we now have a completely flat floor here, all the way basically to the driver's seats. And to give you an idea of how big it is now, if you take this load lip out, this is practically a bed. You can sleep in here, you can use this as a camper van. And that also gives you a bit of an idea of the height. I can sit in here reasonably comfortable and certainly here in the middle. With the panoramic roof, no issues whatsoever.

So then, this is truly cavernous I'd say. Ikea, no problem. Any bikes, mountain bikes, surfboards, also fit, no problem. Now we are on a test track here in the south of Germany.

Unfortunately, we're not allowed to go outside the gates. So the full driving review will have to be saved for another day, but we are allowed to do a few laps here to get a driving impression. So that's what we'll do now. All right so we are now in normal mode we've got a few laps on this short track here. So we're gonna see what this car does in terms of handling.

In normal mode you don't get the full bananas in terms of horsepower but we should be good. We're going to take a little few corners here with a bit of acceleration in between. You can feel right away that you're definitely driving with a heavy vehicle. Now we're gonna straight so we're gonna Push it. Even in this low horsepower setting, normal driving mode, you can feel the electric push obviously. It's not violent, it's compliant, quite pleasant even though it's a lot of horsepower obviously from this four motor drivetrain.

But it's quite nice, nothing too crazy, especially with a lot of high horsepower electric cars, you often have that sort of savage feel that makes you sick quite easily. That's not the case here in normal mode, so that is actually quite nice. Now we get on a bit of a technical bit. You can really feel the size and the weight of the car.

It's a large vehicle obviously, so you have to get used a little bit on how to place it. But there is a lot of glass here. You can see around pretty well. And even on this little technical bit, that helps. These seats are auto adjusting, so you can put it in a setting where it gives a bit of extra bolstering as you go through the corners.

A dial here on the steering wheel where I can adjust the driving modes as well as the terrain modes. Now we are on a track, so I don't need to adjust the terrain, but I can adjust the driving mode and we're going to go to sport. It gives it a little bit more horsepower. And a little bit of stiffer. You can really tell that it's stiffer already even in the small bend.

It's actually warning me that my cornering speed is too high. It's a lot more pickup here. Well that's heartbreaking. That's where the weight of the vehicle comes into play again. Here we got a little straight again. It's still compliant, it's a bit more violent than the normal mode, but still it's not unpleasant to go through.

It's fast, yes, it's a large vehicle that you're accelerating, you notice that it's a large vehicle that you're accelerating with a lot of mass, but it's still, it's not violent or anything, it's still everyday usable. Now here on the twisty stuff. Yeah, it's the same thing again.

Big vehicle, heavy vehicle, but the sport mode is dealing with it a bit better than the normal mode. Obviously you get a lot more support from the suspension system. The hydraulic system pumps itself up to give you that more support in this short technical stuff. It's nice that there's such a significant difference between the modes. I always prefer that, that you can actually properly feel the difference.

Now, we're going to go to the E-plus drivetrain menu and go to Sport plus for the full banana. This is going to give us the full almost 1200 horsepower. Ooh, you can feel the traction control fighting it. Now it's not warning me that my cornering speed is too high, because obviously now I'm in the most violent mode.

You can really tell the difference again with this Sport Plus mode. Everything even more sharp. So after a day with the Yangwang U8 we can ask ourselves is there space for a Chinese super SUV in the European market and what does it have to offer? And I have to say it has quite a lot to offer.

This is really BYD's showcase platform. This is where they show us everything they're capable of in terms of drivetrain, technology and the whole car concept. And I have to say some of it is truly impressive. Their E4 drivetrain platform with 1200 horsepower is crazy in a car like this and it will also be the underpinnings for the Yangwang U9 supercar which you really have to put in Lamborghini territory. In terms of what it offers as a car it is big, it is spacious, it is Range Rover, Mercedes EQS territory, BMW iX territory.

That's really where this car fits in in terms of its size and it's what it offers. The technology inside is impressive, there's a lot of clever things in there. I like that they haven't overdone it. It's not all screens and nothing else.

It's buttons, it's things that work they kept and things that can be improved they improved. And if you combine it with this whole package with the hydraulic suspension with that E4 four motor drivetrain I think it's a mighty impressive proposition. Depending a little bit on pricing of course, where it's going to land. Would it work on the European roads? I think why not? If those cars like I mentioned the iX or the Mercedes EQS work, why wouldn't this work? And they offer things like eight-year warranty, they have like special off-road packages that you can even get a drone box for on the roof if you're into that kind of thing.

So there's a lot going on with this brand and there is quite a lot more to come.

2024-04-17 17:41

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