The Chinese Government body MIIT issued final approval for production and sales of the YangWang U8 and with that extensive list of specifications was released. Some came as a surprise, some weren’t a secret at all. The MIIT is a final step before the U8 goes into mass production and it shouldn’t be too long before it officially goes on sale.
Let’s start with the elephant in the room - literally. The U8 is a large vehicle at 5.3 meters but that’s still 45 centimeters shorter than the Cadillac Escalade ESV, so it is surprising to see that it weighs a whopping 3,460 kg or 540 kg more than the much bigger Escalade. You’d think it is the battery that’s the culprit here but no - we’ll get to that shortly. Fully loaded with weekend gear and the entire family, the U8 weighs 3,985 kg which in many countries means you’ll need a truck license to drive it.
For a while now YangWang has been teasing the U8 as having a 1,000 km range. We were suspicious of it from the start because it would require a huge battery to achieve that number, then there were photos of the U8 on a transporter clearly showing exhaust pipes. The rumors were that there are two versions of the U8 - battery-powered and plug-in hybrid. Well, the rumors were both right and wrong.
The YangWang U8 is an EREV - an Extended Range Electric Vehicle. It has a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that’s not connected to the wheels, it simply acts as a generator to top up the onboard battery. Because of that the battery is not that big - just over 49 kWh. The benefits of a smaller battery are quicker charging and less weight, although that one is lost among all the equipment the U8 comes with. The battery recharges from 30 to 80% SoC in just 5 minutes which translates to about 90 km of range according to CLTC. The fully charged battery is good for 180 km but that’s again according to the optimistic CLTC rules.
So, the U8 is the biggest electric SUV on sale in China, it is the most expensive at $160,000 as well and it is the most powerful. Thanks to its 4 electric motors (220 kW each) and the 2-liter petrol engine (200 kW) the total output of the vehicle is 1,080 kW or 1,448 hp. No surprise then that despite its 4 metric ton deadweight it can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds. It’s an elephant with a cheetah's speed. And camel’s stamina - it can go on for 1,000 km on a full charge and with a full tank of gas.
As can be expected from the most expensive car in China, the U8 is fully loaded with the latest technology. There are 3 LiDAR sensors, 5 mmWave radars, 14 USS, and 16 cameras - in total there are 38 sensors scattered all over the vehicle. Onboard satellite comms ensure uninterrupted connection and there’s even an optional drone docking station.
The interior is as luxurious as they come, it wouldn’t be out of place on any of the cars from famous luxury brands. There are three multimedia screens, a star-like ceiling, a 5 or 7-seat configuration, a voice-controlled assistant that can do pretty much anything, and a giant 70-inch augmented reality head-up display. The YangWang U8 is a complete experience.